By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Aug 11, 2023 at 8:01 AM Photography: Molly Snyder

Festival City is hopping this summer! OnMilwaukee's Festival Guide is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Escape the heat and step inside! 

Looking to make the most of this year's Wisconsin State Fair? Look no further, because the folks here at OnMilwaukee have 100 things you just have to do while on the fairgrounds this year. From pig races to Sno-Cones to cream puffs and a literal circus, there's something for everyone, so take a look!

  1. Have a cream puff and a Miller Lite before noon. Repeat the combination after 10 p.m.
  2. Host your own cream puff eating contest. No matter if you finish first or last, everybody wins!
  3. Save money by biking to the fair
  4. Dig into a dill pickle donut
  5. Watch for the strolling street entertainers throughout the Fair
  6. See if you can stomach chewing on a smoked gator leg from All Things Jerky
  7. Listen to Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon and Tom Petty – all covered by your favorite local bar bands
  8. Take a tractor for a spin
  9. Close out the State Fair with country favorite Trace Adkins, hitting the main stage on Aug. 13
  10. Visit the Swine Barn – because where else can you see pigs that big
  11. Check out a dazzling display of dog agility at the K-9 Sports Arena
  12. Get your handwriting analyzed
  13. Have an artist draw a caricature of your kids
  14. Ride the Giant Slide – an icon of the Fair
  15. Two words: pig races
  16. Learn how to make your garden great with We Energies Energy Park demos from horticulture expert Melinda Myers and more 
  17. Cheer on the Kids from Wisconsin. They are our future!
  18. Run away with a carnie 
  19. Watch infomercials come to life inside the Expo
  20. Point out to a stranger that "It's not the heat, it's the humidity"
  21. Skip the gym and walk the 200-acre fairgrounds instead
  22. Check out men in skirts, AKA the bagpipers
  23. Ooh and aah at the marvels at the brand new Cirque at the Fair
  24. Keep track of all the Zubaz pants sightings 
  25. Buy some salt water taffy
  26. Look out for another Giannis appearance at Wisconsin State Fair
  27. Rock out with Sconnie music icon Pat McCurdy at the Bank Five Nine Amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 13
  28. Munch some roasted nuts
  29. Shop for Egyptian jewelry
  30. Buy cotton candy for a child under the age of 7
  31. Cool off with a Sno-Cone or one of these awesome chill spots
  32. Learn about State Fair's past at the history display in the Expo Center
  33. Stick your finger in an award-winning pie
  34. Cheer the daily parade
  35. Look for local legends like "Freeway"
  36. Heckle the on-air staff at the WTMJ radio booth
  37. Check out local music favorite Bobby Friss this weekend at the State Fair at Saz's Miller High Life Pavilion
  38. Have a Miller High Life – and probably sweat it out in 10 minutes thanks to the summer heat
  39. Need a break from chowing down on the Sporkies? Wash 'em down with the new Drinkies
  40. Go on a 10-mile hike to work off the Chilled Cookie Dough, deep-fried Snickers, etc.
  41. Make out on the Ferris wheel
  42. Cool off with a tasty craft brew at The Micro – and maybe score a free shirt if you kill a keg
  43. Ride the Zero Gravity ride – just make sure you eat after, not before
  44. Watch the fish at the DNR’s Exploratory Park
  45. Grab a satisfying grilled cheese (and a shake to wash it down) from the Wisconsin Products Pavilion
  46. Shop for a deal on a hot tub
  47. Enjoy the best of Elton John and Billy Joel live with The Entertainer at Bank Five Nine Amphitheater
  48. Snag a cheese curd taco, which somehow is even tastier than it sounds
  49. Borrow the neighbor's kid and take another ride down the Giant Slide
  50. Veggie races ... cucumbers on wheels, baby!
  51. Head to Saz's and raise a glass
  52. Make a visit to the Camp Bar at State Fair
  53. Scarf down some of the State Fair's new foods
  54. Air-brush your sweetie's name on a T-shirt
  55. People watch – you won't be disappointed
  56. Watch the fire jugglers. Tip liberally, because they juggle fire
  57. Try the famous Wisconsin cheese curds – as big as potato pancakes
  58. Have a few beers and go record your own music single
  59. Try the goat cheese curds at the Wisconsin Dairy Goats Products
  60. Win your sweetie a stuffed unicorn at Spin City
  61. Check out the milking demonstrations at the Milking Parlor, both cows and goats
  62. Enjoy the beauty of the Clydesdales
  63. Get dancing with the strumming sensation of Lindsey Stirling at the Main Stage on Saturday, Aug. 12
  64. See how many people you can spot eating a cream puff. How many do it correctly – aka by unscrewing the top?
  65. Take a requisite photo with messy cream puff on your face
  66. Snag some great recipes in the Wisconsin Products Pavilion
  67. Admire all the cute animal butts
  68. Look at sculptured bonsai, orchids, dinner plate sized dahlias and more
  69. Sample all the Sporkies nominees and vote for your favorite
  70. Snack on some deep-fried green beans from Krautland and pretend it's healthy (What, green beans are a vegetable!) 
  71. Take a break from beer and grab a fresh squeezed lemonade
  72. Count plaid shirts in and outside of the barns
  73. See if the kids working in the barns are listening to country music or hip-hop
  74. Check out the agricultural judging events
  75. Challenge the psychics to guess your correct age, weight or birthday
  76. Splurge for an imported beer
  77. Brace yourself for the Atomic Slush, a frosty yet fiery new beverage flavored with cinnamon, Carolina reaper powder, spicy caramel sauce and spicy candy
  78. Check out free polka music at Cracovia
  79. Cheer on your first place Brewers at The Micro as they make a final charge for the playoffs
  80. Stop by for a late breakfast at the Fair, which opens at 10 a.m. each day
  81. The Wisconsin Wine Garden has a wide selection of Sconnie wines – try them all! 
  82. Check out all the adorable animals: dogs, bunnies, chicks, piglets, horses and more
  83. Get all dolled up for "Cow Prom" on Saturday night
  84. Two words: Mobile Tours
  85. Hop on the Skyglider as a way to avoid the crowds. Laugh at all the flip-flops, sunglasses and cell phones that have been dropped on building roofs
  86. Buy a cowboy/cowgirl hat
  87. High five a State Fair grounds worker and say "thank you!"
  88. Eat this year's Sporkie first-place winner: beer cheese Wisconsin lava cake, pretzel buns filled with beer cheese soup and sprinkled with salt,  butter, hot honey and red pepper flakes
  89. Rock out with hard rockers Great White on Friday night at the Bank Five Nine Amphitheater
  90. Take a stroll through Dairy Lane 
  91. Hide out at one of our favorite low-key relaxing spots
  92. Count the mullets
  93. Watch a parade of puppers take spectacular dives into a pool at the K-9 Sports Arena
  94. Talk to people partying outside their RV
  95. Bust out your trucker hat
  96. Jam out with Ludacris at the Main Stage on Friday, Aug. 11
  97. Look for West Allis Mayor Dan Devine and say "hi" when you see him
  98. Buy a State Fair bargain book and save big all fair long
  99. Post your favorite fair photos on Facebook and Instagram
  100. Pay to park in someone's front yard