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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.

Details

  • 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.)

Directions

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