WEST ALLIS — Fair season is officially underway in the dairy state, with representatives of the 168th Wisconsin State Fair ready to welcome an anticipated crowd of more than one million people to Wisconsin State Fair Park Aug. 1-11, providing fairgoers with 11 days of agriculture events, entertainment, attractions, food and more.

In addition to highly anticipated traditions, this year’s Fair offers new attractions, competitions and entertainment, including the unveiling of a new mural in the southeast end of the Lower Cattle Barn. Fairgoers that visit the House of Moo each year will notice this special area has a new name: the Dairy Lane Exhibit.

Families will have the chance to enjoy educational and interactive exhibits that highlight Wisconsin’s vibrant dairy industry, located in the heart of Ag Village. Milking demonstrations also occur daily in this area at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Milking Parlor on the southeast corner of the Livestock/Horse Barn on Central Avenue.

At Sue Wetley Court, just south of the Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard, a new alpaca area will also feature educational materials on the interesting animals, along with the opportunity to purchase alpaca merchandise. The nearby Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard will also offer a mixture of engaging activities that highlight Wisconsin’s agriculture industry and the life cycle of animals.

A variety of other animals will come to life this year through the addition of an art display featuring imaginative and illustrative animals created by children and young adults living with autism.

Students enrolled in the Islands of Brilliance, a Milwaukee non-profit, will have an array of artwork on display in the lobby of the Exposition Center, and invite fairgoers to stop by and see their works.

There are also a handful of new vendors and new rides to SpinCity, a popular spot for youngsters attending the Wisconsin State Fair.

Several auctions will continue at the Fair in 2019, including the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction on Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Exposition Center; the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction on Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Case IH Coliseum; and the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction on Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. in Saz’s Hospitality Village.

The livestock auction is a major highlight for junior livestock exhibitors at the Fair, providing a way for individuals and businesses to purchase Wisconsin State Fair Breed Champion Beef, Swine and Sheep shown by junior exhibitors. Last year’s auction raised nearly $317,000, benefiting the exhibitors selling the animals and hundreds of other Wisconsin youth who participate in Blue Ribbon supported programs.

The fair’s junior livestock competitions will start in the Case IH Coliseum at 8 a.m. on Aug. 2 with the Junior Dairy Cow Show, followed by the Supreme Champion Selection, with the Junior Dairy Heifer Show scheduled to begin at noon following the first show. The Junior Beef Breeding Stock Show and Beef Performance Steer Show will begin on Aug. 6 at 8 a.m., also in the Case IH Coliseum, and the Junior Beef Market Steer Show will begin on Aug. 7 at 8 a.m. in the same facility.

While many aspects of the Fair have changed over the years, one thing remains constant: Wisconsin State Fair’s focus on tradition, value and providing experiences and memories that last a lifetime. For more information on the Wisconsin State Fair, including a detailed schedule, visit wistatefair.com/fair.