Primarily rural in the 19th century, Wisconsin promoted the state fair to advance better state farming practices. Since 1851 to the present, this fair has been held in southern Wisconsin. Recognizing the impracticality of entering or attending the Southern Wisconsin State Fair, Chippewa Falls area citizens drafted a charter to create the Northern Wisconsin State Fair. Enacted in 1897 by the State of Wisconsin, the fair was to "improve agriculture, horticulture and mechanical and household arts." Encompassing a 27 county district, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair has played a central role in northern Wisconsin for over 100 years. To these fairground self-sufficient farming families brought their best efforts in raising chickens, sheep, cows, rabbits, horses and pigs and displayed their horticultural skills in prize pies, breads and canned goods. As Wisconsin became more urbanized, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair reflected developments in industry and technology from Model Ts to satellite dishes. Today, these fairground buildings still display the best of individual and community achievement in northern Wisconsin.
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