It’s almost here! The Great Minnesota Get-Together. And Eat-Too-Much-Food-But-It-Is-So-Worth-It Get-Together. And shop-play-go-on-rides-enjoy-entertainment-and-so-much-more-Get-Together.
Whatever you like about the Minnesota State Fair, it’s going to be even bigger and better this year. New attractions, new foods, and other new features like the Great Big Wheel – the tallest traveling Ferris Wheel in North America!
I attended a blogger preview of the State Fair and have to tell you, I am more excited for this year’s state fair than ever before. I got to try some of the new foods and I learned about all the great entertainment and fun your family can look forward to experiencing! Now, as we’re all counting down the days, I am excited to share with you what I learned.
Starting with the food…
Each year’s fair introduces new vendors and new foods that impress and amaze. A roomful of bloggers sampled 6 of the many new foods being offered, and got to hear about each one from the vendors.
- Mobster’s Caviar
The Mobster’s Caviar is a cream cheese dip with crab meat, green onions, fresh red pepper and water chestnuts, served with whole wheat flatbread crackers. It’s served at the NEW Hideaway Speakeasy, which is run by the owners of The Wishing Tree Play Cafe in White Bear Lake! I’m not a huge seafood fan, but from the taste I got of this I could tell seafood lovers would enjoy it. Very flavorful, with creaminess and crunchiness together. The Hideaway Speakeasy is in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, northwest section.
2. Brown Ale and Onion-Gouda Tipsy Pie
Three words to describe this: Yum, yum, yum. This goody comes from Sara’s Tipsy Pies, located in the Food Building, south wall. I’ll be making a sprint for this place at the fair. This new food was my favorite. It’s onions caramelized in Lift Bridge Brewery’s Chestnut Hill Brown Ale with smoked Gouda cheese, baked in a pie crust, topped with an onion sugar and drizzled with a sweet beer glaze. There are other naughty flavors, too – definitely check them out.
3. Italian Bomba Sandwich
Mancini’s al Fresco came up with this sandwich. It’s beer-braised pork shoulder with prosciutto cotto ham, fontina cheese, giardiniera (Italian relish) and aioli on a grilled ciabatta roll. The flavors are intense and a bit spicy. They weren’t my thing, but if those flavors are your kind of thing, it can be quite a hearty and satisfying item. Mancini’s is on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson & Underwood streets.
4. Beer Gelato
Mancini’s also shared with us their Beer Gelato, which was smooth, creamy and so refreshing.
You can never go wrong with Green Mill, now introducing a pizza and burrito all in one. It’s the Pizzarito, and is a flour tortilla filled with pepperoni, Italian sausage, risotto, mozzarella and marinara, coated with garlic butter, parmesan and Italian spices, baked and served with a side of marinara. It’s very heavy and filling. It’s located on the east side of Cooper St. between Randall & Wright avenues, at Family Fair at Baldwin Park.
6. Sweet Corn Blueberry Eclair
Don’t let the sweet corn mislead you. It’s a Kernza flour eclair filled with sweet corn pastry cream and topped with blueberry glaze. I couldn’t really taste corn – but to me, it was very healthy tasting. A bit earthy, and a little bit sweet. You can find this at the Farmers Union Coffee Shop on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Cooper and Cosgrove streets.
This was the most fun thing for me to hear about. Of course, there’s the Grandstand for fabulous ticketed entertainment, but check out all these free options!
Leinie Lodge Bandshell
Daytime free entertainment at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell includes Tonic Sol-Fa, Monroe Crossing and many others. Here every night at 8:30pm you can see shows by The Pointer Sisters, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Chris Janson, Tanya Tucker, Foghat, and Hippo Campus. And it’s FREE with fair admission.
Enjoy free cultural entertainment at the International Bazaar stage with your admission including Latin infused jazz, polka, Caribbean dance, and Native Pride dancers.
West End Market
At Schell’s Stage, enjoy some great entertainment including a comedian and the Minnesota State Fiddle Contest. But the coolest thing here that you DON’T want to miss is Minnesota History on a Stick. It’s in the mornings at 9:30am and 10:30am, and is brought to you by MNHS. I heard it’s a hidden gem and it’s great for all ages!
At this stage there are tons of bands and other acts like a guitar virtuoso.
The North Woods
Check out The North Woods‘ Timberworks Lumberjack Show and All-Star Stunt Dogs Splash here!
Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park
At the Family Fair Stage, get kids up and moving here with The Dollipops and KidsDance, and laughing with Sean Emery and Tuey: Comic Stunt Juggler.
At the Cosgrove Stage and other spots around the fair you’ll want to see the Arts A’Fair groups. Fair guests will be entertained by drumming, dance and theater in pop-up showcases throughout the fairgrounds.
Every day at 2pm, the State Fair Parade features the high school marching band competition, floats, animals, specialty units, and visiting royalty.
Laser Encore’s Lasertainment Show
Every night at 9:15pm, the Lasertainment Show is a 25-minute show featuring high-powered aerial laser beams that dance above fair guests while colorful images light up a gigantic screen – all choreographed to your favorite hit music.
Other FREE Entertainment
There’s SO much more to check out, including 3rd Lair Skatepark at the X-Zone, the Garden Stage, and the Festival of Nations Demo Stage. There’s also an “Old Iron Show” with restored tractors every day. And note that every area has something for kids! Visit the FREE Entertainment page on the Minnesota State Fair website for the whole lineup!
For More info: