If you’ve followed Team Minnevangelist for any length of time, you know that we’re absolutely bozonkers about the Minnesota State Fair. When its cancellation was announced due to Covid-19, we entered a period of mourning — then decided, NOPE. Not today, Satan. 😈
Instead of lamenting what wasn’t, we’re focusing on what is. The Great Minnesota Get-Together may not be happening in the traditional sense this year, but the team behind it still dreamt up soem fun ways to engage fans. Here’s what you can do in 2020:
1. Buy a 50-pack of official State Fair cups, available in three sizes: 12 oz., 16 oz., or 20 oz. ($12-$16). Swing by the State Fair Ticket Office on Friday, July 31, between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to claim yours, and bring cash or check — credit cards are not accepted.
2. Drink your sorrows away with State Fair-exclusive brews from Sociable Cider Werks (Sparkling Honey Hive, Raspberry Hard Cider), Big Wood Brewery (Chocolate Chip Cookie Beer), Lift Bridge Brewery (Key Lime Pie, Mini Donut Beer), and Excelsior Brewing Co. (S’Mores Beer). Or do what we did and overfloweth your fair cups with Minnesota-made bombers and tallboys from Ombibulous, an excellent beer & wine shop just 10 minutes from the fairgrounds. Pictured up top: Wild Mind Ales’ Wardenclyffe, a sour IPA with grapefruit and blood orange.
3. Join the first-ever Minnesota State Fair Food Parade! Tickets go on sale this Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m.; entry is $20 per vehicle and food costs extra. Time slots must be pre-booked (Aug. 20-23, 27-30, or Sept. 3-7) and 16 vendors are participating, including the Dairy Goodness Bar from Midwest Dairy, Tom Thumb Donuts, El Sol Mexican Foods, The Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Pronto Pup, Turkey to Go, Que Viet, West Indies Soul Food, and Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar.
4. Browse the work of talented Minnesota artists in the juried 2020 Fine Arts Exhibition. In-person gallery showings run from August 27 through Labor Day; tickets are $10 a pop and on sale now. Masks are required to enter and capacity will be limited to 25 percent. Can’t wait!
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave. N., Falcon Heights, MN; 651-288-4400.