'Something you're going to remember': People thrilled to return to the Wisconsin State Fair
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58)-- The first day of the Wisconsin State Fair is still going strong into nightfall.
People traveled from all over the state, and even the country, to make it to opening day.
"I don't think I've ever been here and it's been this busy," Valerie Koenig said. "I love seeing all of the people and all of their families here, coming to just celebrate that we live in Wisconsin and have a nice, big festival."
Fair fun comes in all shapes in sizes. People told CBS 58 news crews they were most looking forward to trying food and going on the rides.
"Taking my son on the rides, honestly, like playing some games and trying to win some prizes," Prentiss Johnson said.
Others are excited to just be around people again.
"It's been a long time since people have been around people," Billie Jensen said.
The typical fried fair food is available wherever you turn. If you're brave enough to try something a little more interesting, there's a couple of options.
It wouldn’t be a #wisconsinstatefair without some crazy foods. Would you be willing to try gator claws or pickled pizza? More to come on @CBS58 at 4:30. pic.twitter.com/12Ukd3MfJi— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) August 5, 2021
Mr. Jerky is serving up a full gator leg, with the claw attached, at his Exotic Meats stand.
"When you come to the fair, you're not looking for your plain, boring burger and fries," Mr. Jerky said. "You want something fun, and that's what we try to serve is something fun, something you're going to remember."
Harry Gilbert from Chicago was willing to give the gator a taste.
"Kind of smoky, kind of spicy," Gilbert said. "Perfectly in between."
If you're looking for something a little more tame, Mr. Jerky also sells the Yak Attack, a yak burger topped with macaroni and cheese.
Rick's Pizza is also serving up a special pie, with pickles.
"You have like your ranch with a little bit of pickle, and then you have the actual crunchy pickles on top with the cheese," vendor Allessia Ukmar said. "It just all goes together well."
After taking a year off in 2020 because of COVID-19, new precautions will be noticeable. There are hand sanitizer stands throughout the grounds.
"I'm a little worried," Jensen said.
The virus seemed to be on the back of everyone's mind, not the main focus.
"Not trying to sound like it's not bad, not trying to down play it all, but we have been through it and we did miss last year," Johnson said.
The Wisconsin State Fair is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. until Aug. 14. On Aug. 15, the last day, it will only be open until 10 p.m.