By Shereen Siewert

The gates are open at one of the Wausau-area’s most anticipated summer events, the Wisconsin Valley Fair.

The fair opened Tuesday and runs through Sunday with rides, concessions, beer tents, livestock competitions, exhibitions and much more. The fair is held each year at Marathon Park, 1201 Stewart Ave., Wausau, but was canceled last year amid COVID-19 concerns.

This year’s grandstand entertainment:

  • Tuesday: Vic Ferrari, stepping in for Boogie & the YoYo’z
  • Wednesday: Roots and Boots tour featuring Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye and Aaron Tippin
  • Thursday: Country performer Randy Houser
  • Friday: Ezra Ray Hart featuring Mark McGrath, of Sugar Ray; Kevin Griffin, of Better than Ezra; and Emerson Hart, of Tonic
  • Saturday: PRCA Rodeo from the Dakota Rodeo Company

Ticket holders receive general admission seating to grandstand entertainment Tuesday through Friday.

According to Wisconsin River Pilot archives and the Wisconsin Valley Fair organization, the first county fair was held in 1868 in Marathon Park by the Marathon County Agricultural Society. The 1868 event began with a parade and featured flowers, vegetables, horses, cattle, swine, sheep and poultry. About 2,500 people attended.

The 80-acre plot on which the fair is held each year was given to the Ag. Society by August Kickbush and Bradbury Plummer, according to WVF officials. In 1920, the land was deeded by the Marathon County Agricultural Society to Marathon County.

Know before you go

Tickets, which can be purchased at the gate, are $6 before noon and $9 after noon. Children 10 and younger are admitted free.

Rides are presented by North American Midway Entertainment. Specials during this year’s event:

  • Tuesday: All rides are 1 ticket for $2
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Rides open at 1 p.m. Unlimited rides with wristbands purchased at the fair for $30
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rides open at noon. Unlimited rides with wristbands purchased at the fair for $30

Follow the Wisconsin Valley Fair on Facebook for updates or visit