Before the hottest names at the fair hit the stage, they hit the - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Before the hottest names at the fair hit the stage, they hit the buffet


For five years Kris McCaslin has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to Wisconsin Valley Fair's biggest stars.

"The people we have met and the experiences that we've had just have been incredible," McCaslin said.

The UW-Marathon Food Service Director has met big music names like the Beach Boys, Phil Vasser, and  this year, Thompson Square.

"By the end of the day we know each other really well, they'll play pranks and stuff," McCaslin said. "I'll have things disappear and reappear, or naughty stuff written down on my grocery list."

And it's those kind of pranks that make this backstage access a show all on its own.

"One band asked for a lawn gnome and we got it for them," McCaslin explained. "When I went to give it to them I asked, why the gnome..they said they just wanted to see if they could get someone to do it."

But, lawn gnome and fake grocery lists aside, McCaslin said the starts are just like everybody else.

"They're these famous people, but they're people," she said. "They joke, they laugh."

 And her job goes a little further than just organizing a meal.

"They call me mom because I make sure they take a balanced meal with good nutrition and have to eat their vegetables."

 This year, big names like The Oakridge Boys and Rodney Atkins will hit the stage. But, not before they hit the buffet, and make sure to eat their veggies.

"I look forward to it every year."

McCaslin doesn't do it all on her own. She has a team of dedicated individuals that make it all happen. Catering for backstage is provided by the UWMC Food Service Cooperative. Led by Food Production Manager, Jayne Stencil, the team of Pam Gray, Bart Gray, Joan Retzack, Kourtney Noah, Liz Porter, Jeri Blumenstein, and Ryan McClinton prepare all meals served at the stage. They also provide meals to 4H'ers at the Main UWMC campus. It is a busy time for the team, but they do a great job!

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