WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- They're packing up and moving out, now that the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair has come and gone.
Vendor Paul Gorecki says he's a little sad it's over, especially because this was his most successful fair in the past 10 years.
"I would take another 11 days of this. It was great, the weather was awesome, the customers were awesome, everybody was in a great mood. They were spending money and having a great time," says Gorecki.
More than a million fairgoers walked through the turnstiles, the largest reported attendance since 1969.
Now, State Fair officials are keeping many employees on staff throughout the week to help with the clean-up effort.
"We have about 75 employees that we keep over. A lot of paper picking, a lot of equipment pick-up we have over 200 picnic tables and 250 benches," says State Fair Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Kenneth Jaeger.
They also have to clean out the animal pens and get rid of the rest of the garbage accumulated throughout the fair.
"It's right around three football fields knee-deep of garbage is what it would be," says Jaeger.
All the rides in SpinCity have to come down.
Ride vendor Brad Heaton and his crew plan to be working until Wednesday.
"Usually it will take about 4 hours for each Power Jump and it will take a day and a half for the Ejection Seat," says Heaton.
Many vendors agree that the tear down and clean up is a little easier than setting up, and they have most of the week to get it done.
"Most of them have to go to other fairs so some of them left last night, some of them are getting packed up right now, and some of them will hang around until like Wednesday," says Jaeger.
Officially, 1,012,552 fairgoers walked through the turnstiles in 2013. That's an increase of almost 10 percent over the 2012 attendance of 920,962. Fair organizers say this is the largest reported attendance since 1969, though truly accurate attendance records, based on the scanning of tickets at the gates, have only been available since 2002 when the Fair first invested in ticket scanning technology.
Mild temperatures, low humidity and very little rain served as a perfect backdrop for fairgoers to come out and enjoy the State Fair every day of the 11-day run. While the weekends certainly brought out large crowds, State Fair officials say weekdays also proved to be extremely popular this year, with anywhere from 71,000 – 122,000 people coming out each day to enjoy the diverse exhibits, exciting entertainment and wide array of delicious food items the Fair offered in 2013.
Here are some fun items of note...
- The Wisconsin Bakers Association sold over 387,000 Original Cream Puffs
- In the Wisconsin Products Pavilion the Real Wisconsin Cheese Grill sold almost 62,000 grilled cheese sandwiches and the Wisconsin Potato Growers served up over 57,000 baked potatoes
- Fairgoers took over 120,000 slides down the famous Giant Slide on their burlap sacks
- There were more than 110,000 Sky Glider trips across the Fair Park
- Almost 1,400 people were catapulted 170 feet into the air in the Ejection Seat
- More than 16,000 young adults enjoyed the power jump trampolines
- More than 18,000 new Beer Donuts were sold at the Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill
- The Washington County FFA served up over 35,000 Ice Cream Sundaes
- More than 31,000 patrons received discounted admission on Wells Fargo $2 Day benefiting Hunger Task Force, donating 122,500 lbs. of food as well as over $7000.00 in cash donations to the Hunger Task Force
- Fairgoers filled (and re-filled) over 85,000 Wisconsin State Fair Souvenir Cups throughout the 11 days.
Mark your calendars now! The 2014 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will take place July 31 – Aug. 10, 2014.