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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.
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It was a bumpy start for opening day at the Minnesota State Fair after a main attraction malfunctioned Thursday afternoon. Twenty riders on the Stratosphere Swing Tower were left hanging 100 feet in the air for about twenty minutes because of a safety latch that became jammed. KSTP-TV says fair officials have determined the ride is safe and it is up and running.

The pig barn was less crowded on Day 1, KARE 11 reports, and saw a small drop in attendance. Dr. Tom Hagerty, a fair veteran, made the rounds on Day 1, making sure pigs aren't showing any symptoms of the Swine Flu virus which recently raised cause for concern. No sign of the virus was detected.

Bonnie Raitt's grandstand performance was cut short due to rain. The Pioneer Press reports Raitt's powerful version of John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery," created a quiet atmosphere so rarely found at the fair. Between songs, the artist expressed an affection for the Twin Cities.

Day 2 at the fair is the 14th Annual Governor's Fire Prevention Day. The fair's website says a flag-raising ceremony and firefighter memorial service will take place at 10:10 a.m. at the Leine Lodge. Fire safety activities will take place throughout the fairgrounds.

Country star Alan Jackson plays at the grandstand tonight. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $40. As of Friday morning, tickets are still available.

Food fans continue to flock to their favorite eats. The Heavy Table gives you the top ten.

Did you know Minnesotans will see nearly 170 baby animals born at the Miracle of Birth Center? And fair goers will drink 25,000 gallons of milk from the “All You Can Drink” Milk Stand? WCCO gives you the numbers.

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Wisconsin health officials report two cases of people infected with a new strain of swine flu. Both people are connected to the Wisconsin State Fair — a worker and a swine exhibitor, the Associated Press is reporting. This news comes on the heels of a report from a University of Minnesota scientist who found swine flu in a significant number of pigs at the Minnesota State Fair in 2009.