Gov. Scott Walker announced Friday that his upcoming state budget will include a request for $6 million to expand and renovate the Cream Puff Pavilion at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.
The expansion and renovation will create a new facility worthy of the original cream puff’s stature, according to a news release announcing the $6 million request. The facility would be used by the Wisconsin State Fair Park and the Wisconsin Bakers Association.
The expansion would allow for better visitor space inside the pavilion, additional areas for product lines on a year-round basis, and a new training center for bakery internships.
The original cream puff has been made by the Wisconsin Bakers Association in the Cream Puff Pavilion (then called the Dairy Building) since 1924. The bakery was last remodeled between the 1994 and 1995 fairs. At that time roughly 225,000 cream puffs were made by a staff of 75. Today, almost 50,000 cream puffs are served each day during the fair.
In 2015, 400,000 cream puffs were made by a staff of 150-160 working in three shifts. In addition to the original cream puffs, Blue Ribbon Brownies, and Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies have been added to the menu.
“The original cream puff continues to be the number one food sold at the state fair,” said State Fair Park Board Chairman John Yingling in the release. “The expansion and renovation of the Cream Puff Pavilion is a great next step for us as we continue to find ways to modernize the fair and ensure fairgoers have the best experience possible.”
The funding for the renovation would come entirely from private gifts, according to the release. The project design and construction would be overseen by the State Building Commission and the Department of Administration.
The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2019 state fair.
The 2017 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will be Aug. 3–3.