The anticipation is almost over …. the Dodge County Fair will be opening its gates again to visitors on Wednesday, August 18. Plan to attend one day — or attend all week long. More than 50,000 visitors travel from across our great state of Wisconsin to attend the fair annually. The five-day festival in Beaver Dam is centrally located between the Madison, Green Bay and Milwaukee areas. The largest draw to the fair is its free evening entertainment lineup and live music. But, with a variety of youth education events, midway rides for all ages and delicious fair food available August 18-22, you’ll want to take advantage of each day that the festival has to offer.

Season tickets are available for purchase at a reduced rate – $27 in advance or $35 at the fairgrounds gate. Advance tickets may be purchased at a variety of local locations. Daily gate admission to the fair is only $7 before Noon or $10 after 12:00 pm. Children ages nine and under are FREE. Parking is always free at the Dodge County Fairgrounds.

There will be a variety of daily specials available on the midway rides. Wristbands and discounted tickets will be available, and a variety of rides will be available for all ages to enjoy.

The Dodge County Fairgrounds prides itself on its range of free family-friendly entertainment and exhibits. With your paid gate admission to the fair, your whole family will also enjoy a variety of presentations, scheduled each day throughout the fairgrounds. Pigs, ducks and goats from Pleasure Valley Farm will race around their track daily on S Fairview Road. Stop by and meet a variety of wild animals from all over the world at Wild World of Animals, located on North Grand Avenue. Kids can also become a member of the show and the live entertainment on the W Midway Circle, during Nick’s Kids Show.

Wednesday will kick-off a full day of judging and showmanship exhibits for local youth, seniors and all participants in between. Stop by and browse the craft, crop and animal exhibits before you head to evening entertainment later in the day.

On Thursday at 1:00, Loco Vocals will perform a wide variety of hits ranging form the 1950s to the 1980s. Madison-based Madpole Cats will later perform on the Radio Park stage at 9:30 pm. Thursday is also Senior Citizens Day at the Fair, featuring free bingo and prizes.

Friday’s schedule will feature children ages 3-12 years competing in a kids tractor pull at 11:30. At 5:00, the fun and laughter begins when local celebrities compete against the clock (with no hands!) in the Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Contest. Milwaukee-based FM Rodeo will take the Radio Park stage with familiar tunes at 9:30

Plan on arriving early for the fun on Saturday. At 9am attendees will enjoy a morning in the grandstands — the horse pull, while breakfast is available at the concessions stand. Local farmers will then compete in the grandstands at 1pm, when the farm tractor pull takes place. Chainsaw carving will follow in the afternoon at 3 with the X-Treme Art Carving Team. And if that wasn’t enough, families should stick around all afternoon for family day – and half-off — on the midway. Reduced ticket prices begin at noon, for five full hours of the wildest rides. Whiskey Flats will be holding a free concert featuring their country rock sound to end Saturday evening.

On Sunday, local youth will be showcasing their projects throughout the day. Showcasing events include the pig pals swine spectacular and the little bunny huddle, little shepherds, little britches and little flock showmanship contests. The dairy youth recognition auction will also take place at 11:30.

Truck, car and thrill enthusiasts will enjoy two free events, scheduled on Wednesday and Sunday. The Badger State Tractor Puller’s (BSTP) Tractor Pull will rev-up their motors and the crowds on Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Two Demolition Derbies will thrill attendees with close to 100 cars, trucks and vans on Sunday afternoon. The first event will begin at 1:00 pm, with participants competing for portions of the $8,000 purse money at the evening event at 6:00.

If live music is more your thing, The Nitty Gritty Dirtband will perform in the grandstands on Thursday at 8:00 pm. Rising sensation, Jordan Davis will perform on Friday at 8:00 pm. And Blue Oyster Cult and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas will both perform on Saturday evening, starting at 8:00 pm.

You’ve been waiting for non-stop entertainment and live music like this. Now … join us in Beaver Dam on August 18-22.

Article by Jamie Adcock author of and
Photos by Larry Douma of Leader Photography