Hundreds of workers help State Fair run smoothly

Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 18:01:58-04

The first weekend of the Wisconsin State Fair proved to be a big one. Thousands came through the gates. Fair organizers say the great weather helped.

There are a lot of workers that make the fair go smoothly, like the farmers, animal caregivers, clean-up crews, security guards, food and drink servers, and the people who run the carnival rides. They are the unsung heroes, who all too often, go unnoticed in the sea of people at the fair.

Shelby Ferrell, 12, has been working the fair since she was 8 years old. Her family runs the poultry booth inside the Wisconsin Products Pavilion. 

"We start bright and early every morning by serving omelets," Ferrell says. "It's been busy. At the end of the day all you want to do is chill, and put your feet up."

The days are long, and it's a lot of work, but there are perks to the job.

"The big slide and sky glider are my favorite things," Ferrell says. "I usually get an hour break every day, and I usually go on one of those things. It's really fun."

Jamie St. Ledger, is another person who puts in a lot of hours during the state fair. She is one of the bike taxi operators who rides in from downtown Milwaukee to make extra money by giving fairgoers
rides to their cars.

"I'm back on Sunday, because I didn't know I'd get that much business on Saturday," St. Ledger says. "It's been a big weekend out here. It's kind of slow downtown this weekend, so this is worth it."

Some of the extra business is coming from Packers fans. There was a lot of green and gold in the state fair crowd Sunday. Many of them ended up staying at the fair a lot later than anticipated after the NFL Hall of Fame game got canceled.

"I'd rather be watching the game and yelling Go Pack Go!" says Rhonda Michaels. "Oh well, it just means we'll have to spend more money out here at the fair. My husband is not going to like that!"

You still have a whole week to check out the Wisconsin State Fair. It ends Sunday August 14th.