For many years, the fair has recognized its most outstanding vendors. Previously called the Outstanding Exhibits and People’s Choice Awards, the “Best Awards” honor the most exceptional vendors at the Minnesota State Fair.
The Minnesota State Fair building superintendents and other State Fair organizers nominate exhibitors, vendors, attraction operators, concessionaires, gardens and sponsors for the “2023 Best Awards.” A committee then reviews nominations and selects winners who exemplify the following characteristics:
This year’s winners were announced in a special ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m., on the International Bazaar Stage.
Afro Deli; Aria Handmade; Bamboo Switch; Downdraft; Jammy Sammies by BRIM; Long-Range Basketball; The Minnesotan; Must be Ruff; O’Gara’s at the Fair; Raiders; Union Hmong Kitchen; Visit Bemidji
Ball Park Cafe; Break-A-Bottle Game by Thornberry Concessions; Hansen’s Amusement Foods; KMOJ Radio; Minneapple Pie; PuzzleTwist; Rick’s Pizza R&J Concessions; Root’d; Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community; Soul Bowl; TechnoPower; Tilt-A-Whirl; Fiore Trees
Also presented: Candice Anderson, longtime midway operator for legacy achievement
Angry Minnow Vintage; Baba’s; Bailey Builds; Gopher State Expositions and the Equinox; GoServ Global; Hanging Garden; The Hideaway Speakeasy; Kim O’s Concession and Lean & Toss; Latitude Studios Co.; Rutana’s Hot Apple Dumplings; Solem Concessions Cheese Curds & Mini Donuts; Tinsley Amusements and Charlie Chopper; Waterstone Fire Tables
Adam Turman Gallery; Arnold Amusements, operator of the Scooter, a Midway ride; Batten Industries Nellie’s Laundry – Green Heat; Fair Ride Entertainment, operator of the Wave Swinger, a Kidway ride; Glitter Glamper; Juanita’s Fajitas; Midwest Concessions, operator of the Break a Bottle game; Northland Ford Dealers; Northwood Industries; Que Viet Concessions; Sisters Heritage; Summer Lakes Beverage
The Anchor Coffee House, Big Bamboo Fun House, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, The Hangar, Haunted Castle Dark Ride, Minnesota United FC, Nordic Waffles, Paddle North, Rainbow Midwest Inc., The Vintage Tin, Whatnot Boutique, Whopper Water
Air Maxx, American Craftsmen, Balloon Pop Water Race, Chan’s Chicken On-A-Stick, Driven to Discover, Great Big Wheel, Katie’s Sweet Tea, LuLu’s Public House, MakeShift Accessories, Quesadilla Junction, Sota Clothing, Twin City Jacuzzi, Wacky Shack Kiddie Fun House
Best Product or Service: Doghouses & Playhouses built by Hoffman Weber Construction; Best Food or Beverage: The Preferred Pickle; Best Attraction: Boy Scouts of America; Best Value: Patinella’s Chicken Grill; Best Customer Service: HomeTown Mobility; Best Midway Ride: New York New York Fun House (Fair Ride Entertainment); Best Midway Game: Fish-A-Rama (Oren Concessions); Best Kidway Ride: Safari Train (Michael Wood, owner)
Best Product or Service: JM Cremp’s Boys Adventure Store; Best Food or Beverage: San Felipe Tacos; Best Attraction: Bonanza Shooting Gallery; Best Value: Midway Men’s Club; Best Customer Service: Corn Roast; Best Midway Ride: Rock It (State Fair Services); Best Midway Game: Drag-A-Fish (Candice Anderson, owner); Best Kidway Ride: Monkey Maze (Alamo Amusement)