Minnesota State Fair 2014 festival in June

The Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival is the state fair of the U.S. state of Minnesota. Its slogan is “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” It is the largest state fair in the United States in terms of average daily attendance. Wikipedia

Minnesota State Fair Address:

Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival
1265 Snelling Ave N,
St Paul, Minnesota 55108(651) 288-4400

Top events and dates

  • Jun 14-15 – Twin Cities Vintage Clothing & Jewellery Show 2013
  • Jun 15 – St. Paul Summer Beer Fest
  • Jun 21 – MSRA’s 40th Annual Back to the ’50s Weekend
  • Jun 29 – Pet A Palooza 2013
  • Jul 19-21 – Car Craft Summer Nationals
  • Jul 26 – Scrapbook Expo
Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival
Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival

Fair Location and Texas Map:

Festival events:

Expected Attendence: Over 1,600,000

No single day of the Fair broke attendance records this year, but overall the 2012 Great Minnesota Get-Together ranked second in total attendance, with 1,788,512 folks passing through the gates over 12 days. That’s less than 2,000 off the all-time high of 1,790,497 in 2009.

“We’re happy. We’re super, super happy,” said Brienna Schuette, Fair spokeswoman, on Tuesday.

via Minnesota State Fair: 2012 attendance is second highest ever – TwinCities.com.

Train, Sammy Hagar and a ’90s package tour featuring Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth have been added to the lineup for the 2013 Minnesota State Fair Grandstand. Tickets for the three shows will go on sale Saturday, June 15.

Over the past 15 years, Train has scored a series of light-rock radio hits, including “Meet Virginia,” “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” “Calling All Angels,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” “If It’s Love,” “Marry Me,” “Drive By” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.” The group is familiar to local concertgoers, who might have caught them at last summer’s Basilica Block Party and the State Fair in 2011. Michael Franti and Spearhead, whose 2009 hit “Say Hey (I Love You)” went double platinum, also are on the bill.

The “Under the Sun” tour offers three hit-making alt-rock groups of the ’90s: Smash Mouth (“Walkin’ on the Sun,” “All Star”), Sugar Ray (“Fly,” “Every Morning”) and the Gin Blossoms (“Hey Jealousy,” “Til I Hear it From You”).

Hagar, 65, is hitting the road with his old Van Halen bandmate, bassist Michael Anthony. The tour, dubbed “Four Decades of Rock,” will feature material from throughout Hagar’s career, from his early days with Montrose to Van Halen to his most recent group, Chickenfoot. Buckcherry (“Crazy Bitch,” “Lit Up”) open.

The State Fair’s box office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday when the three shows go on sale: Train (Aug. 29; $47-$37; on sale at 10 a.m.), “Under the Sun” (Aug. 23; $28; on

sale at 11 a.m.) and Sammy Hagar (Aug. 24; $35; on sale at noon). Tickets also will be available via Etix.com and by phone at 800-514-3849.

In other Grandstand news, reunited new-wave favorites the Suburbs and rapper P.O.S. have been added to the lineup for Aug. 30’s “MN Music on a Stick.” Tickets are $28 and are on sale now. Also, Talib Kweli and Chance the Rapper will now open for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ sold-out Aug. 31 Grandstand gig.

One final Grandstand headliner will be announced in the coming weeks.

via Minnesota State Fair grandstand adds ’90s tour, Hagar, Train – TwinCities.com.

The Minnesota State Fair is the state fair of the U.S. state of Minnesota. Its slogan is “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” It is the largest state fair in the United States in terms of average daily attendance. It is also the 2nd largest state fair in the United States in terms of total attendance, trailing only the average total attendance figures from the State Fair of Texas, which generally runs for twice as many days as the Minnesota State Fair.[3] It is held at the state fairgrounds, adjoining the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. The site is in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, midway between the state’s capital city of St. Paul and the largest city, Minneapolis, near the Como Park and Saint Anthony Park neighborhoods of Saint Paul. Residents of the state and region come to the fair to be entertained, exhibit their best livestock, show off their abilities in a variety of fields including art and cooking, learn about new products and services, and enjoy many different types offood—often on a stick. It runs for twelve days, running from late August into early September with the last day being Labor Day. In 2009, attendance was 1,790,497, equivalent to about 34% of the state’s population. This was up almost 100,000 from the previous year. In 2010, however, total attendance dipped 14,000 people to 1,776,211 despite setting daily attendance records on three days.[4]

