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logandog Jun 7th, 2013 07:53 AM

Minnesota State Fair
Flying in from California for my first visit and looking for tips and advice.
Staying close to the Mall of America and using the express bus to get to the fair during midweek.
I love fairs in general especially agriculture exhibits and of course beer and fried food. Is the fair worth more than one day? Will I be able to see everything?

toncasmo Jun 7th, 2013 08:59 AM

I'm also from CA...went to MN state fair last year. it was pretty big..we didn't see it all and LOVED all the fried food. we like CA state fair but this was so much better. and we did use the express bus. worked well

WhereAreWe Jun 7th, 2013 09:50 AM

State fair is pretty big and tiring. You *can* see everything in one day. But if you have the time it's not a bad idea to go twice - they do have scheduled activities that don't repeat. So you could watch a show or competition one day and see something different the next. I like the stock dog trials myself and they only take place on one day.

trivbeck Jun 7th, 2013 10:04 AM

There are tons of things to do at the Minnesota State Fair. The big thing is food on a stick - there are so many food booths! There are exhibit halls, barns, midway, great entertainment, machinery hill, vendors, etc. If it's your first time, you could see most of it in one day, that is, from the early hour it opens till it closes at night. If you want to take it a little easier, two days would suffice. Here's the web page for this year's Minnesota's Great Get Together.

ziggypop Jun 7th, 2013 05:36 PM

It really depends on the type of looking that you do. Do you just walk and window shop or do you like to stop at the booths and talk to the sales people, get some literature etc? I would recommend a grandstand show if an artist appeals to you, plus there are many acts during the day that are free. We go for one day and always miss a lot of things that I have earmarked.

Cali Jun 8th, 2013 12:41 AM

I'm also from CA and I love the Minnesota State Fair. Think it is one of the very best. Actually I like all the Midwest State Fairs, but am really a fan of the Minnesota State Fair (aka: "the Great Minnesota Get Together" A fun time for all.

EspritLibra Jun 8th, 2013 11:54 AM

As mentioned above, you can easily fill an entire day at The Fair, and then decide if you want to back for more. There are aerial trams and ground trains (for a fee) that can help you cover more ground faster, too.

When visiting the agriculture exhibits, be sure to check out Minnesota wines. The University of Minnesota developed some hardy grape varieties that can survive our harsh winters -- Frontenac and Marquette are two -- and it might be fun to compare them to your California varieties. The bigger local beers here are Summit and Surly, so be sure to try those, too.

I would also recommend the Fine Arts Building and the Department of Natural Resources Building exhibits, while you are here. And be sure to have a malt or an ice cream cone in the Dairy Building. And anything on a stick!

Oh, man, this is making me hungry for The Fair already! Really, so much to see and do and eat and drink, you will enjoy it.

Katzgar Jun 18th, 2013 02:06 PM

The state fair is huge and easily will consume a coupla days. Do they still have the 30" tall blue jeans?

TC Jun 19th, 2013 11:02 AM

While you "could" fill two days or more -- do you have the stamina? I honestly couldn't do all that walking two days in a row. We just pick our favorites and spend one Loooooooooong day. That is it for me.

-Visit the Dairy Barn for the butter sculpting. (Watch the tongue-in-cheek movie, "Butter" beforehand)

-Be sure to eat some "Sweet Martha's" chocolate chip cookies.

-Pretty much "anything on a stick" is fun and delicious.

taitai Jun 19th, 2013 11:11 AM

You could easily spend several days at the Fair. We tend to only do it for one day but we never see everything. For us, we start at the Miracle of Life building and then move on to all the different livestock buildings. Hit the milk barn in there somewhere for chocolate milk, Then, the dairy building for the butter sculpting. Lunch as we go with lots of foods on sticks. We always stop and talk to our elected representatives who are there. Franken, Klobuchar, Ellison, etc. We always end at the Midway with the kids doing rides and trying to win giant stuffed animals at the basketball games. Actually, my DH ALWAYS wins a bunch. Then, we have to lug these all the ways back thru the Fair to our car. A long, hot, super fun day.

logandog Jun 19th, 2013 11:27 AM

Thanks for all your replies.
I went ahead and ordered two fair tickets online (saved three bucks!). I might go Tuesday and return on Thursday or give the extra ticket away. I'm excited after watching Andrew Zimmern tour the fair.
Also got a ticket for a Vikings game on Thursday, too bad it's not against The Packers.

trivbeck Jun 19th, 2013 11:49 AM

The other fun thing to do at the fair is to people watch!

EspritLibra Aug 27th, 2013 11:15 AM

Hey, logandog, just wondering if you are here and still planning to go the fair this week? We are having a heck of a heat wave, so dress for it and bring a water bottle! You are allowed to bring in a water bottle and there are lots of water stations around the fairgrounds where you can fill up for free. Just take it easy. And enjoy! Give us a report back when you have chance.

logandog Sep 4th, 2013 11:17 AM

Thanks for your responses.
I have returned from the hottest Minnesota State Fair in history.
It was more a trial by fire than recreational, but that wasn't the fair's fault.
However, the air in the exhibit buildings was suffocating and precluded the study of their contents.
The animal barns were terrific, well cooled with fans. i enjoyed the amazing varieties in the swine barn and the lovely dairy cows.

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