The following is a sampling of special days and events happening at the Minnesota State Fair. Use the Fun Finder or daily schedules for a complete list of everything to do at this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together! Information subject to change.
Today's Deals: Reduced admission at the gate - Adults (13-64) $11; Kids (5-12) $8. Many merchandise and food vendors offer special Thrifty Thursday bargains for all fair guests.
STEM Day at Carousel Park (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.): The Land of 10,000 Lakes is home to incomparable opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics! Fair guests get an up-close look in intriguing, interactive adventures brought to the fair by 35 organizations in the Minnesota STEM Network, an initiative of SciMathMN. On the Carousel Park stage, engaging presentations feature the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, Physics Force, the Flying Gizmo Show, and the Best of the Science Museum of Minnesota Outreach.
Today's Deals: Early Bird specials are offered until 1 p.m. on Mighty Midway and Kidway rides & games.
Around the fairgrounds: The 18th annual fun-filled, action-packed Governor's Fire Prevention Day is the largest fire-prevention education event in the world. Opportunities for families include learning about fire-safe behavior, fire prevention, safe escape from a fire, proper use of a fire extinguisher, how to prepare for an emergency, as well as technological improvements in burn treatment and firefighting equipment. Activities take place at various locations throughout the fairgrounds. Presented by the Governor's Council on Fire Prevention and Control.
Fire Explorer Challenge at Carousel Park (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.): More than 325 youth representing 24 Fire Explorer posts from around the state square off in a variety of competitions – gear donning, ladder raising, spinal immobilization and others – capped off at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony. Explorers are young men and women who work with adult mentors throughout the year to learn all the skills necessary for a firm understanding of a firefighter’s job. Skits and CPR and AED demonstrations also take place throughout the day on the Carousel Park stage. A “State of Fire Prevention Address” from fire service dignitaries will be presented on stage at 11 a.m.
“Hot Zone” at Expo Place (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.): Learn life-saving skills through fun activities and interesting demonstrations: Explore the Safe Escape House and bounce in the Safety Hopper; see demonstrations of kitchen fires and CPR and AED use; discover the latest technology used on fire trucks and in training; climb on antique trucks; try a virtual fire extinguisher; learn about burn and scald prevention and rehabilitation, basic animal rescue training, safety in the water and on trails, and where to find training to become a fire fighter; and visit with the State Fire Marshal and other experts and ask questions about fire codes, sprinklers and pipeline safety. Stop by for the famous red helmet giveaway for the littlest firefighters. Also at Expo Place this year, a mock car crash scene demonstration will take place at noon and 3:30 p.m.
Fire prevention focus at the DNR Building and Park (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.): On the north side of the DNR Building, the Department of Natural Resources hosts games to help young and old better understand fire safety and how to prevent wildfires; visitors can test their skills and knowledge for prizes. Climb the Fire Tower (9 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting), visit the Fire Prevention Building to learn about the fire fighting equipment and the impact of fires (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), and meet Smokey Bear at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Unite in Purple (5 p.m. to close): Join in a celebration honoring Minnesota’s own Prince! Be part of the energy and excitement on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Minnesota State Fair as we bring the community together to remember the life of a legend. We encourage all to wear purple as a tribute to our famed native son.
Prep45 Day with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities and KS95 at Carousel Park (9 a.m.-5 p.m.): Today celebrates the spirit of the student-athlete with games, activities and interactive booths for the entire family, presented by 45TV, the exclusive home of the Minnesota State High School League tournaments. 1500 ESPN’s SuperTalk Saturday radio broadcasts live 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local high school marching bands and cheerleaders perform 2 to 3:30 p.m. Plus, 94.5 KS95’s Lip Sync-Off Finale takes the Carousel Park stage 3:30 to 5 p.m., hosted by all of KS95’s on-air personalities – Ryan, Shannon & Fish, Dez, Moon, Staci & Crisco, and Darrin and Alexa.
