A Blue-Ribbon Affair

In Wisconsin, as in many parts of America, state and county fairs were back this summer.

The Northern Wisconsin State Fair, which takes place in Chippewa Falls each summer, was, like many other state fairs, canceled last year. It was the first time in its 123-year history.

But this year, Rusty Volk, who serves as the fair’s executive director, began letting people know in January that the fair was on. “I was adamant to say, ‘Yes, we are going to have a fair, a physical fair,’” Mr. Volk said. “So the exhibitors knew. So the youth who raise and show the animals knew.”

Besides the financial cost of last year’s cancellation —

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