2020 Wisconsin State Fair Canceled

The Wisconsin State Fair is so much more than just a fair, it is tradition, it is celebration, it is the showcase of everything we are so proud of in Wisconsin.

This is why our hearts are heavy as we bring you this news. For the safety of our fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled.

CLICK TO READ FULL CANCELLATION STATEMENT
SkyGlider Ride over Wisconsin State Fair

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for answers to questions about the cancellation of the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair, or click here for a printable versions of the FAQs.

General FAQs

Why is the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair canceled?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

For several months the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board of Directors and staff have been working tirelessly analyzing all facets of the annual event, in hopes of being able to host the Fair this year.

After extensive input from each Board member as well as Kathleen O’Leary, Executive Director/CEO, Board Chairman John Yingling announced that for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled.

Wisconsin State Fair Park has been closely monitoring COVID-19 data from local, state and federal health officials during this time. While some restrictions have recently been lifted and businesses are beginning to re-open, most are requiring strict safety measures, including social distancing, the wearing of masks and temperature checks. The evidence that this disease spreads easily when people are in densely populated areas has led several agencies to continue their recommendation of avoiding mass gatherings. Considering the Wisconsin State Fair is the largest event in the State of Wisconsin, drawing more than one million people over the course of 11 days, this weighed heavily into the decision to cancel the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair.

Why was it not postponed instead?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

Several large industries, including agriculture, entertainment, and ride operations, as well as hundreds of small businesses and thousands of part-time employees, are paramount to putting on a successful State Fair.

Unfortunately, postponing until later this year was not a viable option given factors including carnival and concession vendor routing, artist scheduling, staffing challenges and the timing of youth agriculture shows, seeing that many youth participants would be back in school and unable to participate.

Why was the decision made now and not later?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

Preparing for an event the scale and scope of the Wisconsin State Fair is a year-round operation and a colossal undertaking. Several large industries, as well as hundreds of small businesses and thousands of part-time employees, are paramount to putting on a successful Fair. We simply can’t hold off any longer for the sake of the staff, vendors, exhibitors, operators, sponsors and partners. Supplies, food, equipment, travel plans and more all need to be finalized NOW.

While we are not sure what August will look like, we do know that we have to make decisions based on what we know today and not what we hope the world will look like in August.

In making the decision now, we can take measures to ensure that the State Fair will be back bigger and better in 2021 and for many years to come.

Did you consider implementing mask requirements, temperature checks or instituting social distancing guidelines?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

For the last few months our staff has explored countless options to modify the annual State Fair to account for new health and safety guidelines and restrictions. At the end of the day, any of these modifications would result in an event that is not the same State Fair that we and our fairgoers love.

Here are some of the options considered and potential impacts these changes would have made:

  • Reducing admission entrances to limit daily attendance, which would cause lines at admission entrances to become longer and turning away fairgoers who have waited in line all day when the daily admission limit has been reached.
  • Vehicle capacities for MCTS and Park & Ride shuttles limiting the number of riders at one time, which would impact wait times at bus stops and park and ride lots for patrons to ride a bus or shuttle to the State Fair.
  • Taking temperatures of every attendee, and then one family member having a slight fever and the entire group not being able to enjoy their planned day at the fair.
  • Socially distancing seating at any live music venue or livestock showring would require seating capacities and no standing room.
  • Spacing out lines for food to six feet in between each customer, and those lines would flow into the streets and cause traffic jams of fairgoers walking through the Fair Park.
  • Every seat on every ride being cleaned immediately after use, which in some cases like the SkyGlider or WonderFair Wheel would cause constant stopping and starting of the attraction rather than a smooth riding experience and longer lines for guests waiting to enjoy those rides.
  • No overnight dorm experience for our junior livestock exhibitors, many of whom travel from across the state to participate in the State Fair and would effectively not be able to participate.
  • Implementing a maximum number of livestock exhibitors to reduce barn capacity and fairgoer traffic in close spaces.
  • Implementing building capacity restrictions for shopping in the Exposition Center, Original Cream Puff Pavilion, and Wisconsin Products Pavilion and staging lines for entry.
  • Hands-on activities for families in the Kohl’s Activity Zone, Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard, Exploratory Park and Neighborhood Corral would be modified to viewing only instead of interactive learning.
Will there be some type of virtual or drive-thru State Fair instead?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

Stay tuned!

We had been planning entirely for an in-person State Fair, both under normal circumstances and a modified version due to COVID-19. Since those options are not possible this year, we can now further explore ways to bring you a virtual or drive-thru State Fair experience.

Follow us on social media or sign up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know when these details are available.

How can I still support the Wisconsin State Fair?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

If you’d like to support the Wisconsin State Fair, you can do so by supporting the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to providing a superior experience for Wisconsin State Fair Park visitors through public and private partnerships, year-round art and education programs, and the continual enhancements and environmental sustainability of Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Donations to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation are accepted year-round and greatly appreciated. Visit wsfpfoundation.org for details.

