When I moved from Indiana to Wisconsin for my internship with the Now Media Group, I immediately started to pick up on some of the top summer attractions like the Waukesha County Fair and Summerfest.
On Friday, Aug. 4, I had the chance to spend several hours at the Wisconsin State Fair, another top attraction, and it was definitely a worthwhile experience. My day involved eating an assortment of foods, learning about what I have dubbed the corn factory and surprisingly being entertained by the heifer showings at the fair.
Wisconsin-y fair foods
My day started out by scoping out some of the most popular foods at the fair. The glorious cheese curd and the much-admired cream puff. Glorious and much admired were appropriate descriptions for these treats based on what many Wisconsinites have told me about them.
They were must eats, but I also found other novelties like maple syrup cotton candy, cherry pie, a chocolate Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger and root beer flavored milk.
My inner Guy Fieri was ready for this, and I enjoyed every moment, even if it was a bit of a sugar overload.
This was my favorite of all the foods. It was the messiest, too. The whipped cream between the pastry ended up being a great mix. My taste buds definitely appreciated the popular fair food.
Maple syrup cotton candy
Cotton Candy is one of those must-eat foods at any fair. The maple syrup flavoring really added a nice addition to the fair staple without overdoing it.
Root beer flavored milk
Each sip of this novelty had me wanting more. Whoever came up with this recipe did a really good job of keeping that distinct milk taste.
Chocolaty Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger
The blend of sweets with a juicy cheeseburger had my taste buds in shock after my first bite. The second bite was quite unpleasant due to the massive amounts of sugar in the chocolate that smothered the bacon. I immediately took another sip of my milk to get the taste out of my mouth.
Garlic and dill flavored cheese curds
The only type of cheese curds I've had tried before were the fried ones from Culver's. These were cold, and the garlic really popped out on them. They were good, but it wasn't anything special. Maybe I need to give these another chance.
This was the least desirable of all the foods. It felt like a nuke of sugar hit my tongue.
The corn factory
The New Berlin Lions Club's roasted corn stand caught my eye. Fair-goers flocked to this mini-complex of corn dispensaries. At the Indiana State Fair corn can be found around every corner of the grounds whereas Wisconsin's fair seemed to have a main supplier of the commodity.
I spoke with Capt. Ron Lampe, a member of the Lions Club, about the corn factory and he said they sell 10,000 ears of corn a day or about 100,000 ears every year at the state fair.
"(A farmer) brings us fresh corn every day. This corn that we're eating today (was) picked this morning at three o'clock in the morning," he said.
I had the opportunity to try some of the corn, and it was some of the sweetest corn I've ever had.
Heifer showing, goat/ sheep barber shop
Showing livestock is a huge part of the Indiana State Fair, one I usually skip, but I decided to sit down and see if I could find any enjoyment out of the heifers (a female cow that has never had a calf) being lined up, walked in circles and judged at Wisconsin's fair.
I was born in a small rural city called New Castle in Indiana. Farming and raising livestock are certainly a part of many people's life in the area, but I grew up in city limits and was never part of the farm life.
Throughout my time as a reporter I have been exposed to this differing lifestyle, and I have great respect for anyone who goes through the hard work of raising and showing livestock. It's just not for me.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed my time at the heifer showings. The interactions between the owners and the heifers was fascinating. I started seeing the techniques being used to get the animals to move in a certain direction and maintain a professional posture.
I did chuckle a bit after hearing the judge describe one of the cows as a "beautiful, beautiful baby".
Another highlight at the fair was seeing the goats and sheep being trimmed and pampered.
They were positioned on an elevated platform with their heads situated in a sort of head rest. Snip after snip of wool dropped to the floor with the animals staying still just like I do when I get a haircut.
Overall, I had a great time at the fair. I plan on visiting it again before I go back to Indiana. The fair runs until Aug. 13. You can learn more about it at the fair's website.