Waupaca County Fair upgrades rides, entertainment
By Robert Cloud
New carnival rides, new food stands, new events and the return of Grandstand concerts are highlights of this year’s Waupaca County Fair.
Slated for Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 26-30, the Waupaca County Fair will be held at the fairgrounds in Weyauwega.
“The first thing visitors will notice is our new midway,” according to Jeremy Schroeder.
A Weyauwega native who is the principal of the Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School and High school, Schroeder brings a significant amount of experience to his new role as vice president of the Waupaca County Fair Board.
Schroeder was manager of the Outagamie County Fair for three years and a board member there for eight years.
He thinks the new attractions will give fairgoers more opportunities to have fun.
“Mr. Ed’s Magical Midway offers a different variety of kiddie rides and newer, more exciting thrill rides,” Schroeder said.
He said “Spin Out” spins riders around, flips them upside down and keeps them guessing which way they’ll go next.
Other rides from Mr. Ed’s Magical Midway include Ali Baba, Castle Mania, Gravity Storm and Inversion.
“It’s a very progressive carnival, very fancy and very clean. The focus is on families and kids. The workers are trained and have strict guidelines,” Schroeder said.
The carnival will also have new food stands, such as Lisa’s Pizza and sweet treats like cotton candy, caramel apples, caramel corn, funnel cakes, slushies and lemonade shake-ups.
Midway games will include Water Race, Duck Pond, Rope Ladder, Skee Ball and Balloon Bust.
“We’ll have more updated and greater variety and still have special prices,” Schroeder said.
Every day will be Wrist Band Day this year, where $25 will allow fairgoers to ride all day. Wednesday will be Buck Day on the midway, where all rides are $1.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, the fair will host the All American Lumberjack Show in the Grandstand.
There will be a sawing contest and log rolling. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children 11.
“This show is for families,” Schroeder said. “It allows kids to come out and talk to the lumberjacks.”
At 8 p.m. Friday, live music will return to the Grandstand with a free three-hour concert.
The concert will open with Chasin’ Mason, a country band from Milwaukee, followed by Cherry Pie, a rock band that plays cover songs from the ‘80s and ‘70s by Bon Jovi, Journey, Def Leppard, Motley Crew and Boston.
“Each band will play an 80-minute set, then both bands will play together to close the show,” Schroeder said. “You can expect a really exciting energized performance.”
The Waupaca County Fair will feature live music throughout the week.
Third Wheel, a Weyauwega country and rock band, will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
Desperate Ottos will play their unique mix of country, rock, blues and swing from 2-6 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday will feature two Grandstand shows at the county fair.
The South Central Tractor Pull and Badger Truck Pullers will hold a sanctioned event at noon. There will be modified trucks, Super Street Diesels and smoker tractors competing.
At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the National and the Wisconsin Tractor Pullers Association will hold a tractor pull with modified mini-tractors, Super Farm tractors and Super Stock Badger trucks.
“There will be lots of speed, lots of smoke and a lot of power,” Schroeder said.
Each show costs $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-11 and free for children under 6. A day pass for both shows cost $15.
“Normally, these pulls are about $20. We kept the price low for fairgoers,” Schroeder said.
At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the county fair will host demolition derbies.
“We have a new promoter this year, Hollywood Motor Sports,” Schroeder said. “We had a lot of feedback that we try a different promoter. We listened to our customers.”
Schroeder said this year’s demo derby will be held in the afternoon rather than evening so that fairgoers can be home at a reasonable time for going to work on Monday.
Tickets to the demo derby are $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 6.