Edit ModuleShow Tags

Minnesota's Biggest Party


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

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags