The Great Minnesota Get-Together, as the fair is also known, has been held every year with a few exceptions since 1859, the year after Minnesota became a state.
The fair’s permanent home is 320 acres along Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, where the fairgrounds' historically significant buildings are a big draw. Other big attractions include the various foods on a stick, carnival rides, livestock shows and grandstand performances.
Daily attendance for the two-week festival that ends on Labor Day) totaled more than 1.7 million in 2010.
September 3, 2009 — Well, the State Fair put its H1N1 flu action plan to work today. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, schools and employers need to be similarly ready for the virus as the fall flu season takes hold. So, we asked our regular medical analyst, Dr. Jon Hallberg, to tell us what we all should prepare for this fall when it comes to H1N1 — and the seasonal flu. And the first thing I wanted to know was whether all of the concern over H1N1 was really worth all the hype.
August 24, 2007 — The Twin Cities chapter of the Red Cross is giving fair goers a chance to put their thoughts about the 35W bridge collapse in writing. The agency has set up a memorial wall in the Health Fair 11 building for people to express their sentiments about the August 1st disaster. Red Cross spokesperson Gretchen Ambrosier says the wall has proven to be a big draw.
August 27, 2003 — If you're looking for a glimpse of forgotten, small town America, head to the State Fair. Go to the Creative Arts building's main entrance, walk past the sweaters, past the baskets, when you hit the shelves of cakes, turn left. You'll spot some carousels of glass display cases. Every year, they house the winners of the State Fair postcard collection contest.
August 26, 2003 — The commercial popularity of skateboarding has led to the creation of all kinds of products like clothes, shoes, sports drinks and video games. It's also created a class of skateboard professionals and companies that build the ramps, bumps and jumps these daredevils make a living on. A Minnesota-based skatepark builder held a demonstration at the State Fair, featuring one of the country's most popular skateboarders.
August 21, 2003 — The Minnesota State Fair opened for business today with none other than Governor Tim Pawlenty greeting some of the first visitors early this morning. As always there's a mixture of new attractions and old standbys at the fair, which officials hope will draw more than 1 and 3/4 million people over the next week and a half. Minnesota Public Radio's Mark Zdechlik reports.
August 20, 2003 — When the Minnesota State Fair opens tomorrow visitors will see signs at entrances banning guns from the fairgrounds. Fair officials say their ban is nothing new and makes pratical sense. Gun rights advocates say the fair has no legal authority under Minnesota's new concealed carry law to prohibit permit holders from bringing handguns to the fair. They say if the fair goes ahead with its ban, it'll likely face a lawsuit.
August 20, 2003 — Get ready to eat food on a stick, and to see more Minnesotans than you can shake that stick at. The Minnesota State Fair begins tomorrow and runs through Labor Day. And while the old stand-bys like pork chops on a stick, carnival games, and big concerts draw more than a million people, all of those oldies but goodies had to get their start somewhere along the 144 year history of the fair. Joining us on the line to talk about what's new for this year is Jerry Hammer, executive vice president of the Minnesota State Fair.
August 18, 2003 — The Minnesota State Fair opens Thursday. Fairgoers will notice some changes to the grandstand this year. The facility is undergoing a 35 million dollar remodeling project. The fair's first grandstand was built in 1885, a double-decked wooden strucutre. The current grandstand, made of concrete and steel, was built in 1909.
September 2, 2002 — You may have had your share of Pronto Pups, cheese curds, and farm machinery at The Minnesota State Fair, but have you run into any aliens yet? That's probably because they're hiding in the trailer park depicted in one artist's entry in this year's State Fair Art Exhibit.
August 30, 2002 — The major party candidates for governor reacted positively to news that a new baseball labor agreement will apparently prevent Major League Baseball from eliminating the Minnesota Twins for the next four years. The candidates learned of the tentative agreement shortly before appearing in an Minnesota Public Radio debate at the State Fair. During that forum, Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny found himself the subject of pointed questions. Political insiders consider Penny the frontrunner in the governor's race, two months before the November election.