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Aug. 24 – Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2023

147 Days 20 Hours 12 Mins

History: 2022 Anniversaries


145 Years

  • 1877: First year people arrived to the fairgrounds (located in Minneapolis) by streetcars

135 Years

  • 1887: A mock battle between Union and Confederate soldiers performed by Grand Army of the Republic veterans brought in an estimated crowd of 75,000-85,000

130 Years

  • 1892: 1,000 shade trees and shrubs were planted throughout the fairgrounds

 125 Years

  • 1897: Minnesota Territorial Pioneers Society established an exhibit at the State Fair ★ Hamline Church Dining Hall starts its first year

120 Years

  • 1902: St. Paul and Minneapolis school boards set back opening day of school to the Monday after the fair. Educational authorities said there is more to be learned in a single day at the State Fair than in double the time in school or college.

115 Years

  • 1907: 40 acres of land were purchased north of the fairgrounds (now known as Machinery Hill) ★ Dairy Building (now Fine Arts Center) was built ★ Poultry Building (now Progress Center) was built ★ Auto racing debuts at the fair

110 Years

  • 1912: Miss Jessie Walkup, secretary of the Pipestone County Fair, was the first woman delegate to attend a Minnesota State Agricultural Society annual meeting.★ Minnesota State Fair Encampment established (later known as the Farm Boys’ Camp, and then Youth Camp) ★ First Dog Show run by the fair ★ Theodore Roosevelt, running under the Bull Moose ticket, visited the State Fair, gave a rousing speech in the morning, but was unable to fulfill his scheduled speech that evening due to laryngitis

105 Years

  • 1917: Food Training Camp was established to teach Americans to produce more food and waste less in its efforts to “do Your bit for Your Country” during World War I. ★ The official title of the fair was changed from Minnesota State Fair and Exposition to Minnesota State Fair ★ With the Hamline post office closing at nearby Hamline University, the State Fair’s official address changed from Hamline, Minn. to St. Paul, Minn. ★ Cooperative Publicity Bureau established through the Minnesota State Fair. It created fair-themed artwork and advertisements available for purchase to be used by fairs and expositions throughout North America

100 Years

  • 1922: Lillian Boyer climbed from a moving auto to low-flying airplane and stood on the wing of the plane while it did loops in front of the Grandstand audience ★ Vice President Calvin Coolidge was heckled by the Grandstand audience to finish his speech­–after talking for 45 minutes on a 90-degree day–so that auto races could begin ★ A painting by Minnesota artist and fine arts participant Cameron Booth was gifted to Vice President and Mrs. Coolidge on Sept. 6 ★ For the first time, the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company of Minneapolis installed, maintained and operated a “loud speaker” at the Grandstand during the fair

95 Years

  • 1927: John Philip Sousa and his 74-piece band performed the “Minnesota” march for the first time at the State Fair. Sousa touted it as “the best piece that I have ever written.”

90 Years

  • 1932: The world’s greatest dairy cow, Lady Pride Pontiac Lieuwjke, owned by F.E. Murphy of Minneapolis, was exhibited at the State Fair

80 Years

  • 1942: Harold E. Stassen swore in more than 400 inductees into the U.S. Navy as the country entered the second year of World War II. ★ 21,000 flowers were planted to create a 64-foot-by-86-foot floral U.S. flag ★ “Food for Victory” was the theme of the fair

75 Years

  • 1947: First fair to open after no fairs in 1945 and ’46 (World War II, and polio epidemic, respectively) ★ The new Agriculture Horticulture Building opens ★ General Eisenhower spoke to the Grandstand audience and said in part, “It is the first state fair I’ve ever attended, and I hope I have made a good beginning by visiting the greatest first. Such a fair represents the things that America needs.”

70 Years

  • 1952: The first year of building permanent refreshment stands (five concessionaires) and modernization of the Penny Arcade

60 Years

  • 1962: A new format to Grandstand Night Shows; instead of revues, “big name” acts such as Dennis Day, Jane Russell and Jimmy Dean performed ★ On Oct. 6, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party staged a Bean Feed in the Hippodrome (later renamed the Coliseum) and Cattle Barn, with President John F. Kennedy as the esteemed guest and speaker

55 Years

  • 1967: New Dairy and Animal Products Building completed (used for education department exhibits the first year) ★ Newly renovated Bee and Honey Hall in the Agriculture Horticulture Building debuts

50 Years

  • 1972: State Fair extends its annual event from 10 to 11 days

45 Years

  • 1977: On Aug. 30, more than five inches of rain poured onto the fairgrounds in a two-hour period

35 Years

  • 1987: Jay Cochrane walked a high wire rising to 300 feet in the air from the 4-H Building to the top of the Space Tower – a quarter-mile distance ★ Minnesota Newspaper Museum debuts

30 Years

  • 1992: Fair Deal Food debuts – 200 food and beverage concessionaires offering special Fair Deal bargains ★ The world’s largest sandcastle on Machinery Hill featured a 24-foot-high castle and fairytale characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Jack and the Beanstalk ★ Bungee jumping made its debut at the fair, with more than 1,300 fair guests taking the plunge during the 12 days

25 Years

  • 1997: The Old Iron Show (working antique farm equipment) debuts ★ Stock Dog Trials (dogs herding sheep) debuted as a competitive event

20 Years

  • 2002: Minnesota State Fair Foundation established ★ Grandstand renovation begins, bleachers removed ★ Food Building renovated ★ Garden and seating area created south of the Food Building ★ Last year of auto racing at the fair

15 Years

  • 2007: Tornado-like winds tore through the fairgrounds on Aug. 11-12 days before opening day of the fair ★ Composting program begins ★ Minnesota Wine Country exhibit opens ★ Automatic milker was added to the Moo Booth

10 Years

  • 2012: AgStar Arena opens, replacing the Judging Arena (now known as Compeer Arena) ★ 12’12’12: Twelve Artists, Twelve Hours, Twelve Days debuts (now known as Studio: HERE); each day a visual artist creates work and engages with fair guests at the Fine Arts Center ★ Great Big Sandbox is added to Baldwin Park ★ Pianos on Parade invites fair guests to play artistically decorated pianos throughout the fairgrounds ★ Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild added to the Agriculture Horticulture Building

5 Years

  • 2017: First year of the Dress a Sheep contest ★ Great Big Wheel (Ferris wheel) makes its debut on Machinery Hill ★ The Veranda, the shop-eat-sip destination in the upper level of the Grandstand opens



  • 75th year of FFA Exhibits (started in 1948)