ST. PAUL — The Minnesota State Fair is proud to announce dozens of new attractions for the 2017 Great Minnesota Get-Together. The following is a list of the State Fair experiences debuting this year.
Great Big Wheel
The tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America will carry riders 15 stories high into the sky for breathtaking views of the State Fairgrounds and beyond the Twin Cities. The 156-foot-tall Great Big Wheel boasts a spectacular lighting display of a half-million LED lights and 36 enclosed gondolas each carrying six people. Sponsored by Cricket Wireless.
Located on the southwest corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street, across from Family Fair at Baldwin Park. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. $5 per rider.
Honoring the architecture, heritage and character of the historic Grandstand, The Veranda is a new shop-eat-sip destination on the west side of the Grandstand’s upper level merchandise and shopping area. Boutique-style shopping at nearly 20 vendors showcases vintage, trendy, upcycled, handmade and made-in-Minnesota goods. The new Hideaway Speakeasy features artisanal appetizers, breakfast ciabattas and panini sandwiches using seasonal and local ingredients, as well as a selection of craft beer and Minnesota wine. The Veranda’s balcony provides patio seating and iconic State Fair views overlooking Adventure Park and West End Market.
Located in the Grandstand, upper level. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Great Minnesota Knit Together
Minnesota’s largest yarnbomb – a form of street art featuring crocheted, knitted and other crafted yarn creations – will blanket topiaries on the Grandstand Ramp. Clever, whimsical and colorful, the photo-worthy vignettes are the handiwork of Knitteapolis, Midwest Machine Knitters’ Collaborative, Minnesota Knitters’ Guild, Crochet Twin Cities, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, along with crafters from throughout Minnesota and across the country who sent in dozens of pieces to be added to the community yarnbomb. #TheGreatMNKnitTogether
Located on the Grandstand Ramp.
NHL® Centennial Fan Arena
Celebrate a century’s worth of the National Hockey League’s most extraordinary teams, spectacular players and unforgettable moments. Two 53-foot trailers showcase videos, photos and historic memorabilia. Youth can show off their skills on a pop-up ball hockey rink. Fair guests can race against fans across North America to create the perfect sheet of ice aboard a mini-Zamboni® virtual reality ice resurfacer. Special guests will stop by and, on Sept. 1 & 2 only, the oldest and most-revered trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup® – makes an appearance. Free with fair admission. To pre-register for the activities, visit nhl.com/FanArena. Brought to you by the Minnesota Wild. (Sept. 1-4)
NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Centennial Season logo is a trademark of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. © NHL 2017. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. ZAMBONI and the configuration of the ZAMBONI® ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Located at Expo Place, north of Murphy Ave. between Cooper and Cosgrove streets, east of the Pet Center. Sept. 1-4, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Stanley Cup appearance Sept. 1 & 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Evine at the Fair
Evine, Minnesota’s own entertainment video retailer (evine.com), will be broadcasting live from the State Fair into more than 87 million homes with celebrity guests Paula Deen and John O’Hurley, Seinfeld’s J. Peterman. Pull up a bleacher seat at the virtual studio as Paula whips up a dish in the kitchen and John, the puppy whisperer, demonstrates tricks for pet parents. Stay for meet and greets, a chance to play on-air host and other fun activities.
– “Paula Deen’s Kitchen” live broadcast, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet and greet, 2-3 p.m.
– “Pet Shoppe with John O’Hurley” live broadcast, 2-3 p.m. Meet and greet, 11 a.m. to noon
Located at Expo Place, north of Murphy Ave. between Cooper and Cosgrove streets, east of the Pet Center. Thursday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
An Evening With Equine
Grace, gentleness, power and precision are all on display in this special evening showcasing a breadth of equine artistry:
– Northern Lake Vaulters displays the art of equestrian vaulting, a combination of dance and gymnastics on the back of a moving horse.
– We Can Ride demonstrates how therapeutic riding, hippotherapy and equine-assisted learning can impact the lives of children and adults with disabilities or special needs.
– Windy Ridge Riders Drill Team performs a precision drill exercise requiring teamwork, timing, steady spacing, speed control and good horsemanship.
Located in the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum. Tuesday, Aug. 29, 6 p.m.
Dress A Sheep Contest
Creativity, hustle and a bit of moxie combine in this brand-new contest at the State Fair. Teams of up to four people (in complementary costumes) have 10 minutes to outfit their willing and woolly comrade in a clever costume. Dressed to impress, the teams parade around the show ring hoping to win over both the audience and the judges.
Located in the Sheep Barn. Sunday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m.
New Agriculture Horticulture Activities
The iconic Agriculture Horticulture Building hosts eye-opening, knowledge-expanding activities and demonstrations:
– Ask the Cider Maker: Experts with the Minnesota Cider Guild answer questions about making cider. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (except Aug. 24) at the Cider Display in the Apple Booth.
– Hands-On Ag Literacy:Fast, fun make-and-take activities at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture exhibit presented by Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom. 1-3 p.m. Aug. 24 & 31 (livestock animal ear tags); Aug. 26 & Sept. 2 (living necklaces); Aug. 28 (pollinator feeders).
– Beekeeper’s Corner: 15-minute mini-classes on beekeeping topics such as honeybee behavior, hive management, beekeeping equipment and more. 3, 3:15, 3:30, 3:45 p.m. daily at the Bee & Honey exhibit.
Located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building.
Eco Experience – New Highlights
An array of new exhibits highlights the latest in easy, everyday reduce-reuse-recycle how-tos, healthy cooking, innovations in green technology and transportation, and other compelling topics on environmentally focused living. A sampling:
– Works Progress Water Bar offers taste-testing flights of water from Minnesota communities and conversations about how water connects us.
– Kick Gas Safety Town, with mini buildings, sidewalks and vehicles, teaches children basic traffic rules and how to walk safely through their community and navigate potential safety hazards.
– New World of LED Lighting highlights how the latest design and energy efficiency advances have transformed how we light our world.
– We Are Water MN encourages us to explore Minnesotans’ unique geographic position as a headwaters and our responsibility to keep water clean.
Eco Experience is a partnership of the State Fair, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and more than 150 organizations and businesses across the state. It is the largest environmental event of its kind in the country. Visit ecoexperience.org for more information.
Located in the Progress Center. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
New Kidway Ride
Little tykes travel ‘round and ‘round and up and down aboard the new Clown Around ride.
Located at Kidway, sponsored by DISH.
New Construction on the State Fairgrounds
Highlights of this year’s fairgrounds improvement projects include:
– New elevator on the west end of the Grandstand: Until this year, concertgoers and guests accessing second-floor vendors were limited to using one elevator on the Grandstand’s east side or the Grandstand ramp.
– Swine Barn renovation: In the first phase of work, the Swine Barn Annex was removed, which allowed for wash racks to be moved outside, more pens to fit in the barn, and opened windows and doors on the west end of the barn to improve ventilation and air quality.
– New Cosgrove Stage: An array of Arts A’Fair showcases – Somali storytelling, puppetry, ragtime music, theater and jazz and flamenco dance – and performances by community groups – clogging, tango, fiddlers and dance – are featured on this new stage just outside the Education Building.
Located throughout the fairgrounds.
Ramberg Center Relax & Recharge Station
The Relax & Recharge Station in Ramberg Center is an oasis in the heart of the fairgrounds with rocking chairs, phone charging, free water, daily entertainment and a place to learn more about past winners of the Outstanding Senior Citizens Award, sponsored by AmericInn Hotels & Suites.
Located in Ramberg Center. Ramberg Center is sponsored by Cal Spas. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Swine Barn and Coliseum History Highlights
The History Walking Tour, a two-mile self-guided exploration of some of the State Fair’s most historically significant spots, introduces two new additions to the tour: The Swine Barn, completed in 1936, was converted, along with the rest of the livestock complex, into a military aircraft propeller plant during World War II. The second new stop is the 5,200-seat Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum opened in 1951 and features two beautifully carved reliefs on the north side that depict the state motto, L’Étoile du Nord (The Star of the North). Pick up a tour brochure from the History & Heritage Center or at any tour stop on the fairgrounds, or call(877) 411-4123 to listen anywhere.
Located at the Swine Barn and the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum.
Nearly 20 touring exhibits will make a stop at the fair this year. Some new exhibit highlights include:
– AARP Rocks VR Photo Booth (Aug. 24-Sept. 4): Virtual reality photo experience.
– Beech-Nut (Aug. 25-26): Giving away samples of organic pouches and ready-to-eat baby food cereals as sponsor of the Great Big Sandbox.
– HungerU (Aug. 26-27): Raising awareness about fighting food insecurity.
– The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie (Sept. 2): Promoting the upcoming new movie with giveaways and appearances by costumed characters Master Wu, Nya and Lloyd.
– SToK Cold Brew Coffee (Aug. 24-27): Activities and fun with cold brew coffee sampling
– Tractor Supply (Aug. 31-Sept. 4): Interactive exhibit promoting Tractor Supply products and activities.
Located throughout the fairgrounds.
New Merchandise Vendors – For 2017, the Minnesota State Fair welcomes more than 30 new merchandise vendors selling goods including upcycled gifts, home décor, foodie products, gadgets, apparel, outdoor gear, accessories and home solutions. These vendors join the nearly 1,000 existing merchants who offer exceptional merchandise.
Located throughout the fairgrounds. For more information on new vendors at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair, visit the New Attractions section of our website at
The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting 1.9 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information. The 2017 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 24 – Labor Day, Sept. 4.
— Minnesota State Fair
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