The Minnesota State Fair, often known as the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," is the country's second-largest fair. Minnesotans and other Midwesterners have attended the Minnesota State Fairgrounds each year since the first formal fair in 1859 to commemorate the heritage of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The current fair runs for ten days in late August/early September and features exhibits, rides, concerts, and more.
It is estimated that more than 100 million people visit American state fairs each year. The Minnesota State Fair is held annually at the State Fair Park in St. Paul. In addition to agriculture, the fair also includes music, entertainment, food, family activities, and more.
The Minnesota State Fair was founded by eight partners who donated land for what is now State Fair Park. Today, the State Fair remains a community effort with millions of dollars' worth of merchandise sold in partnership with corporate sponsors. The State Fair takes up approximately 200 acres and features rides, exhibitions, food vendors, and musical performances from local and national artists.
A symbol of Minnesota hospitality, the State Fair attracts visitors from across the United States and beyond. In fact, the Minnesota State Fair is the largest single-state convention and tourism group. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the State Fair and surrounding areas. The Minnesota State Fair generates $150 million in economic activity and supports more than 940 full-time jobs.
Minnesota It is the largest state fair in the United States by average daily attendance and the second-largest state fair in the United States by overall attendance, following only the State Fair of Texas, which typically lasts twice as long as the Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota State Fair starts on the first Tuesday in August and ends the third Wednesday in August. It is held at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul and includes about 600 exhibits of livestock, agricultural products, crafts, and food.
The Minnesota State Fair's attendance record is currently held by a woman named Shirley McFarland. On September 2, 1986, Ms. McFarland attended every exhibit hall and rode every ride at the Minnesota State Fair. She was not sick or on vacation; instead, she lived in Woodbury and worked in a grocery store during the week and came to the state fair each year on her day off from work.
Ms. McFarland was 89 years old when she set this record. She died a few months later in October 1986. Before she died, she told people that she did not want any special attention given to this record because she just wanted to show how much she loved the state fair. Her family gave up some money to help pay for her ticket to come to the fair each year.
After three years of territorial fairs, the first Minnesota State Fair was held near what is now downtown Minneapolis in 1859. The fair remained there for eight more years before moving to its present location in St. Paul.
The original fairgrounds were located on what are now E. Lake Street and University Avenue in Minneapolis. The grandstand was built by the public subscription method: people paid $5 each to stand in it. The first president of the state board of agriculture was appointed to oversee construction of the fair's new building; he also served as general manager of the event. The board met at various locations across Minnesota until finally deciding to build their headquarters next to the fairgrounds. Today, this is where the Board of Agriculture still meets.
There were over 300 exhibitors at the first state fair in Minneapolis, most of them farmers from around the region selling everything from wheat to wild animals. A large number of inventions were displayed for the public to view, including a sewing machine, an elevator, and telephones. An Indian village was set up near the fair's entrance, which was used as a venue for traditional dances by several tribes across the country.