Events Agriculture Outdoors

Sneak Peek: The 2023 Northern Wisconsin State Fair

celebrating 125 years of family fun, entertainment, and education – with style

Dawson Jollie, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE & SUMMER. The Northern Wisconsin State Fair prepares for their 125th anniversary this year.

With summer right around the corner, one can’t help but start feeling that energetic “fair fever.” I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: the astounding animal exhibitions, the aroma from food vendors all across the fairgrounds, entertainment that makes you wish those golden days would last forever… THAT kind of fair fever. 

Come July 12-16, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair will be back in Chippewa Falls once more for its 125-year anniversary, bringing not only everything you know and love about the fair, but so much more. 

According to Rusty Volk, executive director of the NWSF association for the past 14 years, this edition of the fair is expected to be a massive step forward, with a goal set for 125,000 attendants (up from last year’s total of 114,000). 

“It’s going to be grand,” Volk explained. “We have brand new barns to showcase what everyone’s going to want to see … and we’ve elevated our mainstage entertainment to a whole new level with Hairball, Justin Moore, Nelly, and Styx.”

But this is only an inkling of what the NWSF has in store for this July. The anniversary will coincide with the anticipated showcasing of the Barn Replacement Project that began last summer.

The roughly $6.5 million effort to replace two cattle barns and the venerated “Red Barn” show colosseum was prompted when a portion of the colosseum’s roof collapsed in April 2019. This accelerated the need for new facilities that would be able to last many more decades for not just the fair, but all other events taking place on the fairgrounds.

In addition, a new FEMA-approved safe room shelter costing around $1.5 million has been developed, alongside improvements to restrooms, showers, concessions, and other civic utilities. However, since the NWSF is a nonprofit organization, progress couldn’t have been made without the support of the board, each donor, and every party involved in the project’s culmination. 

“This project would not be possible without the dedication of our staff and board,” Volk said. “The donors have just been spectacular, and they have really set the tone of how this needs to remain sustainable.” 

Considering the fairgrounds’ communal impact and involvement in agricultural education, it’s a noble investment aimed to prevent stagnation, ensuring the grounds are fully prepared and ready for whatever new challenges and exciting endeavors come along their path. 

And moving forward to July 12, Volk and the NWSF board of directors couldn’t be more ready to create fun and new traditions for all to enjoy. 

Stay tuned to Volume One and the NWSF’s website ( for updates and more information. If you’re looking to help support the NWSF association in sustaining the fairgrounds, contact Rusty Volk via email at or call (715) 723-2861.

Best of Chippewa Falls is brought to you by:

Mason Companies, Inc
Northwestern Bank

Best of Chippewa Falls is brought to you by:

Mason Companies, Inc
Northwestern Bank