It seems that you're either a "State Fair Person" or not....there are lots of reasons people like the State Fair, and lots of reasons why they don't. You might enjoy all the displays, the rides, the shows, and the people-watching......or you may find it's too much walking, it's usually hot weather, and you can never remember where you parked the car. Anyway, if you have never experienced it, here are some facts about the Minnesota State Fair:
- It started in 1854 as a Territorial Fair, because (10 points if you already knew this) Minnesota was not a state until 1858. In 1859 it was officially named the Minnesota State Fair
- It is always held on the 12 days leading up to and after Labor Day. This year's fair will run from August 24 through September 4 (Labor Day)
- The State Fair employs about 80 fulltime year-round employees. 300 are hired to work as seasonal help and 2500 work at the fair only.
- The Fair is run as 'almost' a separate entity from the State of Minnesota and is run by the State Agricultural Society. The Society represents all 87 county fairs in the state.
- Did you know there is a K-12 Competition (for Kindergarten through Grade 12)? You can enter artwork, sewing, jewelry, or writing projects. There is also a Technology Education division where people enter architectural drawings, photograpy items, welding projects, woodworking, CO-2 cars and solar powered boats.
And of course there are the traditional adult competitions. You can win a ribbon or a prize for excellence in these categories:
- Needlecraft---Quilts and hand stitching
- Garment making
- Handcrafts, including things made from wood or metal, models, and dolls
- Collections, such as stamps or post cards
- Baked goods, like cakes, cookies, pies
There will be Celebrity Agri-Lympics with local celebrities trying their skills at:
- Hand-milking cows
- Animal Calling
- Wool Packing
- Butter carving
Princess Kay of the Milky Way is selected before the beginning of the fair.(She is rarely actually named Kay). This young lady will come from a background where she has knowledge of the dairy farming industry and will serve as a goodwill ambassador for them during her year's reign.
One of the quirky displays at the fair is the butter sculpture of Princess Kay. She will sit in a refrigerated booth surrounded by glass while the sculptor works (sculptor Linda Christenson has done this for 46 years!!), and visitors can watch the sculpture in progress. It is created from a 90 pound block of butter from a farm in New Ulm. It takes between six and eight hours to complete, and at the end of the fair, the princess can take the butter home with her.
The current Princess Kay, Haley Hinrichs, and her butter sculpture:
What are Pinto, Arabian, Draft, Paint, and Appaloosa?
They are types of horses, and you can see them being handled at the State Fair as well. Horse competitions called 'Dressage' take place every year at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Here is a list of trivia questions for you: http://www.mnstatefair.org/fun/fair_trivia.html
- Where you can catch an Express Bus: Park and hop on a bus to get you to and from the Fair, and no parking hassles!! http://www.mnstatefair.org/general_info/get_here/express_bus.html
- And the State Fair website for more information about what to see, what to do, where to eat, and what entertainment is available at our Great State Get-Together... http://www.mnstatefair.org/