Minnesota State Fair

The first "Great Minnesota Get-Together" took place in 1855. Since that time, the Minnesota State Fair has firmly established its place as one of the biggest events of the year. For 12 days, crowds will descend onto the fairgrounds to take in an insane amount of sights and activities. Looking to buy a tractor, jewelry, a pet hermit crab, and some homemade fudge all in one spot? Look no further. There will also be animals big and small, from bumblebees to horses. There will be creative showcases including arts and crafts, butter sculptures, seed art, and the local-artist exhibition. There will be jars of pickles on display. The mighty Midway will once again invite thrill seekers to spin, drop, and fly on the carnival rides, while the Kidway will entertain families with low-scare adventures. Big acts at the Grandstand include Demi Lovato, Rascal Flatts, Bonnie Raitt, and Wiz Khalifa (not all on the same night, obviously). Or take in one of the excellent free shows at one of the open stages, as Wanda Jackson, Dawes, Wilson Phillips, and Bettye LaVette are all scheduled to perform. Food, be it fried or on a stick (or both!), is the biggest draw of the fair, of course. While cheese curds should always be on the list, part of the fun is trying something you've never had before. New treats this year include bacon ice cream, beef-tongue tacos, lamb chop on a stick, cranberry wantons, sushi, poutine, red velvet funnel cake, and something called "Ragin' Ankles." For more info, visit www.mnstatefair.org. $9/$12 at the gate. 6 a.m. to midnight; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Labor Day. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651.288.4400. Through September 3 (Photo provided by the Minnesota State Fair)
Aug. 23-Sept. 3, 6-midnight, 2012

 
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