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Wisconsin Parent

Surviving Summer Fairs - 2013 Wisconsin List

May 22, 2013 09:03PM ● By Dannelle Gay
Surviving Summer Fairs is important if you are like us! We love going to a fair or festival with the family on a weekend but there is just one problem: they can really drain your pocketbook! Below, I've listed the 2013 Wisconsin County Fair List complete with a few ways to get the most out of your event, with the least out of your pocketbook. You do NOT have to break the budget to enjoy these, honest!

Do they have a parade? A parade is FREE and the kids usually get something (candy, small prizes,etc). This can easily entertain your family for over an hour and usually has a few surprises among the floats. We loved the year that full sized Popsicles were passed out!

Bring a picnic lunch. Not only is this a cheaper option, it is often healthier!

At most fairs you can find a mile-long list of foods on a stick, and half of those are deep fried. Don't get me wrong, I live in Wisconsin because it is legal to have five starches on the same plate, but not at $5 each!

Check out the event website before you leave. This way you can see what yumminess is might tempt you, giving yourself permission to pick maybe ONE to try. Not only is this healthier for your family, it's healthier for your wallet! Is it going to be the cream puff? Maybe the chocolate covered bacon on a stick? Roasted corn always gets me!

Want to go on rides? The days of cheap rides are over. Most rides take several tickets, and those ticket can run $1-2 each. Make sure you go on a "wrist band" night—where you have unlimited rides for a set price and then let them go on the "Zipper" as many times as they want. {I will watch safely from the ground, thank you.}

Do they have fireworks? Again, a FREEbie here! My best tip: Hit the local Dollar Store first and get a package of glow necklaces or bracelets. These usually come in a five or ten pack for $1.00 and are a lot less expensive than the ones that cute little guys go around selling at $5 each! Trust me, the kids will want one, once they see them.

Are there Other FREE activities there? Check for bounce houses and petting zoo's {pack some hand sanitizer because their displays are always empty}. Sponsored stages allow you to watch everything from the local karate dojo demonstration to the ballet studio's dance recitals. And don't forget about the World Famous Racing Pigs at the Wisconsin State Fair? {I'd even be tempted to run a little for an Oreo!}

Finally, keep in mind that it IS Wisconsin that we are talking about! One year the temperature may be ninety five degrees and the next year it could be sixty. Regardless of the weather, slather the sun screen on the kiddos, as they can actually get a worse burn on a cloudy day than a sunny one. Make sure everyone is drinking their water and taking a few rest breaks and you can't help but make some fantastic memories and have a great time! Here is the big list of County Fairs for 2013 -- thanks to the Wisconsin Association of Fairs. Keep in mind this doesn't include smaller events like Sun Prairie Corn Fest, Edgerton's Tobacco Heritage Days, etc.