Wisconsin State Fair returns with some COVID-19 tweaks

August 5, 2021 GMT

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin State Fair returns Thursday after the coronavirus pandemic canceled last year’s event for the first time in 75 years.

The event runs through Aug. 15 at the 200-acre State Fair Park in West Allis.

COVID-19 means some changes for this year’s fair, including cashless admission and parking. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the fair gates. Organizers say it will reduce both physical contact and manpower and to make transactions faster.

Also, hours of the fair have been trimmed to give staff more time to clean and sanitize overnight. In years past, the fair opened at 8 a.m. daily. This year, it’s opening at 11 a.m. The fair will close at 11 p.m. daily, except for Aug. 15, when it closes at 10 p.m.

Hundreds of hand-sanitizing stations will be located throughout the fairgrounds. Masks are not required and there are no capacity limits.

Some familiar traditions will be absent this year, including the daily parade and the various eating contests. The Milwaukee Bucks won’t be opening the Milkhouse this year because of the team’s extended season and its run to the NBA championship.