Minnesota State Fair History

Minnesota Territory first held a Territorial Fair in 1854, although the first Minnesota State Fair didn’t occur until 1859, the year after statehood. Since then, the fair has run annually except for five different years. In 1861 and 1862, the fair was not held because of the Civil War and the Dakota War of 1862. Scheduling issues between the fair and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois caused the 1893 show to be canceled. The fair again closed because of war in 1945, as fuel was in short supply. It was again closed in 1946 because of an outbreak ofpolio.[5] In its early years during the 19th century, the fair was held in many different locations. Some were not far from the current site, but others were relatively far-flung, including years where it was held in Rochester, Owatonna, and Winona. For a time in the 1870s, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul held competing fairs. Minneapolis, the younger city of the pair, eventually outdid its neighbor by staging the larger fair with the help ofWilliam S. King.[6] In 1884, a committee was put together by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society to select a permanent site. One site that was considered was an area around Minnehaha Falls, but the final site chosen was the Ramsey County Poor Farm, the fair’s current site. It was a politically neutral site, being about halfway between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The fair first opened its doors there on September 7, 1885. The site was then 210 acres(0.8 km²), but now stands at 320 acres (1.3 km²).

Minnesota State Fair butter sculpture
Minnesota State Fair butter sculpture

A butter sculpture being made on the first day of the 2010 fair

One of the first annual events to occur is the creation of a butter sculpture. Each year, a new Princess Kay of the Milky Way is selected to promote Minnesota’s dairy industry. Part of the job involves posing for several hours in a walk-in, glass-walled refrigerator as a 90 pound (41 kg) block of butter is carved into a head with her likeness. Butter makers started sculpting their products at the fair as far back as 1898, although the head-sculpting tradition didn’t begin until 1964.

The main entrance to the fair from Snelling Avenue heads onto a road named Dan Patch Avenue for a pacer horsewho won every race he ran in from 1900 to 1909 when he was retired.

One of the most significant dates in the fair’s history was September 2, 1901, when then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting and first uttered the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Roosevelt becamepresident just 12 days later after William McKinley was assassinated. In 1925, the Minnesota State Fair was the site of the Norse-American Centennial celebration. During his appearance at the Norse-American Centennial, President Calvin Coolidge gave recognition to the contributions of Scandinavian-Americans and noted Leif Eriksonas the discoverer of America.[7]


A large portion of the Fairgrounds are occupied by livestock barns, where various farm animals are displayed. The animals and their owners take part in livestock shows to compete for awards. Most of the shows take place in the coliseum, a large indoor arena on the fairgrounds. The Coliseum was constructed to replace the Hippodrome, which was damaged beyond repair during its usage in the A.O. Smith Propeller Plant and razed in 1946, and was completed for use in the 1951 fair.[8] Open class livestock competitions are held in horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, dairy goats, llamas, poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons) rabbits, and stock dogs.[9] On August 31, 2007, a bull escaped from its handler charging several fairgoers before charging a fire hydrant reaching its demise. No people were seriously injured in the mishap.[10]


One of the primary attractions at the State Fair is the wide variety of foods to be had. Classic fair foods such as cotton candy and hot dogs are readily available. Many foods reflect Minnesota’s agriculture; cheese curds, milk shakes, and corn dogs are popular favorites. Many foods at the fair are deep fried or come on a stick; from the classic corn dog to alligator-on-a-stick, lobster-on-a-stick, deep fried candy bar on a stick, and even “beer-on-a-stick”. New to the fair in 2006 was hotdish on a stick, a variant of a classic staple of Minnesotan cuisine. In 2007 the new food was spaghetti on a stick. 2008’s new foods were two types of bacon, one called “Pig Lickers”, which is chocolate covered, and the other, called the “Big Fat Bacon”, a quarter pound of maple glazed bacon.[11]

Machinery Hill

Machinery Hill is a large area of the fairgrounds. For several decades, it held the largest annual display of farm equipment in the world, with many companies showing off tractors, combines, and various attachments. However, modern displays generally focus on cars, trucks, lawn mowers, and recreational machines like motorbikes. Farm implement dealers tend to direct their efforts to more targeted “farm shows,” abandoning the State Fair to more urban or suburban types of exhibitors.

Shows and concert events

A Prairie Home Companion

The State Fair is host to numerous shows, including concerts, comedy shows, product demonstrations, and the State Fair Talent Contest. The Grandstand is a large outdoor concert hall that also features 3 floors of interior exhibition space. It hosts the largest of the fairs concerts and until 2002 was also the site of stock car races run on a small oval track. In 2003 the facility completed the first phase of a $35 million remodeling project that removed large sections of bleachers and increased seating capacity to 17,000.[12] Local television and radio stations will normally set up temporary studios at the State Fair, and one of the most popular events is the live broadcast ofGarrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.


One of many wooden sculptures on the fairgrounds, this one depicts a farmer.

The fair displays an annual art exhibition that is the result of a juried competitionof works of fine art. Media include watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings, photographs, sculptures, pastels, ceramics, glass, and textiles. Entrants must be living residents of the state. In 2010, a total of 2,330 pieces were submitted, and 413 works were accepted. Jeffery Gauss won the coveted People’s Choice award with his “MicroDoodle Topiary”, and “Dog Park” by Arden Harrison Bushnell won the Kid’s Choice award.

One unusual display at the fair consists of the entrants in the Crop art competition. The artwork must be made of plant matter (seeds, stems, flowers, fruit, etc.) suitable for growing in Minnesota. For decades the display was dominated byOwatonna native Lillian Colton (1912–2007), who created seed portraits, professionally,[15] having effectively captured scores of celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Barbra Streisand, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prince, Princess Diana, and Willie Nelson in her crop art. After winning nine purple ribbons, she stopped competing, but continued displaying her work at the fair.[16]

Competitions galore cover dozens of categories in needlecraft, garment-making, wood-working, models, painting, doll-making, taxidermy, stamp-collecting, scrapbooking, baking, food preservation, etc.[17]

Milk run

The annual 5 km run begins on the fairgrounds, winds its way through the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and the Saint Anthony Parkneighborhood, and ends back at the fairgrounds.[18]


4-H has a significant presence at the fair, both in their own building and in the livestock areas. The 4-H building was opened and dedicated in 1939.[20]Contests include herdsmanship, showmanship, judging teams, public presentations, non-livestock exhibits, and county club exhibits. Livestock displays include beef and dairy cattle, dairy and market goats, poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and pigeons), rabbits, sheep, and swine.[21] During the 2009 State Fair, a few 4-H youth fell ill with the H1N1 influenza virus and were sent home (all recovered).


In recent years the Progress Center has been housing the Eco Experience exhibit, which features activities and exhibits including the design and construction of an eco-friendly house, a rain garden, exhibits addressing climate change, energy conservation, renewable energy, biodiesel fuel and vehicles, and organic farming. The exhibit has received awards from the Western Fair Association, the International Associate of Fairs and Expositions, and the Minnesota Environmental Initiative.[22]

Entertainment and events


Every year there are many musical venues. The most notable venue being the Grandstand which have featured performers such as REO Speedwagon,Boston, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Def Leppard, Styx, Foreigner, Bob Dylan, Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Carrie Underwood, Sons of Sylvia, Craig Morgan, Tim McGraw, Rush, KISS, Big Time Rush, Demi Lovato, Hot Chelle Rae, Blake Shelton and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

There are also many free entertainment venues from local bands and a selection of national acts. In 2010, Boyz II Men performed 2 nights at one of the free venues.


Permanent rides

There are several rides that are permanent fixtures at the fair. The most popular of these is the Giant Slide, on which fairgoers ride down a large metal slide on burlap sacks. The Skyride is an aerial lift ride that carried fairgoers across the grounds in a gondola. The Space Tower is a gyro tower that rotates as it lifts people over 300 feet in the air, giving spectacular views of the entire Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The Haunted House, located on Judson Ave. is another favorite of fairgoers. Further down the block is a water raft ride. The log chute is another popular thrill ride. The fair’s oldest ride, Ye Old Mill, is located near the food building. It is a tunnel of love style ride that caters to all ages.

Temporary rides

The Midway

The Midway is a carnival-like setting that contains most of the rides at the State Fair. The attractions include several funhouses, roller coasters and other thrill rides as well as numerous games of skill.

Adventure Park is where the extreme thrill rides are located. This includes the Ejection Seat and other rides like it. It is located across the street from the Midway, but is not a part of it. Adventure park also shares this block with afrench fry stand, which is a crowd favorite.

Kidway is the carnival area on the fairgrounds geared toward children. Kidway is located between Dan Patch and Wright Avenues on the north end of the fairgrounds.


The Minnesota State Fair is considered a quasi-state agency, under the direction of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society. The management of the fair is handled by the Board of managers. The state fair has not accepted any governmental funds since 1949. Revenue from the fair is reinvested into maintenance and the next year’s fair.

The Minnesota State Fair Foundation is an organization that works to improve and preserve historic state fair buildings. The foundation is a 501(c)3organization, and also supports State Fair agricultural, scientific and educational programs. The foundation provided funding for the new Miracle of Birth center.

J.V. Bailey House

The restored J.V. Bailey House

The J.V. Bailey House, at 1263 Cosgrove Street, is one of the oldest buildings on the fairgrounds. It was built in 1911 and restoration was completed in 2006. It is connected to the greenhouses and was occupied year-round by the greenhouse superintendent until 2004. The State Fair Foundation operates out of the residence. The historic residence is open to the public during the fair.[23]


The fair’s mascots are two anthropomorphized gophers. Fairchild, the original mascot, was named by Gladys Anderson Brown for Henry S. Fairchild who advocated using the former Ramsey County Poor Farm as the permanent site of the fair. Dressed like an early barker on the midway with a straw hat and striped jacket, Fairchild has represented the fair for decades. In 1986, he was joined on promotional materials by his nephew, Fairborn.[24]

Attendance records

Day Attendance
First Thursday 119,145 2010
First Friday 132,738 2010
First Saturday 202,126 1998
First Sunday 209,969 1994
First Monday 143,998 1994
First Tuesday 129,423 2009
First Wednesday 128,966 2006
Second Thursday 155,183 1995
Second Friday 179,052 2003
Second Saturday 234,384 2010
Second Sunday 229,943 2011
Second Monday (Labor Day) 160,209 2006
Entire Fair 1,790,497 2009

Off-season use

The fairgrounds is heavily used for events beyond the Fair. These include many horse shows in the Coliseum & Horse Barn, the Minnesota Horse Expo and the Minnesota Beef Expo, dog shows, antique & hot-rod car shows, motorcycle shows, model railroad shows, clothing & jewellery shows, gun & weapon collectors shows, comic book conventions, flea markets & swap meets, ice hockey games in the Coliseum, and more. Buildings on the grounds are frequently rented for commercial events such as appliance sales, computer & electronics sales, and boat & car sales. Earlier in the summer, some of the fairground’s roads are used to host an annual series of bike races during the week, called the State Fair Affair Criterium Series.

In addition, many of the buildings are rented for winter storage of boats, camping trailers, and similar equipment.

Rental fees for such off-season use of the fairgrounds is a major source of revenue for the State Fair, often surpassing the profits from the Fair itself.

1265 Snelling Avenue North
Saint Paul, MN 55108
(651) 288-4323

Some Questions about the Minnesota State Fair

Why does the State Fair have a Foundation?

The State Fair and the fairgrounds are like a small city where the organization is responsible for preservation and development of the 320-acre fairgrounds and the multitude of programs you enjoy. Even though our State Fair is as popular as ever, the fair’s operating budget is stretched too thin to keep pace with aging facilities, sustain traditions and provide innovative and contemporary programming. The State Fair needs additional resources for capital and program improvements.
This is why, in 2002, the State Fair created the Minnesota State Fair Foundation to preserve the State Fair experience for future generations. As the nonprofit fundraising entity, the Foundation accepts contributions and grants funds to the State Fair for preservation of historic buildings, new buildings, beautification of the fairgrounds and support for educational programs.

How has the State Fair Foundation supported the Minnesota State Fair?

The State Fair Foundation was founded in 2002. Since then, contributions have funded:

  • AgStar Arena, a new equine and livestock facility
  • Preservation of the historic Grandstand Ramp and the Grandstand Marquee
  • A new Moo Booth for beef and dairy education
  • The CHS Miracle of Birth and FFA Center
  • Improvements to the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum
  • Restoration of the historic greenhouse residence with naming for J.V. Bailey
  • Preservation of the historic towers atop the Agriculture Horticulture and 4-H Buildings
  • More than 300 recognition benches saluting great names on the fairgrounds
  • More than 3,000 recognition pavers with names and stories
  • The addition of more than 60 trees, including disease resistant elms.

What is a Friend of the Fair?

Friends of the Fair is the Foundation’s membership giving program. Gift levels range from $25 to $2,500. Friends donors receive a variety of benefits including gate tickets, pre-sale access to Grandstand shows, personalized bricks, benches, tables and more. Funds raised through the Friends of the Fair program support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation mission.

Click here to learn more about becoming a Friend of the Fair.

How can I support a specific program or improvement project through the State Fair Foundation?

There are several restricted funds (meaning the Foundation can only use the money for a specific purpose) that have been established to support State Fair Program Areas. Those areas include: educational enrichment, history and heritage, agricultural education, environmental applications, and cultural and artistic expressions. The Foundation also raises funds for specific campaigns.

If there is a specific project you are interested in supporting that is not included in our existing restricted funds please contact Lindsay Dickson at (651) 288-4322 or info@msffoundation.org.

Does the State Fair Foundation accept in-kind gifts?

Yes. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation accepts in-kind gifts that fit with our mission.

Contact Jennine Duda at (651) 288-4323 or info@msffoundation.org for more information.

How do I place a personalized brick, bench or table on the fairgrounds?

Bricks, benches and tables are placed in recognition of gifts to our Friends of the Fairprogram at the $250 level (bricks), $1,500 level (benches) and $2,500 level (tables).

Click here if you are interested in a recognition brick, bench or table.

How can I volunteer for the State Fair Foundation?

Hundreds of volunteers promote the Foundation mission, primarily during the summer months and at the Minnesota State Fair. Groups and individuals bring a variety of skills and expertise.

If you are interested in volunteering with the State Fair Foundation, please contact Jennine Duda at (651) 288-4323 or info@msffoundation.org.

What does the State Fair Foundation do during the fair?

The State Fair Foundation hosts donors and fair guests at the J.V. Bailey House on Cosgrove Street across from the Space Tower.

Other Events at the State Fair of Minnesota

Taste of the Fair

Thursday, August 15, 2013
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
International Bazaar, State Fairgrounds

More 2013 details coming soon

Kick off the State Fair with food, drinks and support for the Minnesota State Fair Foundation through auctions and entertainment.

As the Foundation’s largest fundraising event, the Taste of the Fair plays an important role in supporting State Fair capital and program improvements.  You can join in the fun as a guest, a sponsor or by donating an auction item. Call Jesse Poppe at (651) 288-4325 or email info@msffoundation.org to learn more.

Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival

This historic residence was home to greenhouse superintendents and groundskeepers from the 1920s through 2004. The house was renovated and named in honor of J.V. Bailey, founder of Bailey Nurseries and a past member of the Agricultural Society board and President of the board (1933-1934). Restored with gifts to the Foundation from the Bailey Nursery Foundation and the Gordon and Margaret Bailey Foundation, the home now provides community meeting space and year-round offices for the State Fair Foundation. Click here to learn more about holding meetings and events at the J.V. Bailey House.

During the Minnesota State Fair 2013 festival, the J.V. Bailey House is open for donor receptions and private gatherings.

If you are interested in hosting an event at the J.V. Bailey House, please contact Jennine Duda at (651) 288-4323 or info@msffoundation.org.



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