How can I still support State Fair vendors?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

We understand that our vendors will be affected by the decision to cancel the Wisconsin State Fair. We are looking into options for our fairgoers to support their businesses.

Follow us on social media or sign up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know when details are available.

Will there be an opportunity to get Cream Puffs this summer?2020-06-29T09:38:55-05:00

Yes! There will be Cream Puffs available during August 6-16. Learn more about where, when and how by visiting our 2020 Cream Puffs page.

Follow us on social media or sign up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know when details are available.

What will happen to the State Fair junior livestock shows?2020-06-10T12:07:17-05:00

Over the past few months the Wisconsin State Fair Agriculture Department staff has been working tirelessly on potential options to provide agriculture programming for youth in the event the traditional Wisconsin State Fair, we all love, would not be possible.

On May 28, the Wisconsin State Fair Board announced the decision to cancel the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair for the safety of all fairgoers, exhibitors, partners, entertainers, vendors, sponsors, suppliers and staff.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, each day the potential program opportunities continued to change and evolve. The Wisconsin State Fair Board’s Agriculture Committee, along with multiple levels of Wisconsin State Fair Management, extensively discussed the viability and challenges of hosting a youth livestock show at Wisconsin State Fair Park, which is located within an urban area of the State where COVID-19 has been particularly present.

After considerable discussion with the most current information available, projected assumptions of what youth livestock shows would potentially look like under future local, county and state health department recommendations and exhibitor safety in mind, it has been decided that hosting a youth livestock show at Wisconsin State Fair Park is not an option for this summer. The show would not be the top-notch experience you would have come to expect at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

We encourage each of our junior livestock exhibitors to complete their projects and continue to explore alternative opportunities to showcase their hard work. We wish each of them continued success and we look forward to seeing many of them at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by US Cellular, August 5-15!

Will there be a 2021 State Fair?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

The 2021 Wisconsin State Fair is scheduled for August 5-15.

How are other events held at State Fair Park being affected?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

To see a full list of events held at State Fair Park that have been affected by COVID-19, please click here.

Will Harvest Fair still take place this year?2020-05-28T10:53:19-05:00

Harvest Fair is currently scheduled for September 25-27, 2020. A decision about whether Harvest Fair will go on as planned has not been made. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and update the public and media as necessary, keeping safety our top priority.

Admission Tickets, Fair Favorites Vouchers, and Main Stage Tickets FAQs

What do I do with my pre-purchased Admission Tickets, Bargain Book Vouchers, Cream Puff Vouchers, SpinCity vouchers, Santa’s Sack or Elf Pack bundle?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

Use them in 2021: Hold on to your 2020 tickets and vouchers! All admission tickets, vouchers and bundles for the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair will be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, August 5-15.

Donate them back to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation: Ticket holders are able to donate the value of their purchase to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation to be used for future Fair projects, education, and improvements. Donation requests must be initiated by June 30, 2020. See the “Can I donate my tickets back to the State Fair?” FAQ for complete details.

Request a Refund: Refunds must be request by June 30, 2020 or the admission tickets and vouchers will automatically be rolled over for use at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair. See the “Can I get a refund on my admission tickets?” FAQ for complete details.

Can I use my tickets in 2021?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

Yes! Hold on to your 2020 tickets and vouchers!

All admission tickets, vouchers and bundles for the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair will be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, August 5-15.

Can I donate my tickets back to the State Fair?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

Yes! If you do not wish to use your 2020 tickets or vouchers for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, you can donate the value of the purchase to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation to be used for future Fair projects, education, and improvements.

Donation requests must be initiated by June 30, 2020 or the tickets and vouchers will automatically be rolled over for use at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

To initiate a donation request, please choose the donation option on the Refund or Donation Request Form.

Can I get a refund on my admission tickets?2020-07-02T12:51:57-05:00

All requests for refunds or donations were due by June 30, 2020.

Admission tickets and vouchers purchased for use at the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair that have not been refunded will roll over and be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, August 5-15. See you then!

What do I do with my pre-purchased Main Stage ticket?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

All purchases of State Fair Main Stage tickets are eligible for a full refund, including client and service fees.

