Facebook Flickr

Sign up for email updates from Wisconsin Association of Fairs

Home > Convention


Annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention: January 8-11, 2023

We are so excited to be hosting our annual convention this coming January! Our convention theme is "WI Fairs, Keeping it Rural". The convention will once again take place at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, January 8-11, 2023. Online reservations for convention are now open.

Our convention officially begins on Monday with our Special Projects fun activities and our Keynote Speaker at 10:30 a.m. We offer a trade show on Monday and Tuesday afternoons filled with our amazing Associate Members. The convention is filled with workshops for Fair & Associate throughout the convention focused on everything Fair related. We offer two evening showcases of entertainment on Monday and Tuesday.

While our Fair/Associate Member convention is happening, we also have our Fairest of the Fairs Contest taking place. Throughout the convention they participate in interviews, on-state speaking, promoting auction items and enhancing their communication skills. We conclude our convention on Wednesday evening with our Awards and Fairest Finals Banquet.

Online registration is now closed. Please email if you have not yet registered and plan on attending. Our WAF registration staff is also happy to assist you on site at the Chula Vista Resort as well.

Jerry Apps - To Give Keynote Address

1 of 2

Jerry Apps explores the history of county and state fairs in Wisconsin, from their earliest incarnations as livestock exhibitions to today’s multitude of exhibits and demonstrations, grandstand entertainment, games and rides, and competitions of all sorts. Drawing on his extensive research, interviews, and personal experience as a 4-H leader, county extension agent, fair judge, and lifelong fairgoer, Apps takes readers back through 178 years of Wisconsin fair history, covering everything from horsepulling and calf-showing contests to exhibit judging to the roar of gasoline engines powering the midway rides. He evokes the sights and sounds of fairs through the ages while digging in to the political and social forces that shaped the fair into an icon of our rural heritage. Illustrated with vintage and modern photos and featuring the voices of exhibitors, judges, volunteers, and visitors, Meet Me on the Midway vividly captures the thrills and cherished memories of these beloved annual gatherings.

Jerry Apps was born and raised on a central Wisconsin farm. He is a former county extension agent and professor emeritus for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As a 4-H member, Jerry exhibited cattle and other projects at county fairs for ten years; he also served as a county fair judge for ten years. Today he works as a rural historian and full-time writer. Jerry has received the Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the Distinguished Service Award from the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and he was elected a Fellow in the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in 2012.

Jerry is the author of more than forty fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books with topics ranging from barns, one-room schools, cranberries, cucumbers, cheese factories, and the humor of mid-America to farming with horses and the Ringling Brothers circus. He has created six documentaries with PBS Wisconsin and won a regional Emmy Award for A Farm Winter. He and his wife, Ruth, have three grown children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Visit him at


Back to
Tickets & Deals