In 1890 — 129 years ago — the La Crosse Interstate Fair Association was formed. The La Crosse Interstate Fair is a district fair. A district fair allows individuals from outside Wisconsin to exhibit at the fair.

In 1986 the fair almost folded; the fair association at the time proposed to cancel the event. County residents and fair supporters didn’t want that to happen and so rallied together to see what could be done. The present La Crosse County Agricultural society was reorganized and then incorporated. The society was authorized to negotiate with the present fairground owner, the La Crosse Interstate Fair Association, on a lease of the grounds so that a three- or four-day fair could be held. They offered to lease the grounds for $1 each year for three years plus the cost of utilities and insurance. Many fundraiser events were held. The first fair under new leadership was a success. The fair will be held July 17-21 at the Fairgrounds, County Road M, just north of Wisconsin Highway 16, West Salem, Wisconsin. Visit or call 608-788-5506 for more information.