Edit ModuleShow Tags

Minnesota's Biggest Party


Published:

The last big party of the summer. The final bit of fun before school starts. That’s right, the Minnesota State Fair starts today. The State Fair is such a Minnesota tradition, a celebration of our heritage, agriculture, business, and just plain fun. Since it first began in 1859, the State Fair has actually grown to become not only one of the largest fairs in the country but also one of the largest and best-attended events in the world, according to fair executives. Nearly 2 million visitors are expected to pass through the gates to view the livestock, ride a carousel, or try a fried candy bar on a stick.

I love the interesting bits of fair trivia. For one, I didn’t know that there are nearly 170 baby animals born during the fair each year. Nor did I know that an American President delivered a famous speech at our state fair: Teddy Roosevelt uttered his well-known phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick” during a speech in 1901. In this election year, you can be sure that many politicians will be on hand to share their views and shake a few hands.

Photo by Todd Buchanan

For those who make the fair a regular part of their summer fun, you will know that one of the fun things to do at the fair, of course, is eat. Each year, new menu items appear from many vendors; this year is no exception. Try the bacon ice cream at any of the Rainbow Ice Cream’s five locations, or the Eggplant Fries from the Midtown Global Market, or for dessert-lovers, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Puppies from Granny’s Kitchen Fudge. If you can't decide what to taste next, try The Fair Shake app, which will map your route to your favorite food vendor, sort selections by food category, or will randomly select a treat when you give your iPhone a shake.

Many big-ticket concerts usually draw large crowds to the fair as well. This year’s Grandstand concert calendar includes country acts Alan Jackson and Blake Shelton, a star on the television series The Voice. Other acts include big ‘80s rock groups Journey, Loverboy, Kiss, and Motley Crue. 89.3 The Current is hosting an evening of Minnesota music called MN Music On-A-Stick featuring Semisonic, The Jayhawks, Dessa, Jeremy Messersmith, and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles.

Check out the Fair’s website for more information about planning your trip. Bike, take a bus, or drive to one of these convenient park and ride locations—park for free and ride for free, between 8 a.m. and midnight. For info on the go, download the 2012 Minnesota State Fair app, available for both Android phones and iPhones. There's more than one way to make your plans to join Minnesota’s Great Get-Together.

The Minnesota State Fair
1265 North Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul
651-288-4400, mnstatefair.org

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. The fall festivals and events in Alexandria brighten up the first chilly months and give life to the city that lives on the lake during its summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.

Best Minnesota Town Last Call for Votes

Help one of these 10 cities advance to the finals for a chance to win a party in their town, $50,000 toward an advertising campaign, and an editorial feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine.

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Small Press, Big Impact: Graywolf's 2nd Literary Salon

Graywolf invited writers Layli Long Soldier, Carmen Maria Machado, and Danez Smith to the stage to challenge the status quo

New Places to Shop and Eat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP Airport's revamp just bumped it up to 6th best in North America—now with indoor food trucks, local brews, therapy dogs, and a golfing simulator

From Writer to Mid-Wife: St. Paul Writing Workshops Highlight Strength in Vulnerability This Month

Leading workshops through October, St. Paul author Ellen Sue Stern on the healing of writing

DNR Predicts Unusually Vibrant Fall Colors: Find the Best Spots

The MN DNR is predicting an especially colorful fall season due to ideal summer weather conditions. We found five spots around the state—including Lanesboro and Lake Superior—with great autumn views.

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small

What It Means to Light Up the St. Anthony Lock

A colorful light show fills the now-defunct lock with its own history

Save the Date for Unveiled Bridal Show September 17

Unveiled isn't just a bridal show, it's a fun and memorable experience.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags