Intrepid Lake Country Publications/NOW reporter Megan Sukovich takes us on the tilt-a-whirlwind adventure that is the 2014 Waukesha County Fair.
Before I bid adieu to the 2014 Waukesha County Fair, I made sure to stop by the Children’s Tent to watch the annual “celebrity” cream puff eating contest. Hosted by Van McNeil of WMYX-FM 99.1, this was definitely the event of the fair season. Pictured above are well known fair lovers (from left) the 2014 Equine Ambassador Anna Acuri, Fair Board President Jim Renn, 1997 Fairest of the Fair and Executive Director Shair Black, 2014 Fairest of the Fair Robyn Wittkopf, new Assistant Coach of the Milwaukee Wave Nick Vorberg, 2014 Fair Marshal Bob Weise, 2013 Fairest of the Fair Cecilia Heberling, and fair board member Kevin Meyer. The preliminary round ended in an exciting tie between Meyer and Vorberg, followed by Black earning her spot in the final “cream puff off” for being the winning female. Ultimately, the win went to Meyer as he finished his cream puff in only 28 seconds.
To cap off the last day of the fair, I decided to make some friends in the horse barn. Meet Jordan Holtz, 14, of Mukwonago and her American Quarter Horse, Kalli. After riding for four years, this is Jordan’s first year showing Kalli at the Waukesha County Fair. Kalli is five years old and loves to play with kids, and it’s no surprise that Jordan’s favorite animal at the fair is the horse. “I love that everyone is really friendly and supportive here,” says Jordan.
Have you checked out the Arena Exhibit hall yet? Head to the south side of the Waukesha County Fair grounds to check out 4-H prize winning photos, food, crafts, and more! Visit for hands-on activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or play some bingo from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday July 20.
Did you know that the short ears of the lamancha goat are due to a mutation that occurred when scientist did an experiment to make them produce a higher quality of milk? James Knuth, 17, of Waukesha has been showing goats for eight years at the Waukesha County Fair and loves to share this fact with fairgoers. James’ favorite part about the fair is showing his favorite animal, the goat, and educating people about it's unique quallities. “When you show a goat, it’s all about being elegant,” says James.
Strictly for the sake of investigative reporting, I have put my journalism skills to the test… the taste test, that is. Check out my take on this year’s wacky foods at the Waukesha County Fair using the cream puff scale. The more puffs, the tastier the treat! Are you brave enough try them all?
1. Reuben Nachos
from Jake’s Deli
A new take on a Mexican classic! Thickly sliced, crunchy potato chips topped with a generous helping of shredded corned beef, smothered in a Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. Served with mild jalapenos on the side. This dish gives a lot of bang for its buck, with a hefty serving for only $6. It could have been a little warmer, but definitely earned three cream puffs on the cream puff scale.
2. Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
from Jayme's Chipstix
Breakfast on a stick! Crispy outside with a warm mushy inside and you can even dip it in liquid gold, also known as melted cheese. Despite its goodness, this deep fried delicacy only gets a two on the cream puff scale for the small serving with a hefty price. $6 for six tots!
3. Spaghetti Gelato
from La Coppa Artisan Gelato
Sounds so strange, but tastes so good. A layer of whipped cream topped with smooth vanilla gelato that is squeeze through a spaghetti press. To imitate a spaghetti sauce, sweet strawberry sauce with white chocolate shavings crowns this delicacy. Spaghetti Gelato earns four cream puffs for being the best deal for the most food and for excellent presentation.
4. Deep Fried Oreos
from A's Mini Doughnuts and Concessions
This dessert takes the cake. Deep fried dough stuffed with chocolate goodness and then dusted with a thick layer of fluffy powdered sugar. Don’t forget the $1 glass of all you can drink milk from Prairie Farms. For six Oreos and a full tummy, $6 is well worth it. This is cookie confection earns five cream puffs for superior service and a unique fair eating experience.
5. Tater Twister
from The Fry Factory
This eye catching snack turned too many heads to count. A mountain of crunchy chips smothered in cheese, sour cream, bacon bits and chives. What’s not to love? The tater twister does take some time, but is always made fresh to order for the reasonable price of $13. Presentation points earned this dish four puffs on the cream puff scale.
Seen at Prairie Farms milk tent... All you can drink ice cold chocolate or two percent milk for just $1!
Cock-a-doodle-doo! This is Eli Mathia, 15, of North Prairie and his white cochins chicken, Indy. This is Eli's second year fairing his feathered friends and he is showing eight out of his 31 chickens at the Waukesha County Fair. "I think they're fun. My favorite part about the fair is getting to talk to all the people about chickens," passionately says Eli.
Our fair lady, aslo known as the Fairest of the Fair, Robyn Wittkopf measures the bubblegum blowing contest in the Thursday July 17 Children’s Tent event! Fair fun for the whole family continues today, Friday July 18 with a cupcake eating contest starting at 5:15 p.m. , and through tomorrow July 19 at 4 p.m. with a root beer float eating contest and Sunday July 20 at 5 p.m. with a cream puff eating contest. Make sure to bring the cameras, and maybe some wet-wipes, because it could get a little messy!
The Waukesha County Fair is a family a-fair for most! The Tremaine family from Oconomowoc is just one of many families that come together to share their love for agriculture here at the Waukesha County Fair.
Luke (20), Heidi (17), and Hannah (14) Tremaine began showing animals at the Waukesha County Fair at the young age of 9. Their parents, Mark and Karen Tremaine, own a farm in Oconomowoc and have encouraged their kids to continue in the farming tradition.
“A lot of times agriculture is passed down from generation to generation. So if your family is not involved, chances are you aren’t,” explains Heidi.
At this year’s fair, booth Heidi and Hannah were able to show their cattle and pigs. In the photo to the right, Luke and Heidi sit atop two of Heide’s beef cows, Evie and Lucky.
Of course, Heidi’s favorite fair animal is the cow. “They have so much character. They are just like people!” exclaims Heidi.
On the average day, Luke, Heidi and Hannah will wake up at 5:30 to feed their animals and do other chores on the farm, spending about an average of 10 hours a week attending to their animals. During fair season, they spend even more time with them to make sure they are in tip-top shape.
“I think there is a lot to learn through the fair. it’s not about winning and losing. It’s about the life lesions I’ve learned. Integrity, patience, commitment, and how to both win and lose graciously,” says Heidi.
In the photos below, Hannah is showing her pig who won first place in its weight class, contributing to many of the Tremaine girls’ metals, trophies, and ribbons they have won so far at this year’s Waukesha County Fair.
Meet 11 year old Brooke Brady and her buck black otter rabbit, Onyx! Brooke and Onyx are one dynamic duo of many at this year's fair. Onyx took first place for best in breed. This is Brooke’s third year showing rabbits and loves the Waukesha County Fair. “I love showing and seeing the other rabbits,” she says, reflecting on her favorite parts about fair season.
The 2014 Waukesha County Fair Marshal Bob Weise represents the true meaning of dedication and commitment. His pride for the Waukesha County Fair continues to grow as his granddaughter, Robyn Wittkopf, was crowned fairest of the fair on opening day of this year’s fair.
Weise grew up and still resides in Pewaukee. He attended his first fair in 1950 where he showed sheepand cattle. “I haven’t missed a fair since,” says Weise. Except for when he was serving in the armed forces in 1963, Weise has truly been a dedicated fairgoer.
During his time at his 66 attended county fairs, Weise has supplied over 350 sheep, exhibited over 100 livestock, and has trucked over 600 animals to the fair. Not to mention the over 40 neighborhood kids he supplied with animals during more than 70 years of farming in Waukesha County.
Weise’s three children have shown dairy sheep and beef at the Waukesha County Fair, along with his seven grandchildren that show chickens, pigs, goats, dairy, and sheep.
To celebrate his honor as the 2014 Waukesha County Fair Marshal, Weise’s family made t-shirts to commemorate all of his fair contributions and show how much they love their “papa” for all that he has done.
Weise’s granddaughter and 2014 Fairest of the Fair Wittkopf has followed a family tradition in competing in the Fairest of the Fair, as her mother and aunt were also competitors.
Summer nights in Wisconsin are one of the best parts about the Waukesha County Fair. As most fairgoers are headed to see country music sensations Jerrod Niemann & Love and Left, I chose to feel the wind in my hair on the YoYo, the high flying swing ride pictured above. Also pictured is the 110 foot ferris wheel with over 20,000 lights. What a view!
What a way to kick off the fair! This truck is one of many to rumble through the north end Action Center at the Waukesha County Fair. Truck and tractor pulling derives from horse and ox pulling, which was an event at the very first Wisconsin State Fair in Janesville in 1851. Stop on by to see local trucks, tractors and their drivers display their talents during the rest of the fair, as a variety of open stock trucks and tractors compete in three divisions: Super Stock, Open Stock and Super Street Diesel. Don't miss the second show at noon on Sunday, July 20.
Hot air balloons soar over the Action Center as the first truck & tractor pull of the fair take place on July 16. Nothing is better than enjoying a beautiful Wisconsin summer night at the Waukesha County Fair!
What a sight to see in Waukesha County! Alligator swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi entertains the masses as he strangles the 8 foot 200 pound gator on opening night of the Waukesha County Fair. This gator is just one the 1.5 million alligators in found in Florida. “This is not a man against beast thing, it is an educational show,” says Quattrocchi as he wrestles the creature. This gator has 80 teeth and can swim up to 25 miles per hour!Catch another swampmaster show on July 17 & 18 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., July 19 at 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30 p.m., and July 20 at 1, 3, & 5 p.m.
The results are in! Robyn Wittkopf, 19, of Pewaukee has won the 2014 Waukesha County Fairest of the Fair competition, followed by Danielle DeCloux of Menomonee Falls as first runner up and Karli Hintz of Waukesha as second runner up.
“I’m ecstatic. I am so honored to be a part of this,” says Wittkopf. Wittkopf has been active in the Waukesha County Fair and 4H for 10 years. She has shown sheep, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, food, poultry, rabbits, and has also volunteered with the fair throughout the years. Wittkopf is going to be a sophomore at the University of Dubuque where she is perusing a career in pediatric oncology.
Wittkopf was one of five finalists in this year’s competition. Stephanie Seymour of New Berlin, Danielle DeCloux of Menomonee Falls, Karli Hintz of Waukesha and Jacklyn Piper of New Berlin along with Wittkopf participated in an application and interview process preceding the final competition.
As the crowed gathered, host and 2009 Fairest of the Fair Rachel Hardekopf asked the contestants an impromptu question and a question referring to their application. Lastly, the finalists had to perform a 30 second radio spot promoting a specific day of the fair.
Judges Mary McGrath and Chuck Malone chose the fairest on knowledge of the fair, personality, poise, community involvement, and communication skills.
To pass along the crown, 2013 Fairest of the Fair Cecilia Heberling also made an appearance at this year’s competition.
“I think what I will miss the most is all the amazing people I have met,” says Heberling as she makes her final goodbyes to her public.
This year’s fairest has already begun her reign upon her crowning and will serve the Waukesha County Fair for the next year. Wittkopf’s duties include welcoming the public, interviews with the media, announcing special events, judging and participating in contests and awarding ribbons for the remainder of the fair. The Fairest will go on to represent the Waukesha County Fair at the three-day Wisconsin State Fairest of the Fairs Competition in January of 2015 in Wisconsin Dells.
“I hope to promote the fair to the best of my ability and try to get as many people to enjoy it as much as I do,” says Wittkopf.
The Waukesha County Fair kicks off Wednesday, July 16, and runs through Sunday, July 20, at the fairgrounds, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Hours are 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $10 at the gate for adults, $5 for ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Daily parking is $5. Ride wristbands are $15 through July 15 (valid Thursday through Sunday only).
I'll be covering the fair all week for Lake Country Publications. If you see me, stop and say hello — and don't forget to check out my blog, Fair E-tales, at LivingLakeCountry.com, where you can find stories about events at the fair, photos and videos.
If you're still making plans for your visit to the fair, here's a list of suggestions for the top 10 things you won't want to miss:
1. Fairest of the Fair
Kick off the fair right at the crowning of this year's Fairest of the Fair at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, at the Leinie Lodge Stage. Winners of the countywide competition are selected on the basis of personality, communication skills, school and community activities, professional appearance, knowledge of and experience with the Waukesha County Fair.
Upon their crowning, the Fairest will immediately begin her reign by welcoming the public, interviews with the media, announcing special events, judging and participating in contests and awarding ribbons for the remainder of the fair.
The Fairest will go on to represent the Waukesha County Fair at the three-day Wisconsin State Fairest of the Fairs competition in January 2015 in Wisconsin Dells.
2. Fantastic fair food
From Ruben nachos to deep-fried Oreos, what's not to love about fair food? Taste test some of this year's new items, such as gelato spaghetti, or visit yesteryear with traditional fair favorites such as the cream puff.
3. Musical performances
This year's Miller Light Main Stage has can't-miss performances from Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft, Blue Oyster Cult and more. Check out the Leinie Lodge and Coors Light Stage for more chances to practice the latest dance moves.
4. Demolition derby
Watch in awe as cars crash, bang and boom into each other at the Demo Derby at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Action Center on the north end of the fairgrounds. This competition is fun for the whole family, with four heats lasting about two hours.
5. Pancake breakfast
What's better than the phrase "all-you-can-eat"? It's a deal that can't be beat! Head to the Leinie Lodge for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19.. The breakfast is $6 and contributes to the Kiwanis Club of Waukesha.
6. Classic car show
The classic car show is celebrating the fourth annual show. This new fair tradition gathers an array of old-school vehicles that will rev everyone's engine. The event takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the fairgrounds north of the Midway.
7. Truck and tractor pull
Nobody does a truck and tractor pull than Waukesha County. This event offers never-ending entertainment as a variety of open stock trucks and tractors compete in three divisions: Super Stock, Open Stock and Super Street Diesel. Don't miss the two chances to cheer on the best truck or tractor, with the first show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, and the second show at noon Sunday, July 20. Both events will be at the Action Center.
8. Midway rides
Thrilling new rides this year are the YoYo, a highflying swing ride; the Sizzler, a spinning machine; and the Mini Himalaya, a fast, dizzying ride. Keep an eye out for other remarkable rides, like the classic 110-foot giant Ferris wheel to get the best view of the fairgrounds.
9. Swampmaster Alligator Show
Watch Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi catch an 8-foot, 200-pound alligator with his bare hands. Face fears at this daily display of educational, exhilarating entertainment.
10. Children's Tent
Fun every day for all ages can be found at the Children's Tent in the center of the fairgrounds. Kids can compete in a cream puff-eating contest, or cozy up for story time with Fairest of the Fair. The Children's Tent has the best fair fun to keep kids entertained for hours.