Two Midwest state fairs are off to a soggy start as both fairs experienced poor weather for the start of their 2021 comeback. The Wisconsin State Fair opened August 5 and the fair experienced rain and severe weather through Wednesday, August 11. On Monday and Tuesday, temperatures rose into the mid 90s with heat indices near 100 degrees.
Lightning forced the Wonder Wheel to close on multiple occasions. "You lose that capacity, you don't get it back," said Michael Wood, the chief operating officer for Biggest Wheel LLC. "Mother nature didn't want to cooperate in the evenings but you know that's part of the outdoor business."
The Illinois State Fair opened Thursday, August 12 for preview night and severe storms ripped through Springfield, causing minor damage to tents and the fairgrounds. The fair closed early and the annual twilight parade and grandstand concert featuring Sammy Hagar was cancelled.
Lightning strikes at the Illinois State Fair. Photo by The State Journal-Register (http://www.sj-r.com)
Heading into the final weekend of the Wisconsin State Fair and the first official weekend of the Illinois State Fair, the weather is forecasted to be in the low 80s with under a 10% chance of precipitation.
The skies cleared between rain showers for a bright sunset on Wednesday at the Wisconsin State Fair. Photo by Matt Cook
Black storm clouds approach the Illinois State Fair on opening night - photo by Drew Miller