New changes to the Wisconsin State Fair this year

NOW: New changes to the Wisconsin State Fair this year

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Preparations for the Wisconsin State Fair Park are now underway.

Due to the increase in COVID cases, organizers are making changes to keep everyone safe.

Opening day for the Wisconsin State Fair is next Thursday, Aug. 5, its first comeback since the start of the pandemic.

"This year it's like are you kidding me, we're pumped, we're really excited, "Larry Wynn said. He is a vender. Wynn owns EastCoast Concessions. 

Masks are not required, but recommended.

"Everyone has to make those individual decisions, so if someone chooses to wear a mask while they're outdoors, we will respect that decision," Tess Kerksen said. She is the public relations manager for the Wisconsin State Fair Park. 

However, people will notice some changes this time around.

"We're adding hundreds of hand sanitizing stations throughout the expansive two-acre park, and really the primary part of the fair is all outdoors, open air, so people have to keep that in mind," Kerksen said. 

To reduce one-on-one contact, they're changing how you pay when you enter.

"We are going cashless at our parking and admission entrances."

People will also be greeted with a central mall area. It's new to the fair. 

"Brand new renovated area, it has swings, brand new concrete, up-lighting, twinkle lights, it's going to be a magical place for people to gather." 

Kerksen says they're hoping for a big crowd, but she says you never know due to COVID. 

"We are prepared for anything, we understand if some of our fairgoers don't want to come out this year and do want to sit out this one, that's okay."

The fair will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the final Sunday. This allows crews to do deep cleaning.

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