CHIPPEWA FALLS — Chippewa Valley fair lovers are about to get the chance to get a taste of an event that had to take 2020 off.
The Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls is hosting the Fair Food Shindig from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Attendees of the event will have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of traditional fair foods from local and regional vendors.
Jessica Dutter, Chippewa Falls native and regular Northern Wisconsin State Fair attendee, said not being able to attend the fair in 2020 is unfortunate but the event this weekend is a cool opportunity to experience a little of the fair atmosphere.
“I was really sad when I heard the fair wasn’t going to happen,” Dutter said. “Going to the fair has been something me and my family have done ever since I can remember, so we are going to miss it for sure. The food is a big part of that, so at least we can have some of that even though it won’t be the same.”
The 2020 Northern Wisconsin State Fair was canceled in June due to COVID-19 concerns, a move made after fairs such as the Minnesota State Fair and the Wisconsin State Fair decided it is in the best interest of their patrons not to hold their events until 2021.
Vendors offering food at the Fair Food Shindig, include the Optimist Club Stand, the Kiwanis Club Stand, the Island Vibe Food Stand, Chippewa Valley Cheesesteak and TNT concessions. A wide gamut of culinary offerings will be available, including cheese curds, corn dogs, french fries, ice cream, caramel apples, popcorn, soda, sandwiches, cheese steaks, wraps, mozzarella sticks, cheeseburgers, lemonade and dozens of more options.
In order to keep attendees during the event as safe as possible, a number of precautionary measures will be in place. When customers come in they will drive in, park their vehicles and then walk to the food stands. Social distancing of 6 feet and face mask use is recommended and customers will be able to purchase foods to take home or use picnic tables spread out on venue grassy areas.
Other precautionary measures in place will be the food stands being spaced far apart from one another, food stand workers engaging the customer are required to wear face masks and gloves and hand sanitation will be available for customers when ordering, paying for and receiving their order. Social distance markings will also be on the pavement leading up to food stands to identify spacing and restrooms will be cleaned with one-way traffic.
“It’s a scary time and I understand why some people don’t feel comfortable going out in public yet,” Dutter said. “But in my opinion we can’t let the coronavirus win and let it keep us locked up in our house. As long as we use our heads and be safe, doing things like this aren’t a big deal.”