The Minnesota State Fair has revealed a bevy of new attractions coming to the State Fairgrounds this year.
Much of the State Fair's focus has once again been on expanding the fairgrounds' North End as it seeks to entice the massive crowds further north, and reduce congestion elsewhere.
Opening the State Fair's brand-new, 12,000-square-foot North End Event Center will be "Angry Birds Universe: The Exhibition," an interactive experience featuring the famous mobile game characters that will feature slingshots, a zip line, and build your own vehicle activities.
For older fairgoers and foodies, "The Sioux Chef" Sean Sherman, a James Beard Award winner, will be on hand at the new Indigenous Food Lab at Dan Patch Park, which will see indigenous chefs demonstrating Native American food.
Three new rides will debut at the Mighty Midway and Kidway, a huge array of new art exhibits have been announced, and the Eco-Experience will feature a giant block of ice.
Here's a look at what's coming:
Angry Birds Experience: "Be The Bird" exploring science, tech, engineering, art and math through hands-on interactive activities; build and race handheld vehicles; launch Angry Birds using "massive slingshots;" learn about egg sizes and flight dynamics; zip line to knock over foam structures.
Minnesota Corn Fairstalk: A 24-foot tall art installation in the North End celebrating Minnesota agriculture, with giant LED screens displaying facts about corn and farming.
The Indigenous Food Lab: At Dan Patch Park, the lab will have demonstrations of native food, with chefs who share the "history, cultural significance, culinary and medicinal uses, and preservation techniques of an array of ingredients and dishes."
New fairground rides: At the Mighty Midway will be "Sea Ray," a giant pirate ship that swings from side to side, and Zero Gravity, which sees "supersonic spins and centrifugal force combine for an adrenaline-rushing ride." At the Kidway, a new merry-go-round featuring colorful horses will debut. There will also be a celebration for the 50th birthday of the popular Giant Slide.
Goat Booth: Goats will get their own education station for the first time, giving fair-goers the chance to learn about one of the fastest-growing livestock exhibitions at the state fair. It'll be open from Aug. 30 to Sep. 2 inside the Sheep & Poultry Barn.
Statues by MN artist Adam Turman: Also at the North End will be 6-foot tall statues of State Fair mascot Fairchild, Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox; and Hotdish Girl.
Eco Experience: The showpiece of this year's Eco Experience will be an 18,000 pound block of ice that melts during the fair, "raising awareness of how climate change is shortening Minnesota’s lake ice season and the implications for our economy and ecology."
New vendors at North End: Making their State Fair debut will be Brim featuring the Grilled Sota Sandwich, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, GoodThings, Handsome Cycles, Homespun Gifts & Décor, Minnesota Distillers Guild, and Summer Lakes Beverage.
Food demonstrations: Bellecour's executive pastry chef Diane Moua, P.S. Steak's chef de cuisine Wyatt Evans, and Monello's chef de cuisine Nick Vasquez will give demos at the Cambria Kitchen at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively on Aug. 22.
Other new attractions: There will be BMX and skateboard tricks and demonstrations at 3 Lair Skatepark, on the southwest corner of West Dan Patch and Chambers, while a "Krazy Maze" on Randall Avenue near the Eco Experience is a "a super-sized race against the clock to find the hidden letters – and the way out."