10 Secrets We Bet You Didn't Know About the State Fair

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Time to make the trek to the Minnesota State Fair, where food is forced onto sticks and dreams of being skinny are drowned like a Twinkie in batter. BUT, we bet there are a couple things you might not know about the Minnesota State Fair. So we present to you the Top 10 Secrets You Don't Know about the State Fair.

Minnesota State Fair

You may also want to check out our complete Minnesota State Fair Guide, no matter if it's your first time or you consider it an annual pilgrimage we've put together all the reasons you should make a trip out to this year's fair.

1. It's not always about the food.

There are more than 1,300 booths and exhibits that are not food related. You can also visit the Mighty Midway which includes a new 55' high roller coaster!

2. New Fair foods go through an intense selection process.

Many elements go into choosing new foods and new vendors at the Minnesota State Fair. Criteria include the following when making new selections: the amount of experience the vendor has at other fairs or shows, presentation and appearance, the balance of similar products/services about the fairgrounds, appropriateness of product to the available site and uniqueness.

3. Keeping that bucket of Sweet Martha's Cookies all to yourself may not be such a good idea.

You probably can imagine how many calories it would take to eat one bucket of cookies. Well it's 4,800 to be exact. So do the right thing and please share your cookies - for the good of all.

4. United States presidents like our State Fair too. 

Some history buffs might know this, but in 1901 Teddy Roosevelt actually gave his “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” speech while he was serving as Vice President. 

We’ve also had a lot of other presidents visit the Fair; Presidents Hayes, Kennedy, Coolidge, Eisenhower, Harding, and Taft have all visited the State Fair at one time in their life.

5. The lowest attended day is usually opening day.

In 2019, opening day at the Fair was at its record highest attendance with 133,326 people (122,695 in 2018), which doesn't come close to the average typical day at the Fair. That number is usually around 177,000 people. So if you're looking to beat the crowds and long lines try to go on the first Thursday.

6. Christina Aguilera has a special spot in State Fair History

In 2000, Christina Aguilera preformed to a sold out crowd at the Grandstand. This broke the all-time record for most tickets sold to a single Grandstand show. She currently still holds that record at 22,117 tickets sold.

7. No you are not experiencing Déjà vu. There are actually two official Fair mascots.

Fairchild and Fairborne are the official Minnesota State Fair mascots and are related. Fairchild is Fairborne’s uncle, and they both can be seen daily throughout the fairgrounds. Want to be able to tell them apart? Here's a hint: One wears green stripes and the other wears blue.

8. Prince never performed at the Fair.

If it had happened though, that would have been the ultimate Minnesota experience!

9. You need a really good excuse to cancel the Fair.

The Fair started in 1859 and has only been cancelled 6 times:
1 & 2. In 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict
3. In 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago
4. In 1945 due to war-time fuel shortages
5. In 1946 due to a polio epidemic
6. and more recently, in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

10. It takes 6-8 hours to carve someone's face out of butter.

Every year the Midwest Dairy Association selects the honorary title Princess Kay of the Milky Way to the winner of the Minnesota Dairy Princess Program. And that lucky princess gets to have her face carved out of a block of butter. She also gets a scholarship and will serve as an official good-will ambassador for the Minnesota dairy industry. But you have to admit it would be pretty cool to see yourself as a butter sculpture.