Minnesota State Fair, nation’s largest, offers food, deserts (500 stands!), animals on show and being born and midway rides


ST. PAUL — At the end of August every year, thousands of people walk into the biggest state fair in the country. Since the first Minnesota State Fair started in 1859, the giant event has grown to host 300 food stands and 500 dessert stands. The fair’s 322 acres house goats, lamas, cows, horses and hundreds of other farm animals.

Judson Avenue is home to all the animals and where the owners get to show them. Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum and Compeer Arena host all the horseback riding, cattle, goat, lamb, pig and even lama shows. There are about 200 animals born each year at the Miracle of Birth Center. This center allows people to experience how different animals give birth and see newborn farm animals. The center is mainly run by University of Minnesota veterinary students.

Mighty Midway and Kidway offers of plenty of rides and games of skill and chance (mainly chance).

Performances are put on across the fair at many stages. There are feature artists every day, shows by 4-H members and performances by dogs, lumberjacks and skaters.

In 2019, 38 new food stands were added to the fair. From corn on the cob to thick bacon to cookie buckets, the fair has every type of food you might crave.

More than 50% of fair attendees use public transportation or ride their bikes to the fairgrounds. With 11 entrances right next to five parking lots, two bicycle lots and taxi drop-offs, the fair has most transportation needs covered.

The next Minnesota State Fair will be held from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7 of 2020.