Meet Me on the Midway

Jerry Apps
Jerry Apps' latest book, Meet Me on the Midway: A history of Wisconsin fairs, celebrates one of rural America’s oldest institutions, the county and state fairs.

With Wisconsin county fairs in full swing, I’m pleased to announce that my newest book, Meet Me on The Midway: A History of Wisconsin Fairs is available this month. It is the story of fairs from their inception going back thousands of years when a fair was partly a religious celebration, and partly a place for buying and selling goods.  

The Romans brought fairs to Northern Europe in 200 BC and the emigrants to this country brought the idea for a fair with them.

A publicist from The Wisconsin Historical Society Press, my publisher, wrote the following about the book:

"Meet Me on the Midway shares the stories of county and state fairs in Wisconsin. From their earliest incarnations as livestock exhibitions to today’s multitude of exhibits and demonstrations, grandstand entertainment, games and rides, and competitions of all sorts. 

Drawing on his extensive research, interviews, and personal experience as a 4-H leader, county extension agent, fair judge and lifelong fairgoer, Jerry Apps takes readers back through 178 years of Wisconsin fair history, covering everything from horse pulling and calf showing contests to the roar of gasoline engines powering the midway rides. 

From cream puffs to carousels, he evokes the sights and sound of fairs through the ages while digging into the political and social forces that shaped the fair into an icon of our rural heritage. Featuring the voices of exhibitors, judges, volunteers, and visitors, Meet Me on the Midway vividly captures the thrills and cherished memories of these beloved annual gatherings."

I think you will enjoy reading this book. I had a great time researching and writing about these Wisconsin treasurers. Writing the book brought back many memories.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Let’s celebrate one of rural America’s oldest institutions: The County and State Fairs.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to