WASHINGTON COUNTY, Wis. - It’s been two years since the Washington County Fair was last up and running, but it came back for 2021.
Among the numerous vendors at the Washington County Fair, Tony Bamke’s cheese curds were literally flying out of the fryer Sunday, July 25, the final day of the fair.
"Oh, it’s great!" said Bamke. "I got so many people coming up, ‘Man, Tony, we missed your cheese curds last year! It’s great to see you,' so I got extra this year, so hey, we’re going to make up for it. You’re going to get a bigger batch, that’s all!"
The headache of being extremely busy came with the smile after being away for two years.
"It was tough on the whole carnival industry, but this year, with everything getting back to normal, we’re bouncing back, and it’s great to be back out here and all my other friends in the business are like, ‘It’s great to get back on the road and meet our friends.'"
Since 2019, the Washington County Fair hadn’t been back in full swing, and vendors were slammed with a crowd eager to get back to normal.
"It has been a great week," said Kellie Boone, executive director of the Washington County Fair. "Attendance has been fantastic. Everyone is in good moods. Everyone is just so excited to be back at the fair. We’re excited to be back at the fair."
Boone said they blew 2019 attendance records out of the water even with staff and volunteer numbers down roughly 30% compared to years past.
"More pressure just to make sure that we were doing it right with the lack of a little less help this year," said Boone. "There is a little less volunteer groups this year. The vendors and equipment providers are all having staffing issues this year."
Even so, it didn't show, with staff working hard, having fun and getting back to business as usual.