The Great Minnesota Get-Together: food, music, fun

Millions will flock to the Minnesota State Fair that kicks off Thursday in Falcon Heights. Here are some new attractions to expect this year.
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Millions will flock to the Minnesota State Fair that kicks off Thursday in Falcon Heights.

The 12-day event with everything from sword-swallowers to swine opened at 6 a.m., MRP reports. People were lined up at the gate before dawn.

The No. 1 attraction? Many would say: food. Over 30 new food items have been added this year including Bacon Ice Cream, Chicken Nachos On-A-Stick, Spaghetti Sticks and Red Velvet Funnel Cake. Eating gluten-free? MinnPost put together a list of food that's safe to enjoy.

The Heavy Table is looking for your state fair food photos. Submissions for the food photography contest will be judged in three categories: Instagram, general and overall. Share your photos using hashtag #HTSF.

In an annual tradition, Princess Kay of the Milky Way was crowned on the eve of the fair. Christine Reitsma, an 18-year-old from Sauk Centre, will be a goodwill ambassador for the state's 4,000 dairy farmers.

The Grandstand lineup includes Bonnie Raitt Thursday night, who's returning to touring after a year-long hiatus, the Star Tribune reports. Other notable acts include Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton and Journey.

Among the new attractions this year is the "Luminarium," and WCCO offers a glimpse.

The fair recently made headlines amid concerns of swine flu, but fair officials say precautions are being taken and the pig barn will be remain open.

The fair runs through Labor Day.

A time lapse video shows the action at the last year's fair:

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Minnesota concoction on list of most ridiculous State Fair foods

Spaghetti Sticks -- a tasty concoction introduced at this year's Minnesota State Fair -- is on a new list of over-the-top foods served at fair events around the country. The list also includes a fried ice cream sandwich from the Florida State Fair and a hot beef sundae from the Tennessee State Fair.

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.