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Aug. 25 – Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022

269 Days 5 Hours 14 Mins

Amateur Talent Contests

The following information has not been updated for 2022. Please check back in the spring and summer for updates. If you’d like to receive State Fair news, sign up for our email list.

MSF Amateur Talent Contest

Every night during the State Fair at 6 p.m., crowds converge at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell to witness an event almost as legendary as corndogs and cotton candy. The annual Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest semifinals draw hundreds of fair guests who grab a seat or a Leinie Lounger to watch singers, dancers, instrumentalists, cloggers and every type of performer in between compete for the right to be named Minnesota’s top talent. Nightly first place winners compete in the Amateur Talent Contest Finals, held in the Grandstand on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. This final round of competition features the 26 remaining contestants competing for more than $20,000 in cash awards!

Do you love the amateur talent contest and want more opportunities to cheer on the brave contestants? Auditions are free to watch and open to the public (see dates and times below). Bring a picnic to make an evening of it, or stop by the MSF Foundation Snack Shack for a treat!

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest will be Monday, July 26 through Sunday, Aug. 1 at the Bandshell. Auditions begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. From the acts that audition during that week, 30 preteen division acts, 42 teen division acts and 48 open division acts will advance to the semifinals during the State Fair. All acts who audition will receive a letter in the mail to let them know whether or not they are a semifinalist. Please allow approximately 3-5 days from the completion of all auditions to receive your letter.

Interested in auditioning for the MSF Amateur Talent Contest in the future? To be added to next year’s mailing list, please email with your name and address included. Please note: in an effort to reduce paper consumption and to clean up the mailing list, only those who’ve auditioned in the last two years and those who’ve requested to be added to the mailing list in the past year will receive the rules and entry form in the mail.

MSF County Fair Talent Contest

County fairs throughout Minnesota are invited to send winners of their amateur talent contests to the State Fair competition. Semifinals are held the first nine evenings of the State Fair on the Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park with the nightly first place winners progressing to the MSF County Fair Talent Contest Finals, which take place on Saturday, Sept. 4. The first and second place finals winners in each division continue on in the competition by representing their counties in the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Finals on Sunday, Sept. 5 in the Grandstand.

For further information, please email


Registration for the 2021 MSF Amateur Talent Contest auditions is now closed.

To be added to next year’s mailing list, please email with your name and address included.

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Links will become active as information is available.