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Aug. 22 – Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2019

148 Days 17 Hours 7 Mins

Media Fact Sheet

Food

Nearly 500 foods are available at 300 food concessions.

Deep-fried candy bars, hot dish, spaghetti & meatballs, key lime pie, walleye, Pronto Pups and pork chops are just a handful of the 80+ foods on-a-stick available throughout the fairgrounds.

Entertainment

The Grandstand Concert Series features some of the biggest touring acts in the country.

More than 100 acts perform 900+ shows at the fair’s numerous free entertainment venues throughout the fair’s 12-day run.

The first 11 days of the fair, Minnesotas most talented performers compete in the MSF Amateur Talent Contest, which is in its 47th year.

The State Fair Parade featuring the high school marching band competition begins daily at 2 p.m.

In celebration of performing arts in Minnesota, Arts A’Fair’s dance, musical and theatrical pop-up performances entertain fair visitors throughout the fairgrounds.

Attractions

Mighty Midway features more than 30 carnival rides and 50 games of skill.

Kidway offers 30+ carnival rides for pint-sized fair visitors.

The most extreme thrill rides are located at Adventure Park.

The Space Tower, Haunted House, Ye Old Mill, River Raft Ride, Giant Slide, Skyride and SkyGlider are permanent attractions and State Fair traditions.

The tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America makes a stop at the Minnesota State Fair. The Great Big Wheel, located on the southwest corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street, carries riders to a height of 156 feet, offering breathtaking views of the State Fairgrounds and the Twin Cities.

Education & Special Exhibits

The CHS Miracle of Birth Center is the birthplace of nearly 200 animals during the fair’s 12-day run, including calves, lambs and piglets.

West End Market is a one-of-a-kind destination and welcoming neighborhood that celebrates the spirit of the Great Minnesota
Get-Together. The area includes the History & Heritage Center; free live entertainment at the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater; dozens of artisans, craftspeople and specialty merchants; and stellar food and beverage options.

The International Bazaar is filled with fun and flavors from around the world, including free entertainment, food, crafts and wares from around the world.

It’s a dog’s life at the Pet Pavilions where pet surgery and outdoor demonstrations take place daily; a variety of dog breeds are presented throughout the 12 days, and pet enthusiasts are encouraged to get merchandise for your feline or canine pals!

Eco Experience is an interactive, environmentally focused exhibit designed to educate visitors about sustainability, green living, organics and renewable energy.

Little Farm Hands is a hands-on agricultural education exhibit that walks children through the agricultural process from farm to grocery store.

Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her court have their likenesses carved into 90-pound blocks of butter in the Dairy Building each day of the fair.

The Giant Sing Along offers an opportunity for fair guests to join together in a field of microphones and sing along – karaoke style – to current and classic hits selected by popular vote.

The Moo, Baa and Oink booths are family-friendly exhibits that connect fair guests to the food they eat through interaction with animals and educational displays and activities.

Family Fair at Baldwin Park features attractions, concessions and entertainment for the whole family. Here, find Math On-A-Stick, a welcoming space where kids and grownups can explore fun math concepts. Also, take a stop at Alphabet Forest, an educational exhibit encouraging fair guests of all ages to discover words and build vocabulary.

Agriculture & Competition

More than 8,000 livestock competitors showcasing more than 20,000 animals vie for ribbons and cash prizes totaling upwards of $1.5 million.

The Minnesota State Fair Horse Show is one of the premier horse expositions in the Upper Midwest and features a multitude of competitions, breeds and demonstrations throughout the 12 days of the fair.

The Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition is the state’s largest juried art show. Each year, more than 2,300 pieces are submitted for judging. Winning pieces are displayed every day of the fair in the Fine Arts Center.

More than 8,000 items (more than 3,000 in baking and special contests alone) are displayed in the creative activities departments annual exhibition of Minnesotas finest needlework, handcrafts, baking and canning.

Honey, flowers, giant vegetables, crop art, farm crops, Christmas trees, craft beer and fruit are showcased in the Agriculture Horticulture Building. This building also features the popular Common Table: Minnesota Eats exhibits, which inspires Minnesotans to get connected to the food they eat.

The Education Building, alongside featuring a number of educational exhibitors, showcases an annual exhibition of the work of Minnesota students in kindergarten through grade 12.

History

Notable events in history that took place at the Minnesota State Fair include: the first airplane flight in Minnesota history (1910); U.S. Vice President Teddy Roosevelt delivered his famous “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” speech (1901); legendary pacer horse Dan Patch set the world harness racing record at the Grandstand (1906); and John Phillip Sousa composed “Minnesota March” and performed it at the fair (1927).

The Minnesota State Fair is older than the State of Minnesota with the first territorial fair dating back to 1854.

The Minnesota State Fair has been held in its present location (mid-way between Minneapolis and St. Paul) since 1885.

The Minnesota State Fair History & Heritage Center at West End Market showcases the competition, entertainment, agriculture, food, merchandise, attractions and Minnesota industry that have been the heart of the fair for a century and a half.

Corporate Information

The State Fair is governed by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society. The Agricultural Society is made up of delegates from the state’s county fairs and various agri-business groups.

The Society is a financially self-supporting quasi-state agency charged exclusively with operating the fair and maintaining the fairgrounds. It does not receive taxpayer dollars or government funding of any kind.

The Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) is the nonprofit fundraising arm of the State Fair and works to preserve buildings, grounds and educational programs.

The fair has approximately 80 year-round full-time staff members. During the summer, about 450 seasonal staff are added to complete fair preparations. There are more than 2,300 fair-time staff members.

The State Fair’s mission is to educate and involve our guests by providing a world-class showcase that is innovative, entertaining and fun.

The State Fair has been recycling on a major scale since the mid-1980s. Currently, the fair recycles paper, glass, metal, fluorescent bulbs, vehicle and appliance batteries, antifreeze, beverage containers, automotive oil, tires, grease, manure, construction materials, wood waste, paint, food waste, cardboard, concrete, oil filters, plastic bottles, electronics, laser toner cartridges and more. During the 2018 fair, 73 tons of food waste and 56 tons of glass, plastic and aluminum were collected and recycled.

Media

Nearly 30 local radio and television stations broadcast live from the fairgrounds daily.

The State Fair can be found on multiple social media sites, including Facebook, TwitterInstagram, PinterestLinkedIn, Snapchat (mnstatefair) and YouTube.

Attendance

The fair attracts more than 2 million visitors annually.

An overall record of 2,046,533 people attended the fair in 2018.

The fairs daily attendance record was set on a Saturday in 2018 when 270,426 people visited.

Getting to the Fair

Free park & ride shuttles run from a variety of locations within a short distance of the fairgrounds.

Express buses run from numerous locations throughout the Twin Cities.

More than half of the fair’s 2 million guests travel to the fair via mass transit.

Vehicle, motorcycle and bicycle parking is available near the fairgrounds.