It's State Fair Time!

By Explore Minnesota Tourism

State Fair ferris wheelThe Minnesota State Fair is known for foods on a stick, adorable baby animals, great concerts and those infamous butter sculptures. This year's event, held Aug. 21-Sept. 1, is no exception.

In addition to offering the old standbys, the 2014 get-together has plenty of new attractions and edibles, including the West End Market, a one-of-a-kind destination that celebrates the spirit of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. The area includes the Minnesota State Fair History & Heritage Center, showcasing treasured artifacts and photographs that highlight the fair’s 150+ years of history.

Animal lovers can enjoy classic attractions such as the CHS Miracle of Birth Center, but this year, they will also be able to see the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show. The show will take place at The North Woods and features talented rescue dogs that conquer big-air stunts and showcase their incredible high-jumping skills.

Thrill seekers of all ages will find dozens of rides in the Mighty Midway and Kidway. For the grown-ups, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild sells flights of local beers, experts host demos on gardening and eco-living, and merchants sell everything from handcrafted pottery to accessories made of bicycle parts.

Music fans of all kinds will find artists they love playing at the Grandstand; this year's lineup features Toby Keith with Colt Ford (Aug. 21), Aretha Franklin with The Four Tops (Aug. 22) and "MN Music on a Stick" (Aug. 30), a showcase of local acts including Brother Ali, Doomtree and Har Mar Superstar.

It wouldn't be the State Fair without indulging in some one-of-a-kind foods. Mini donuts, cheese curds, french fries, corn dogs and chocolate chip cookies are among the staples, as well as more than 60 things on a stick, from deep-fried lobster to alligator sausage to chocolate-covered key lime pie. Discover your favorite with the fair's online Food Finder.