Cream Puffs & Mad Marketing

Last Friday I took the day off for a visit to the Wisconsin State Fair. As you can imagine, we in the dairy state have the usual fair attractions: animal barns, thrill rides, deep fried anything, and the bizarre shopping experience. But there is one, glorious item that sets us apart from all the other state fairs in this great country - cream puffs.

Look at that beauty.
The cream puff building (yes it has it's own) is a destination. Fresh baked puff pastry and lightly sweetened cream straight off the farm are combined to make a the freshest dessert you've ever tasted. So simple. Not too sweet and super light.

The cream puff was born at the Wisconsin State Fair and actually has quite a history that you can read about here.

Needless to say, most fair goers want one so the lines are insane. This is where the brilliance of the State Fair organizers comes into play. They have an assembly line process that gets you through that disturbingly long line in like 5 minutes. It's amazing. Here is a little trip through the line where you can see this operation in progress:

Freshly baked puffy goodness.
Who wouldn't love working the cream puff line?
Getting the cream ready in the pastry bag.
Stop smiling for the camera and fill those shells man!
The people who work in this building are the happiest folks ever!
You'd be crazy not to maximize your dollar with the 6-pack.

We generally hit this building on our way out where we can grab a 6-pack of awesome to enjoy later. If you are lucky enough to live nearby State Fair Park in Milwaukee, you can even call ahead and have a box ready for you to pick up at their DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW. You could do this every day for 2 weeks if you wanted to. It's a State Fair miracle.

The other thing that rocks my world at the State Fair is the expo center. This is where vendors from all over come to set up a booth and sell their wall hangings of kittens polyurethaned to a piece of wood, roach clips with feathers on them, and pickles as big as your head. And, perhaps even more enticing, there are people who do demonstrations. They are really the best. It's kind of like a live, right-there-in-front-of-you infomercial!

These are the folks who burn an egg on a non-stick pan and show you how it slides off. Or maybe they shine up an old piece of silver in seconds. They are rock stars. Sponsored by a large direct-marketing company, these booths are usually slick and tacky all at the same time. Be still my kitschy graphic design heart.

Here are a few feasts for the marketing eyes:

You can actually smell the poly fabrics as you walk by this booth.
German Glue...sure, why not?
Still mad at the hubby for not buying me this.
Wow! Look at that shine!
So hi-tech!

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will not be surprised, in the least, that my focus at the State Fair was cream puffs and tacky marketing.  :) I can barely wait until next year's fair.



  1. How fun! It's been forever since I've been to a state fair...the last one being the Kansas one! I do not recall seeing any cream puffs! I'll take a 6 pack!
    Glad you had a fun time!

    1. Thanks Angela! I think we might have the corner on cream puffs here in Wisconsin :)

  2. Aw, man! I haven't been to the State Fair since I was about 10. You've totally convinced me I need to go back!