It won't be long now: Fair opens Thursday

It's a busy time at the state fairgrounds, where the big event opens Thursday. The changes this year include a new arena for livestock judging and pavilions for Minnesota-made wine and beer.
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The fairgrounds in Falcon Heights come alive this week with preparations for the big get-together that starts Thursday. The Associated Press also offers this lowdown that highlights what's new this year.

Here's a more comprehensive look at the new foods.

The grandstand act on opening night features Bonnie Raitt, but you also may spot the Grammy-winner wandering the grounds, drinking in the State Fair atmosphere.

Navigating the crowds is part of the State Fair experience. But it won't happen at the frenetic pace of this time-lapse video of scenes from last year's Fair.

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Related

Minn. State Fair celebrates new arena

The 27,000-square-foot AgStar Arena will be used for horse and livestock judging at the State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights. The new facility replaces the 1960s Judging Arena and Horse Annex that was demolished last fall. This year's 12 day Great Minnesota Get-Together kicks-off August 23.

Vets give pigs a clean bill of health as State Fair readies for opening day

A team of veterinarians was on hand to check up on the pigs that were checking in to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds Wednesday. None showed signs of the new swine flu strain that's been known to spread to humans. The livestock arrival was part of a day full of preparation for Thursday's opening.

St. Paul artist tapped for 2012 State Fair poster

St. Paul artist Joe Heffron beat out 50 others in a competition to design the Minnesota State Fair's 2012 Commemorative Art, which was unveiled Wednesday at the Fairgrounds. His design, which includes a rooster and flying cheese curds, captures the whimsy of the annual end-of-summer event.

State Fair has safeguards in place in case of severe weather

Although there's a small chance of severe weather in the Twin Cities this weekend, officials with the Minnesota State Fair say they are prepared for severe weather in the event something happens. Fair officials tell MPR that the fairgrounds are equipped with storm shelters and tornado sirens should any emergencies pop up.

Two men stabbed at State Fair

Police say two men are hospitalized after being stabbed at the Minnesota State Fair. A portion of the fairgrounds was closed after the incident near an arcade on Dan Patch Avenue. Police said it was not a random stabbing. There were no immediate arrests.

Minnesota State Fair off to rough start

Opening day at the fair started off a little bumpy with a brief ride malfunction and lower attendance at the pig barn after the Swine Flu virus raised cause for concern. Day two kicks of with the Governor's Fire Prevention Day and Alan Jackson performs at the Grandstand tonight.

Don't miss new attractions at the fair

New attractions at the fair include the Luminarium, the Mr. Bubble Foam pit and an surprising display by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.