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Aug. 26 – Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021

334 Days 2 Hours 49 Mins

History: 2020 Anniversaries

Anniversaries

160 Years

  • 1860: State Fair held at Fort Snelling

145 Years

  • 1875: Known as “the grasshopper year,” the grasshopper plague was the worst in history ★ Percheron and Norman draft horses made their first appearance

135 Years

  • 1885: The first year on the permanent fairgrounds

130 Years

  • 1890: Named the “Farmer’s Fair” after the principle of “the true object of a state fair should be the benefit of the rural population of the state”

125 Years

  • 1895: 250 trees were planted to help beautify the fairgrounds

120 Years

  • 1900: First Grand Livestock Parade (prize-winning animals) staged in front of the Grandstand
    Minnesota Territorial Pioneers have a permanent location on the fairgrounds

115 Years

  • 1905: Construction of the original Livestock Amphitheatre (Hippodrome) began

110 Years

  • 1910: History of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society from its Organization in 1854 to the Annual Meeting of 1910 was published ★ The first exhibition for airplane flights in Minnesota was held on the State Fairgrounds ★ President William Howard Taft addressed the Grandstand crowd on Monday, Sept. 5 ★ Former President (and current presidential candidate at the time) Teddy Roosevelt spoke to fair guests on Tuesday, Sept. 6

105 Years

  • 1915: Ye Old Mill became a permanent amusement at the fairgrounds
    Model Farm House, built and presented by the Minnesota Farm Women’s Congress

100 Years

  • 1920: Cattle Barn was built ★ First locomotive collision was staged at the Grandstand infield ★ Senator Warren G. Harding toured the grounds and spoke to the Grandstand audience

95 Years

  • 1925: President Calvin Coolidge made an address to the Grandstand audience

90 Years

  • 1930: Tourist camp opened on the northeast end of the fairgrounds

80 Years

  • 1940: Baldwin Park was established

75 Years

  • 1945: State Fair was canceled by order of the government due to civilian transportation restrictions during World War II

70 Years

  • 1950: The Hippodrome (Coliseum) construction began

65 Years

  • 1955: Attendance broke the 1 million mark for the first time ★ FFA Barnyard opened (forerunner of the Miracle of Birth Center)

55 Years

  • 1965: Education Building dedicated by Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey ★ Home Activities Annex (now Creative Activities) constructed ★ The 330-foot-high Space Tower was constructed ★ First year Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her court were sculpted in butter ★ Princess Kay donned a dress made of butter label cartons

50 Years

  • 1970: Mexican Village constructed (later becoming the International Bazaar) ★ Senior Citizens Day established ★ Portrait Hall becomes the new Senior Citizens Headquarters (Ramberg Music Cafe)

45 Years

  • 1975: First 12-day fair ★ Heritage Square replaced Young America Center ★ Hippodrome officially renamed the Coliseum ★ Park & Ride system begins with one parking lot

40 Years

  • 1980: Fine Arts Exhibition moved from the Grandstand to its current home in the Fine Arts Center
    50 Year Award presented for the first time (commemorates a half-century of involvement with the exposition)

35 Years

  • 1985: Host David Hartman of ABC’s “Good Morning America” interviewed Willie Nelson at Heritage Square

25 Years

  • 1995: Mighty Midway opened, the State Fair’s self-directed carnival ★ Kidway became a permanent feature at the north end ★ Carousel Park opened ★ State Fair’s web page was launched ★ 864 people became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony at the Bandshell ★ Commonwealth Avenue was renamed Dan Patch Avenue

20 Years

  • 2000: Agrilympics debuted (blend of agriculture, local celebrities and sports) ★ 22,117 fans, an all-time record, attended Christina Aguilera’s concert

15 Years

  • 2005: Veterans Memorial Garden dedicated for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II

10 Years

  • 2010: The Dirt demonstration area opened in the Agriculture Horticulture Building ★ Thank A Farmer Magic Show debuted on the Christensen Farms Stage at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center ★ A Fabulous Fair Alphabet makes its debut in Baldwin Park

5 Years

  • 2015: New competitions debuted, including Decorated Cookie On-A-Stick in the Creative Activities department; Honey Beverages in the Ag-Hort-Bee department; and Supreme Champion Ram & Ewe in the Livestock department ★ Due to H5N2 avian flu, poultry competitions were canceled statewide. In lieu of live poultry, activities and exhibits related to the poultry industry filled the barn. ★ Math On-A-Stick exhibit debuted in Baldwin Park ★ History On-A-Schtick, a daily performance brought to the fair by the Minnesota Historical Society and Minnesota State Fair Foundation is performed at the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater

ANNUALS

45 Years

  • 1976: First commemorative State Fair button introduced, “I was there, ’76 Minnesota State Fair”

HISTORICAL DATES

  • 2019: The State Fair broke the cumulative attendance record from the previous year with 2,126,551 attendees ★ The educational exhibit Goat Booth debuted in the Sheep & Poultry Barn ★ The North End neighborhood expanded to include the new North End Event Center, Minnesota Corn Fairstalk, Minnesota Marquees, art photo ops and more.