A Modern Take on the Minnesota State Fair

Every year the Minnesota State Fair comes and goes, andevery year it’s the same thing: A princess gets her head carved in butter, countless corn dogs are gobbled down and adorable baby animals come into the world atthe Miracle of Birth center. Don’t get us wrong — there’s nothing wrong withthe classics, but the Great Minnesota Get-Together has much more to offer than Sweet Martha’s Cookies. Get ready to explore with this modern enthusiasts’ guide to the State Fair:


1. Munch on…liquid nitrogen

Comet Corn

Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, on
the corner of Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue

This icy-cold caramel corn is made using liquid nitrogen.
Equal parts crunchy, sweet and salty, this futuristic treat leaves a trail of
“comet” dust in its wake.

Nitro Ice Cream

Food Building

Why use a freezer when you have liquid
nitrogen? That’s what two Iowa State alumni thought when they invented a new
way to flash-freeze the creamy treat.

2. Synthetic Ice

Northeast corner of the fairgrounds on Randall Avenue and Cosgrove

Think of a Minnesota summer day with stifling heat and humidity. Now picture ice skating — outside.  D1 Backyard Rinks makes it possible to skate in a t-shirt and shorts with their synthetic ice. Their rink at the State Fair was so easy to put together, this 8-year-old helped install it.

Straw bale garden Eco 13 IMG_3137

3. The Eco Experience

Progress Center on Randall Avenue

There are almost too many interesting things happening here to list. Check out the Gen Y Eco-House designed and constructed by University of Minnesota College of Design students, learn about new trends in urban gardening (vertical and straw bale growing) and stop by at noon to hear talks on urban chicken farming and beekeeping.

4. Art Attack

Fine Arts building

Everyone knows the Twin Cities has a thriving arts scene. Each year, the state fair pulls all that talent together under one roof for the largest juried art exhibit in the state. Maren Kloppmann was one of this year’s winners. She placed first in three categories, including ceramics/glass.

5. Doughnut-inspired dining


French Meadow Bakery, Carnes Avenue between Underwood and Nelson Streets

By now, everyone should know what a cronut is (also referred to as a doissant, crognet or gurnut). If you don’t, this is your chance to catch up on the craze with the French Meadow Bakery’s take on the cross
between a croissant and doughnut.

Mini Donut Beer

The Lift Bridge, Underwood Street between Carnes and Dan Patch Avenues

A rim of cinnamon and sugar finishes off this glass of beer inspired by one of the most celebrated fair foods of all time — the mini donut. We’re telling you, it tastes like the real deal.

6. Forever St. Paul

Saint Paul voting booth is near the Space Tower and International Bazaar

You get to help decide St. Paul’s future. Fair goers will vote for one of three innovative ideas “to make St. Paul great.” The winning idea will receive $1 million dollars to become a reality.

7. Quilt-on-a-stick

Creative Activities

With all that food on a stick, it’s about time the “everything-on-a-stick” mentality rolled over to arts and crafts. This year’s quilt-on-a-stick theme— tattoos and body adornment at the fair — turns the traditional craft on its head. Think cows with piercings.

The Minnesota State Fair
Aug. 22- Sept. 2
St. Paul, MN