Minnesota CooksTM Day at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Through cooking demonstrations and lively discussions with chefs, cooks, farmers and celebrities, the 14th annual Minnesota CooksTM Day highlights foods produced in Minnesota and explores the critical role that local family farmers and sustainable agriculture have within our state’s food system. Each hour on the Carousel Park stage, using goods supplied by Minnesota farmers and producers, two chefs demonstrate how to prepare flavorful recipes – rhubarb wild rice scones, grilled summer squash rollatini, sweet pea risotto, steak crostini, egg bhuna, smoked mushroom on naan, spiced apple waffle, and Minnesota sloppy joes, chicken noodle hot dish wrap and sandwiches with kimchi, just to name a few. For a complete schedule of chefs, farms and the recipes to be demonstrated, refer to the daily schedules or Fun Finder. The program also includes entertainment by Vicki Emerson, whose original Americana music is steeped in blues, folk and traditional country. Presented by Minnesota Farmers Union with support from Minnesota Farmers Union Insurance, Farmers Union Industries, and Minnesota Grown. Culinary volunteers courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu.
Today's Deal: Reduced admission at the gate - Seniors (65+) and Kids (5-12) $8. Special ride & game promotions are offered at Mighty Midway and Kidway all day. Many merchandise and food vendors offer special Seniors & Kids Day bargains for all fair guests.
National Park Service Centennial Day at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.): The National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial in 2016, marking a major milestone in the preservation of America’s wild, pristine, historical and cultural places. Minnesota’s six national parks come together to host "National Park Service Centennial Day at the Fair" for kids of all ages. Carousel Park will be filled with hands-on activity stations hosted by the parks and partners that educate, entertain and inspire attendees to “Find Your Park.” In addition to activity stations, the stage will feature music by The Lost Forty, cultural performance by Asian Media Access, guest appearance by Mark Twain, and trivia games hosted by Trivia Mafia. Plus, Park Passport holders can collect a special fair-only stamp.
Minnesota State Patrol Day at Expo Place (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.): The Minnesota State Patrol shows off an array of tools it uses to keep our roadways safe. Stop by for an up-close look at a State Patrol helicopter, Special Response tactical gear, vintage squad cars and motorcycles, a crash reconstruction project, a DWI testing station, and how truck traffic stays safe and legal. A rollover simulator removes any doubt about the importance of seatbelts. Meet state troopers and specialists, including commercial vehicle inspectors, Capitol security officers, radio communication operators and Special Response Team members. Stage shows throughout the day feature drug detection K-9 demonstrations and airbag deployment, and fatal vision goggles show the dangers of impaired driving. State maps will be given away.
Today's Deals: Reduced admission at the gate - All Ages $8. Must present valid documentation of military service to receive discounted admission. Discount applies to active military, spouses and kids; retired military and spouses; and military veterans and spouses.
Military Appreciation Day at Expo Place (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.): This year, the sixth annual Military Appreciation Day at the fair highlights Minnesota’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, which works to connect service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources. Visit more than 50 educational booths, and see military vehicles from different branches of service and organizations that support the military, including a C-130 cockpit and current and historic military vehicles. Plus adventure through an inflatable obstacle course. Brought to you by the Minnesota National Guard and presented by USAA.
Military Appreciation Day at Carousel Park (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.): Stop by to visit with more than 20 Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon companies and learn about their initiatives to hire and support military members, veterans and their families. Activities and entertainment hosted by the Mall of America to thank service members and their families for their sacrifices include stage performances, a cadence contest, music by Ragtown and a DJ.
Other Military Appreciation Day events: The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with a ceremony at the Veterans Garden on the south side of the Agriculture Horticulture Building. It is followed at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony flag-raising program at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell and a flyover by WWII-era T6 and B25 aircraft. The 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band performs at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell at 10:30 and 11:45 a.m. Watch for military support organizations in the State Fair parade at 2 p.m.
Today's Deals: Public library cardholders receive the following discounted admission ticket price when you purchase a ticket at the gate and present a valid library card. (Only one discount per card is permitted.) Reduced admission: Adults (13-64) $11; Seniors (65+) $8; Kids (5-12) $8. Special ride & game promotions are offered for everyone at Mighty Midway and Kidway all day.
