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Aug. 22 – Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2024

183 Days 1 Hours 59 Mins

New Attraction: History Walking Tour: 5 New Stops

History Walking Tour: 5 New Stops

The History Walking Tour, a two-mile, 12-stop self-guided exploration of some of the State Fair’s most historically significant spots, introduces five new additions to the tour: Bandshell, Farm Boys’ Camp, Fairborne, Judging Arena (Compeer), and the Parade.


  • Bandshell
    • Small stages inside buildings were the norm before the 1960s. In 1971 the Bandshell was constructed – the largest of the State Fair stages offering free entertainment. In 2023, among dozens of shows on the Bandshell stage, catch the 50th Annual Amateur Talent Contest semifinals.
  • Farm Boys’ Camp
    • In 1912, farm boys submitted an essay to earn a trip to the State Fair. Girls were included in 1916. Renamed Youth Camp in 1975, it continued through 1993 and was turned into a scholarship program in 1994. This year, 22 scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded to youth from greater Minnesota or those enrolled in an agriculture program.
  • Fairborne
    • Happy 40th birthday, Fairborne! In 1983, Fairborne became the State Fair’s second gopher mascot, joining Fairchild, the official mascot since 1966.
  • Judging Arena
    • Added to the livestock area in 1964, this 15,000-square-foot structure was replaced in 2012 with a larger arena now known as Compeer Arena.
  • Parade
    • Part of the State Fair since the beginning, parades historically were most often held at the Grandstand racetrack and featured industrial fair vendors or prize-winning livestock.

Pick up a tour brochure at any tour stop on the fairgrounds, outside the J.V. Bailey House or at the History & Heritage Center. Visit at least eight of the 12 stops and collect a prize! Free with fair admission. (See brochure for details.)


Located throughout the fairgrounds

The History Walking Tour is presented by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation and the Minnesota Historical Society. Photos: Bandshell, 1981; Farm Boys’ Camp, 1915