DNR increases presence at 2019 Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair has been a family tradition since the 1800s. A tradition the Department of Natural Resources is proud to be a part of. The DNR is excited to announce the agency will be back with an even bigger presence at the Fair which runs August 1-11. This year’s theme for the Fair is “Clean Water.”

Wisconsin is home to an abundance of natural resources including our precious air, land and waters. Nearly every program at the DNR touches water quality, from urban and farm run-off to regulating public and private drinking water supplies. State Fair is the perfect place for Fairgoers to meet with DNR experts to learn about fish, wildlife, parks and get the inside scoop on where the fish are biting.

“When we’re able to engage the public, it’s a win for everyone. This is where fairgoers can see their tax dollars at work,” said DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole. “At the DNR exhibit, you will learn about the great outdoors and the wonderful things to do around the state. Come take a load off and talk with us about clean water, meet Smokey Bear and join in an activity or two.”

The DNR is once again in the north building at Exploratory Park located on the south side of Main Street across from the Original Cream Puff Pavilion.

Fairgoers can join DNR staff in fun and educational experiences, including interactive exhibits for all ages. Visitors are also invited to check out our traveling fish tanks, learn about our state’s endangered species and breath-taking parks, plus dive into freshwater education. There’s even a chance to meet Smokey Bear.

“Smokey Bear ranks right up there behind Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse,” says Catherine Koele, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. “Many of us remember Smokey from our childhoods. We’d see him in parades, on posters, in magazines or occasionally in TV commercials. If we were lucky enough, maybe he’d stop by the classroom and teach us about fire safety.”

You can also help the beloved fire prevention icon Smokey Bear celebrate his 75th birthday on Friday, Aug. 9. Enjoy family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Smokey appearances for a special birthday ceremony throughout the day. Don’t miss the fun activities and a chance to earn a Smokey birthday gift bag.

On the latest episode the DNR’s podcast “Wild Wisconsin: Off The Record,” hear from DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole, Wisconsin State Fair CEO Kathleen O’Leary and DNR Secretary’s Director of the Southeast Region Joe Liebau, Jr. on why this is a year at Wisconsin State Fair that you don’t want to miss. Wild Wisconsin brings you inside voices on Wisconsin’s outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you live to hunt and fish, watch birds, love camping, or you’re someone who likes to get outdoors for a walk every once in a while, there’s something here for everyone. Subscribe and listen on your favorite podcasting platform or tune in on the DNR’s YouTube channel.