Read & Ride Day at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Join Minnesota’s public libraries in celebrating readers of all ages. Meet reading superhero Captain ReadMore. Hop on the Rock ‘n’ Read Bus and try “TUNEin to READING,” which uses musical activities to boost students’ reading comprehension. Show your library card and get a deck of “Get Carded: Make Your Next Stop the Library” playing cards. Play games to win cool library prizes. Talk murder and mayhem with mystery writers from the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime. Performances on stage include a music and dance party for the stroller set and their families, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, string music fun, dueling pianos, a hypnotist and a ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll band. Limited quantities of library sportsacks and other prizes will be given away throughout the day. For more information, visit readrideday.org.
Today's Deals: Seniors (65+) admitted for $8 at the gate. Early Bird Specials are offered until 1 p.m. on Mighty Midway and Kidway rides & games. Many merchandise and food vendors offer special Seniors Day bargains for all fair guests.
Seniors Day at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.): The 14th Annual State’s Largest Senior Stretch & Stroll kicks off on the Carousel Park stage at 9 a.m. with The Pearl Brothers performing music of the 1960s to ‘80s. Then, UCare, Volunteers of America and Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness program team up from 10 to 10:45 a.m. to teach seniors how to stretch muscles and live a healthful life. UCare stays on in the park to present an afternoon of health and wellness demonstrations and giveaways, fun exercise sessions and informative “Doc Talks” on the Carousel Park stage.
Today's Deals: Early Bird Specials are offered until 1 p.m. on Mighty Midway and Kidway rides & games.
MPR Day at Carousel Park (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.): On the Carousel Park stage, MPR News, Classical MPR and 89.3 The Current team up for live broadcasts and performances throughout the day, including Mark Seeley’s Weather Quiz presented by MPR News; Cantus presented by Classical MPR; and “The Local Show” with a band to be announced presented by The Current.
AARP Day at Carousel Park (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.): Stop by Carousel Park to find out what AARP is doing in Minnesota and learn about AARP’s work to get Presidential and Congressional candidates to take a stand on the future of Social Security. Stop by at noon to sing “Happy 50th Birthday” to State Fair mascot Fairchild and watch him get his official AARP card. The 2016 Minnesota AARP Volunteer of the Year will be honored in an award presentation on stage at 12:30 p.m. Featured performances include music by the Jack Brass Band, Evergreen Grass Band and Vintage Raggs. “You Don’t Know AARP” is the theme of activities in the park, where visitors can test out a wearable app and win a prize at AARP’s interactive fitness tent.
The Great Yoga Get-Together at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.): Whether you’re a novice wondering what the “downward-facing dog” rage is all about, or a long-time practitioner who can hold the most challenging yoga poses, stop by to try different styles of yoga. Experienced instructors lead a variety of classes in formats ranging from powerful flow to a light workshop to an educational seminar. Area yoga studios also host activities, prize drawings and giveaways and share information about the benefits of yoga.
Today's Deals: Kids (5-12) admitted for $8 at the gate. Special ride & game promotions are offered at Mighty Midway and Kidway all day. Many merchandise and food vendors offer Last Chance bargains all day (see the brochure rack for the Last Chance Guide on Sept. 5)
Hmong Minnesota Day at Carousel Park (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.): Back by popular demand for a second year, festivities celebrate the culture, history and arts of Hmong Americans. This year’s highlights include the newly built Hmong & Lao Veterans Memorial, Hmong Museum, and performances by local Hmong American singers, dancers, martial artists, hip hop artists, break dancers, and the Hmong rock band Itchy Fingers. A fashion show featuring Hmong designers also takes the stage in partnership with Fresh Traditions, a Hmong-inspired fashion line. Stop by the community tent and pick up information at the Hmong educational and resource fair and try your hand at cultural arts and crafts for all ages. Event partners include Community School of Excellence, Hmong American Partnership, 3HmongTV, Little Mekong, Herizon Realty, and Dr. Mai True Lee’s Health and Wellness Chiropractic Clinic.