Dane County Fair prepares to kick off this week after year away due to coronavirus

Dane County Fair returns this week

MADISON, Wis. — After a year away, the Dane County Fair is getting ready to make its return later this week.

This year’s county fair will run from Thursday, July 15 through Sunday, July 18 at the Alliant Energy Center, with each day including a specific theme.

The fair will kick off Thursday with “Hometown Hero Day,” where armed forces personnel, police officers, firefighters and first responders and a guest get free admission. There will be a special flag ceremonies with the American Legion Post 59 of Stoughton raising the flags at 11 a.m. and lowering them at 8 p.m. Several vendors will also be offering special deals to those “Hometown Heroes” personnel who have a valid ID.

Friday, July 16 will be Kids Day, with a special lowered admission price of $3 for those who get to the Fair before 3 p.m. Kids Day will include multiple free activities for the family, including playground equipment, Kiddie Farm and all the animals in the pavilions and arena building.

Saturday, July 17 will be Farm Fresh Day, with $1 of every cash admission at the gates going toward the Adopt-a-Dairy Cow program. Other events include the Fabulous Farm Babe Tractor Parade and a meet-and-greet with Alice in Dairyland.

Sunday, July 18 will be Family Day, with events at the main stage all day long, including eating contests, live music and traditional Latino dance performances. The Master Showman competition will start at 10 a.m. in Showring B in Pavilion 2, when senior youth exhibitors compete with multiple species of animals.

Daily admission is free for kids 5 and under every day of the Fair, $3 for kids ages 6-11, and $8 for everyone aged 12 and older. Tickets can be bought at the gate with cash only, or ahead of time on the Fair’s website.

The Dane County Fair has been held since 1851, but was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers announced the Fair’s return this year in late March.