It's State Fair Time!

By Explore Minnesota



The 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. 22-Sept. 2, is no exception.


Minnesota State Fair Ferris wheel and evening crowd, photo by Robert Ferdinandt 399 x 600
The Great Big Wheel is one of the tallest traveling Ferris wheels in North America / Robert Ferdinandt

In addition to offering the old standbys, the 2019 get-together has plenty of new exhibits and edibles, including the Great Big Wheel, one of the tallest traveling Ferris wheels in North America.

Visit 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.

Riders 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.


Fans gather for a show at the State Fair Grand Stand
Catch your favorite band at the Minnesota State Fair / Minnesota State Fair

Music fans of all kinds will find artists they love playing at the Grandstand. This year's lineup features: 

  • Hootie and the Blowfish with the Barenaked Ladies (Aug. 22) 
  • Why Don't We (Aug. 23) 
  • Dierks Bentley (Aug. 24) 
  • Trace Adkins & Clint Black (Aug. 25) 
  • Tommy Jones and the Shondells and Happy Together Tour 2019 (Aug. 26) 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic (Aug. 27)
  • Daryl Hall and John Oates (Aug. 28) 
  • Logic with special guest Prof (Aug. 29)
  • Lionel Richie (Aug. 30)
  • Brandi Carlile (Aug. 31)
  • ZZ Top - 50th Anniversary Tour with special guest Cheap Trick (Sept. 2)  

The state fair is also home to dozens of free shows at the Leine Lodge, International Bazaar, Schell's Amphitheatre and more. Acts include Belinda Carlisle, Dessa, Lonestar and Kat Perkins.

Food and Drink

Minnesota State Fair Cheese Curds
Get your cheese curd fix at the Minnesota State Fair / Christina Sindelir

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. Some new dishes for 2019 include fried tacos on-a-stick, lavender lemonade, shrimp and grits fritters and cheesy Sriracha funnel cake bites. Discover your favorite with the fair's online Food Finder.