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. 23-Sept. 3, is no exception.

Minnesota State Fair Ferris Wheel
Ferris wheel at the Minnesota State Fair / Robert Ferdinandt

In addition to offering the old standbys, the 2018 get-together has plenty of new exhibits and edibles, including the Haunted Castle Dark Ride, the largest traveling haunted attraction in North America. Thrill seekers will enjoy the Rock Star, a 360-degree thrill ride that spins 60 feet high at the Mighty Midway.

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 including the new Combination Carousel ride that takes little ones for a spin. 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.

State Fair cheese curds_square
Cheese curds are a State Fair essential

Music fans of all kinds will find artists they love playing at the Grandstand; this year's lineup features Niall Horan and Maren Morris (Aug. 23), Sugarland (Aug. 24), Minnesota's own Trampled by Turtles (Aug. 25), Earth, Wind & Fire (Aug.  26), The Beach Boys with special guests The Righteous Brothers (Aug. 27), Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen (Aug. 28), Old Dominion (Aug. 29), Hairball (Sept. 1), and Boy George and Culture Club, The B-52s and Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey (Sept. 3).

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 2018 include bananas foster French toast, pepperoni chips with roasted red pepper queso, wood-grilled elote and a turducken sausage sandwich. Discover your favorite with the fair's online Food Finder.