Archive for August, 2015

Four Fun Things to do at the MN State Fair

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

ferris wheel - IMG_4326 When the topic of the MN State Fair arises, many ask the question, “What is your favorite thing to do at the fair?” Plenty of people go for the culinary intrigue to see what is new and different to eat. Let’s face it, when you can only get state fair food once a year many don’t want to miss out on the excuse to indulge. You can always start your diet tomorrow, right? Some folks go for the culture and art.  And then there are the thrill seekers who go for the adventure. Whatever your favorite thing is to do at the fair, here is a list of four fun things to do at the MN State Fair this year: 1. Go for the food. Go in a group and share the food, just taking a bite of everything. Start loosening those waistbands the Minnesota State Fair has unveiled 40 new foods and 11 new frozen treats for 2015. Prepare to gorge on burger dogs (a blend of hamburger, hot dog, bacon, cheese and jalapeno on a hog dog bun), tipsy pies (hand pies made with beer and liquor), Mac and cheese cupcakes and caramel chocolate-dipped bacon ice cream bars. Feeling more adventurous? You can try the BBQ pickle ice cream or hot tail (roasted pig tail coated in a scallion ginger sauce). And what would the fair be without more food on a stick? This year’s newest offerings include the stuffed Italian meatloaf-on-a-stick and tikka-on-a-stikka. Check out the gallery below for a sneak peek at the new fair food. The State Fair runs Aug. 27 through Sept. 7. For a complete list of 2015 fair food go to: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/06/23/mn-state-fair-food-2015 2. Go for an Adrenaline fix.  This year’s fun rides and attractions include: Turbo Bungy, Climbing Wall, Krazy Maze, and Skyscraper. Bob’s Snake Zoo, Butterfly House, Carousel, Giant Slide, Go Carts, Haunted House, Monty’s Traveling Reptile Show, River Raft Ride, Sky Glider, Skyride, Space Tower. New this year is the New York New York Fun house. With wacky walkways, mirrors, obstacles and slides, this is a four-story bonanza of Big Apple fun. Also new this year is the Super Nova Roller Coaster. This brand-new ride makes its Minnesota debut! Agile cars fly up, down and all around the track in a thrill-seekers’ scream dream! 3. Bring the kids and go for the agriculture and animals. “Little Farm Hands at the Fair” is an agricultural education exhibit for kids. Children (ages 3-10) become farm hands at this free, hands-on exhibit as they are provided the opportunity to experience the agricultural process, beginning at the farm and ending at the market. Each year, more than 40,000 Little Farm Hands and their families donate their work aprons and fire up their imaginations to help with farm chores, collect goods to sell at the farmers market, and then spend their “earnings” on real products made from the farm at the grocery store. This mock-farm consists of a series of five miniature barns, a grain bin, a tractor yard, six garden plots, an apple orchard and a farmers market connected by a self-guided pathway that directs families from a starting point to the last step in the process at the grocery store. Each building provides hands-on tasks related to planting crops and the tending of animals. 4. Go for the Art. Built in 1907, the Fine Arts building contains some of the most incredible art in MN all under one roof. You can walk around and see if you agree with the judging. Or for fun, have everyone in your group pick out their favorite piece, and then explain why they like it. The variety, talent, and beauty are stunning. A little Fair History: After four years of territorial fairs, the first Minnesota State Fair was held in 1859 near what became downtown Minneapolis. This was a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. Since its inception, the fair has been held every year with only five exceptions: in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to war-time fuel shortages, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic.