Final State Fair preps under way

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by Lane Kimble

WEST ALLIS -- On a breezy Sunday morning, Daniel Entsminger made sure his merchandise was secure and ready to go.

"[It takes] a lot longer to set up than it does to skedaddle out of here," Entsminger said.

He brought his cowboy hat stand up from Florida and planted right in the middle of Grandstand Avenue at the  Wisconsin State Fair Park.  It's taken Entsminger about a week to get ready for Thursday's opener.

"You want it set up right, you want every style of merchandise looking good," the vendor said.

Across the street and around the fair park's 200 acres, other vendors were hard at work too -- most too busy to  talk.  Entsminger says set up is the hard part, but the reward is meeting customers.

"Good people, we enjoy being here and serving them," he said.

State Fair Communications Manager Kristi Chuckel says vendors in permanent buildings have been setting up for about  a month now. 

"We really kind of have it down to a science," Chuckel said.

These last few days will focus primarily on setting up rides and doing safety checks.

"It's not like nothing's going on and all of the sudden this fair comes," Chuckel said.  "We're continually keeping the grounds up, keeping them clean and getting them ready."

Nearby construction projects seem to be wrapping up just in time too.  Chuckel says the DOT assured her the 84th Street freeway ramps and a repaved Kearney Street will all be open in time.

"They know what they need to do and when they need to get it done," Chuckel said.  "Just driving around the last couple of days, it's really coming together."
 

The Wisconsin State Fair opens Thursday, July 31 at 8 a.m.  That is also "Wells Fargo $2 Day".  Bring two non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force and get in for $2.

For more State Fair info, visit their website here

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