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State Fair: Stratosphere works, return of sideshows, campaigning with crop art

The World of Wonders Palace of Illusions is back at the State Fair midway this year, following a two-year hiatus. The sideshow’s organizer, Ward Hall, says disappearing for a couple of years is not such a bad thing because it means folks haven’t seen the fire eater, headless woman, escape artist, or sword swallower in these parts for awhile. And Hall should know. The 83-year-old has been promoting human oddities for 67 years.

Tuesday was another busy day at the Fairgrounds. You may have heard that the River Raft stopped working. The Stratosphere, however, reported smooth sailing after leaving riders stranded in their swings on each of the Fair’s first two days.  A Pioneer Press reporter took a head-cam with him to show us the view from the ride when it’s working.


The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra – facing an uncertain future – took its case to the public with a rare performance on a stick.

French Meadow Bakery revealed it was victimized by thieves late Friday.

And MPR shows us how artistic and political expression are melding in the agriculture building.



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