There will be a bunch of new things to do at the Minnesota State Fair this year.
Fair organizers shared a slew of new attractions, exhibits, vendors and programs for the upcoming Great Minnesota-Get Together, which runs Aug. 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6.
Here's a look at them:
Joyful World Mural Park
"Imagination and joy come to life as local artists paint 10 large-scale artworks that reflect the world they want to live in. Throughout the fair’s 12 days, artists will be on-site creating their murals," the fair says.
It'll be located on the west side of Chambers Street between West Dan Patch and Carnes avenues. Select artists on-site 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, weather permitting, with murals and information about the artists on display daily.
This new right at the Mighty Midway is a "spectacular" roller coaster that's 55 feet tall and "has all the ups and downs and twists and turns for that end of summer adrenaline rush," the fair says.
I'll be located at the Mighty Midway.
The American Red Cross will be hosting an expanded pop-up donation site at the North End Event Center "at a time when the national blood supply could use a big boost," the fair says.
It'll be located at the North End Event Center, on the north side of Murphy Avenue. Advance appointments are strongly encouraged.
Cattle Barn marks 100 years
The Cattle Barn was completed in 1921, so it'll be celebrating 100 years this year. It was originally known as the Livestock Pavilion and is a "massive brick structure" that covers 117,450 square feet with housing for 1,000 cattle.
Architect Clarence H. Johnston designed the building (he also designed Williams Arena, Northrop Auditorium and Glensheen Mansion, among others).
To mark the occasion, fairgoers can view an educational timeline outlining the building's milestones, and participate in a photo opportunity to commemorate 100 years.
More new food vendors
In addition to the four new food vendors previously announced, the State Fair says there will be two more:
— Baba’s: Featuring a variety of hummus bowls and served with warm or fried pita. Located on the east side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues, just south of Little Farm Hands.
— Solem Concessions Cheese Curds and Mini Donuts: Featuring brand-new blueberry mini donuts, plus classic cheese curds in Cajun (new to the fair), ranch, garlic and original flavors. Located on the east side of Underwood Street between Murphy and Lee avenues.
Destination Healthy Skin
The Skin Cancer Foundation’s mobile skin cancer education and screening program will offer free full-body skin exams by licensed dermatologists in a specially equipped RV on Aug. 28.
Screenings are available first-come, first-serve and are subject to physician availability. No appointment is necessary.
It'll be located on Underwood Street, north of Murphy Avenue and east of the Pet Pavilion.
Catch Co.'s Bassmobile
Catch Co. will share the "joy of fishing" with fairgoers in its outfitted RV, which has family-friendly games, activities, giveaways, and fishing gear products for sale on Sept. 6.
It'll be located on the south side of Wright Avenue between Underwood and Cooper streets.
Fraser Sensory Building
"This brand-new take-a-break sensory space in the Fraser Sensory Building will offer a calming atmosphere, support staff and private side entrance for guests of all ages with sensory-processing challenges who may find the sights, sounds and smells of the fair overwhelming," the fair says. "Fraser-trained sensory support volunteers will help fair guests calm their sensory systems with tools and techniques, so they can rejoin the fun."
Activities include games, giveaways, special guests, employment information and educational resources. Fraser is a nonprofit that intersects the needs of autism, mental health, and diverse intellectual, emotional and physical needs.
It'll be located on the west side of Cosgrove Street, south of the Home Improvement Building. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except it'll close at 8 p.m. on Labor Day.
North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Cart Central Regional Finals
Premier draft horse hitches from 12 states and central Canada will compete at the prestigious Central Regional Finals exhibition, with a spot in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series World Finals Championship at stake.
It'll be held at 3 p.m. on Aug. 26 at the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum. It's free with fair admission.
Free COVID-19 vaccination clinic
All eligible fairgoers will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the community vaccination clinic in the North End Event Center. No appointment, identification or insurance is necessary.
Crop Art To Go Competition
Those who participated in last year's Crop Art To Go kits can submit their creations into the new competition category for 2021.
"Unique to the Minnesota State Fair, crop art is made from Minnesota-grown seeds, stems and other plant parts, and the talent, humor and creativity of Minnesotans is on full display in the Agriculture Horticulture Building," the fair says.
The deadline to register is Aug. 13 for those who have a summer or holiday edition of the kit and would like to enter. The kits are sold out and are no longer available.
It'll be located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building.