Main Stage shows that had tickets on sale and are eligible for a refund include:

  • Skillet with Colton Dixon & Ledger on Thursday, August 6
  • Chris Young with Sara Evans & Payton Smith on Friday, August 7
  • Bethel Music with We The Kingdom on Tuesday, August 11
  • Brothers Osborne with Ryan Hurd on Thursday, August 13
  • Boyz II Men with Ginuwine on Friday, August 14
  • The Beach Boys on Saturday, August 15
How do I get a refund for my Main Stage ticket?2020-07-02T10:19:38-05:00

As of June 30, 2020, the following five previously scheduled shows have been rescheduled for 2021:

Show Original 2020 Date New 2021 Date
Skillet with Colton Dixon & Ledger Thursday, August 6, 2020 Thursday, August 5, 2021
Chris Young with Sara Evans Friday, August 7, 2020 Friday, August 6, 2021
Brothers Osborne with Special Guest Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Boyz II Men with Ginuwine Friday, August 14, 2020 Friday, August 13, 2021
The Beach Boys Saturday, August 15, 2020 Saturday, August 14, 2021

If you purchased tickets for the 2020 show date, your tickets will automatically be rolled over for the new 2021 show date.

We are actively in communications with and hope to bring Brothers Osborne back in 2021. Brothers Osborne was originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

If you do not wish to carry over your 2020 Concert Tickets to the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair for the four rescheduled shows or the pending Brothers Osborne show, you can request a full refund. Refund requests must be initiated by July 27, 2020 or the tickets will automatically be rolled over for use at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

To initiate the refund process, please contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Online: 2020 State Fair Main Stage Refund or Donation Request Form
  • Phone: 414-266-7100 – Office hours for phone requests are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm
  • In Person: The State Fair Ticket Office is located at 7722 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis WI 53214, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm

Bethel Music, originally scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2020 will not be rescheduled for 2021.

All tickets for Bethel Music will be automatically refunded to the credit card used in the original transaction. No further action is needed by the purchaser.

Purchases made with Credit Card

  • Purchases made via credit card online through Etix (accessed via wistatefair.com or etix.com) or in person at the State Fair Ticket Office will automatically be refunded to the card used in the original purchase.
    • If the card used in the original purchase is expired or your bank issued you a new credit card number, the bank will apply the refund to any active account connected to the original card.
    • If you no longer have an open account associated with that bank, the bank will either issue you a check for the amount of the refund or will reject the refund entirely.
    • If your former bank rejects the refund, please confirm with the State Fair Ticket Office that the payment has been rejected so that we may issue you a cash or check refund. The State Fair Ticket Office can be reached at tickets@wistatefair.com or 414-266-7100.
  • Refunds may take up to 30 business days depending on the credit card processor.
  • No action is required on part of the ticket holder.
What if I purchased my tickets through a source other than Etix (accessed via wistatefair.com or etix.com) or the State Fair Ticket Office?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

The State Fair Ticket Office and Etix (accessed via the WiStateFair.com or Etix.com) are the ONLY authorized sources for State Fair Admission Tickets, Main Stage Tickets, Bargain Book vouchers, Cream Puff vouchers, and SpinCity vouchers.

Tickets purchased at a non-authorized, third party source must be returned through that point of purchase. Please note that WSFP cannot guarantee the validity of the tickets purchased from a non-authorized source and you risk being denied admission, refunds and/or exchanges.

What do I do with a State Fair ticket package that I won through a promotion or charity auction?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

All charity donation packages for the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair will be valid for 2021. This includes Admission Tickets, Cream Puff vouchers, SpinCity vouchers, and Bargain Book vouchers.

Because the headliners for the 2020 State Fair Main Stage are not guaranteed to play in 2021, tickets won for a show at the State Fair Main Stage will not be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

I won State Fair admission tickets through a radio station. What do I do with them?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

Hold on to your 2020 tickets and vouchers! All admission tickets, vouchers and bundles for the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair will be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair, August 5-15.

Tickets, vouchers or bundles won through a radio station promotion cannot be returned for a refund.

I won Main Stage tickets through a radio station. What do I do with them?2020-07-02T12:56:48-05:00

Hold on to them! All tickets issued for 2020 shows that have been rescheduled for the 2021 State Fair Main Stage are valid for the same seats. If you have destroyed them, please contact the station you won the tickets from to get replacement tickets.

Is the $10 in Fire Keepers Club reward play offer from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino on my Admission Ticket, Fair Favorite Voucher or Main Stage Ticket still valid?2020-05-28T10:53:28-05:00

Yes, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will still honor the $10 in Fire Keepers Club reward play from August 6 through September 6, 2020.

Offers on refunded and donated main stage tickets, admission tickets and vouchers will be accepted.

Offers on admission tickets and vouchers that have been rolled over for use at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair will be accepted.

Please be advised that in order to use the reward play offer, you must surrender your ticket or voucher upon redemption at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and will not be able to use it at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

Visit paysbig.com to be up to date on operating hours for Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

State Fair Competitions FAQs

Please click here for FAQs regarding entering and exhibiting in contests put on by the Wisconsin State Fair.

State Fair Vendors FAQs

Please click here for FAQs regarding vendor operations at Wisconsin State Fair.

2020-05-28T11:28:56-05:00