Minnesota State Fair: The end of summer in the United States is marked by the annual arrival of county and state fairs. Attendees can find a variety of attractions ranging from animal shows to carnival games to thrill rides to unique, mouth-watering food.
Fair Fare in Minnesota
While each fair has its own unique offering, none compares to the Minnesota State Fair. Held every year at the end of August, the menu of this fair usually makes headlines. You’ll find the usual fare like sweet-sweetened cotton candy and freshly fried corn dogs, but over the years, food vendors compete through a rigorous judging process to introduce new, crazy creations.
Among 500 different types of food, this year will bring a “pizzarito” (a burrito filled with pizza fixings) and Memphis “totchos” (tater tots with sliced banana and peanut butter sauce) to the list of proper meals.
Top Fairs in the USA
Elkanah Watson is known as the “father of American agricultural fairs” when he also raised a competitive cattle ranch in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1811. In 1841, Syracuse, New York held the first fair as we see them today, complete with corn dogs and fried butter. ,
The Minnesota State Fair was established in 1859, a year after Minnesota was granted statehood and the fair found a permanent home in 1885 in Falcon Heights, 14 kilometers from Minneapolis.
Although food is a central part of the fair today, there is much to see and experience. Learn about American agriculture and livestock through the many different exhibits on display from the Future Farmers of America and the 4-H Clubs. Climb into the driver’s seat on machinery hill farming equipment such as tractors, plows, and combines to learn about farming practices unique to the United States.
If you’re into adventure, be sure to head down the Giant Slide, a 15-meter-long, fiberglass slide. Visit the Sky Tower for views of the Minneapolis metro area, or steal a kiss at the fair’s oldest ride, Ye Olde Mill, a tunnel-of-love ride that opened in 1915. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, try your hand at carnival games for a chance to win prizes.
Attendees have their choice in entertainment during the 10-day event: Stages are set up throughout the fairgrounds for free concerts and shows, and tickets are available for the title acts in the Grandstand Concert Series.
Other Fairs Not to Miss
Minnesota US It hosts the second most attended fair in the U.S. with 1.9 million visitors annually. From late September to October, the Texas State Fair in Dallas draws more than 3.5 million visitors over three weeks.
Other Large U.S. Fairs include the Big E every September, hosted by the Northeast States in West Springfield, Massachusetts; Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma from late September through October; and the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa during August. Be sure to check out Iowa’s famous Butter Cow!
For more fair dining experiences, check out other Midwestern fairs that take place in the summer in the United States.