7 May 2017
The Wisconsin State Fair: Economics-on-a-stick
Every year, thousands of people look forward to an eleven day event of food, animals, rides, and music. This year’s Wisconsin State Fair will take place August 3rd through the 13th and it can be said for certain that more than 1 million people will attend. Last year alone, the “Wisconsin State Fair saw 1,033,053 people come through its gates…” (Shafer). Every year there seems to be something new, like new and interesting foods on sticks or new entertainment events happening throughout the day. ““[The] Wisconsin State Fair has long been considered one of the top Fairs in the United States by many measures, and achieving attendance over one million two years in a row solidifies this even more,” stated Rick Frenette, chief executive officer of Wisconsin State Fair Park,” (Delong). When looking at the graphs below, Wisconsin’s fair attendance (the purple line) has been increasing greatly. With attendance on the rise, the revenue of the fair is also increasing.
According to the fair’s CEO, Rick Frenette, “The economic impact of a fair our size is over $35M just in this 11 days,” (Langemo). With people all around Wisconsin traveling to the fair, the economy of West Allis gains a great profit. All of the sales tax that is generated at the fair is estimated to be $3 million alone, and all of the money goes back to the state of Wisconsin (Wickman). Along with all of this money going back in Wisconsin's economy, the fair also helps improve the surrounding area’s unemployment. “Approximately 1,800 employees work at the fair during its run,” (Wickman).
Another big thing that people look forward to at the Wisconsin State Fair is the food. In these eleven days, fairgoers consume an unbelievable amount of fried food, but who can blame them. Every year there seems to be another new food on a stick for them to try. Advertising and bringing new foods to the fair is a great marketing strategy, because people really want to try the new chocolate covered bacon on a stick or the new deep-fried ol’ fashion. This demand of new foods alone beings thousands of people to the park and it “... generates more than $50 billion in economic activity yearly in Wisconsin,” (Delong). With people demanding so much of this food, the supply is sometimes limited, but in 2014, the fair was prepared for this flood of people wanting the newest and best fried foods. “The Wisconsin Bakers Association sold a record-breaking 400,678 Original Cream Puffs, Arctic Glacier supplied [the] vendors with over 579,920 lbs. Of ice and Catalano’s used 28,000 lemons to serve their refreshing lemonade to thirsty Fairgoers,” (Delong). Farmers and businesses in the area needed to supply the fair with these goods in order to serve the hungry fairgoers. This too helped boost Wisconsin’s economy.
Through all of the entertainment, food, and carnival rides, the Wisconsin State Fair does many things for fairgoers and the community. It not only gives back to the state, but it gives back to the community in so many ways.
Delong, Katie. “State Fair 2014 ‘another one for the record books’ — so how many people attended?” Fox 6 NOW, 11 Aug. 2014, http://fox6now.com/2014/08/11/state-fair-2014-another-one-for-the-record-books-so-how-many-people-attended/
Langemo, Laura. “‘It really brings our state together:’ Gov. Walker, Mayor Barrett open 2015 Wisconsin State Fair.” Fox 6 NOW, 6 Aug. 2015, http://fox6now.com/2015/08/06/it-really-brings-our-state-together-wisconsin-state-fair-kicks-off-for-2015-season/.
Shafer, Dan. “Wisconsin State Fair attendance tops 1 million.” Milwaukee Business Journal, 16 Aug. 2016, http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2016/08/16/wisconsin-state-fair-attendancetops-1-million.html.
Wickman, Natalie. “Wisconsin State Fair opened to record-setting crowd: Slideshow.” Milwaukee Business Journal, 10 Aug. 2016, http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2015/08/10/wisconsin-state-fair-opened-to-record-setting.html.
Wirtz, Ron. “People-on-a-stick: 2011 state fair attendance.” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 21 Aug. 2011, http://minneapolisfed.typepad.com/roundup/2011/09/people-on-a-stick-2011-state-fair-attendance.html.“Wisconsin State Fair.” Wisconsin State Fair, 2017, http://wistatefair.com/fair/.