Whether a trip to the Minnesota State Fair is your annual tradition or this is your first visit, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for the Great Minnesota Get Together.  With tasty new foods, fun new attractions, and a stellar grandstand lineup, here’s a sneak peek at what to expect at this year’s fair, which will run from Aug. 22-Labor Day, Sept. 2

Need a place to stay during your visit to the Minnesota State Fair?  Inver Grove Heights hotels are a convenient option, offering a complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, and special State Fair hotel packages

New foods

Every year, the Minnesota State Fair offers an inventive lineup of crazy, delicious, and deep-fried delights, and 2019 is no exception. 

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

Some of the more unique new items include cheesy sriracha funnel cake bites (Funnel Cakes); a deep-fried pickle stuffed with bratwurst (Swine & Spuds); and fried tacos on-a-stick (Midtown Global Market’s Taco Cat).

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

Meat lovers are in luck, with offerings like duck wings (Giggles’ Campfire Grill), a brisket-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich (RC’s BBQ); and grass-fed grilled lamb chops (Holy Land).  A few vegetarian options include deep-fried feta bites (Dino’s Gyros) and a grilled sandwich made with cinnamon nut butter and blueberry marmalade (Brim).

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

Save room for dessert, with new items like a blueberry key lime pie (Farmers Union Coffee Shop); peaches n’ cream nachos made with cinnamon sugar pita chips (Bridgeman’s Ice Cream); and waffles stuffed with Reese’s peanut butter cups and Fruity Pebbles cereal (Nordic Waffles).  For the ultimate sugar rush, try the Halo Cone from Rainbow Ice Cream: a combination of cotton candy and blue raspberry soft serve served on cotton candy and sprinkled with candy.

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

New food vendors include Brim, which offers gluten-free baked goods and organic beverages; Blue Ox Burger Bar; Funky Grits; iPierogi; Kora’s Cookie Dough; Strawberries n’ Creme; and Thelma’s Handmade Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

A complete listing of new foods is available here.

New attractions

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

Fairgoers will notice the biggest changes at the fairgrounds’ North End, including a new event center hosting an Angry Birds exhibit with hands-on interactive activities exploring science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  The revamped North End will also feature Minnesota-based specialty merchants such as the Minnesota Distillers Guild and GoodThings. 

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

Looking for a great photo opp? There’s a new 24-foot-tall cornstalk and 6-foot figures including State Fair mascot Fairchild, Paul Bunyan, and Babe the Blue Ox.

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

There are also some new additions to State Fair standbys, including new rides at the Midway and Kidway, updated displays at the Eco Experience, and two new stops on the self-guided History Walking Tour (visit 8 of the 12 stops to collect a prize!)

A full list of new attractions is available here

Grandstand Stage Lineup

While the new food and attractions capture much of the limelight, the Minnesota State Fair is also a great opportunity to catch a concert.  This year’s lineup offers something for everyone. 

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

The grandstand concert series will kick off with Hootie & Blowfish with the Barenaked Ladies on August 22.  For oldies fans, Tommy James and the Shondells will be performing on August 26; Daryl Hall & John Oates are playing on August 28; and ZZ Top’s 50th anniversary tour will take the stage on September 2.  Country music acts include Dierks Bently on August 24 and Trace Adkins and Clint Black on August 25.  A complete listing of grandstand shows and ticket details is available here.

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair also offers 900 free shows included with the price of admission, with over 100 acts including Dessa, Herman’s Hermits, Lonestar, and much more. Schedules and stage locations are available online.

For complete information about the Minnesota State Fair, including the information on this blog, visit www.mnstatefair.org