Yoga, selfie spots and a meat-grilling contest are among the new attractions at this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together.
The State Fair announced Wednesday dozens of new attractions for this year's fair, which runs Aug. 25 through Labor Day, Sept. 5.
Here's a look at some of the new attractions:
The Great Yoga Get-Together
Yogis unite. Now you can practice your downward-facing dog at Carousel Park on Sunday, Sept. 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The fair says experienced instructors will lead a variety of yoga practices ranging from powerful flows to an educational seminar. There will also be prize drawings and giveaways to share the benefits of yoga.
The fair is helping people take even better selfies. There will be five "iconic" spots around the fairgrounds marked with a Selfie Spot badge where people are encouraged to stand and take a perfect selfie.
Here's a map of the locations – they include the entrance to the State Fair, outside the Grandstand, near the Mighty Midway, by the Space Tower and near the Eco Experience Progress Center.
Meat Grilling Contest
One of the new competitions this year is a 4-H Meat Grilling Contest. 4-H members are given a half-hour to prepare and grill Minnesota-grown meat, which will be judged on taste, appearance and knowledge of nutrition.
The competition runs Aug. 26-28 outside the northeast corner of the Warner Coliseum. For more information on 4-H at the fair, click here.
Draft Horse Barrel Racing
Draft Horse Barrel Racing is making its debut at this year's fair. The animals are known for being "regal and majestic," and will show off their skills in the competition on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 8 a.m. in the Warner Coliseum.
A trolley will run along Randall Avenue, making stops at Buford Avenue and Gate No. 18. The trolley is handicap-accessible and will serve people who enter the fairgrounds at Buford Avenue or park at the Robin Lot.
The service will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-9 p.m. daily.
Among the new construction at the fairgrounds is a new 6,540-square-foot restroom near the Kidway.
The restroom, which includes men's, women's and 14 family restrooms, has 47 toilets, 38 sinks and two drinking fountains/water bottle filling stations.
The facility replaces the one of the oldest at the fair, MPR News reported, and came as part of a $7 million improvement package to facilities on the fairgrounds. One of the major big improvements is the new stage for the Family Fair area in Baldwin Park, the fair says.
Other new attractions
Among the other new attractions at the fair:
- New Eco Experience exhibits, including a giant Paul Bunyan to call attention to the state's waste problem – Minnesotans throw away nearly 12 grocery carts of clothing and textiles every minute.
- A new Kidway ride: Charlie Chopper will airlift pilots in the sky for a birds-eye view of the Kidway.
- The State Fair's mascot – Fairchild the Gopher – turns 50 years old this year. People can pose with Fairchild from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Visitors Plaza.
- Fourteen traveling exhibits are coming to the State Fair, including sampling 15 varieties of Malt O'Meal cereal; Red Baron pizza samples; and custom fitting sessions of Silver Jeans.
- There will be 16 new gift and home decor vendors this year ranging from "lifelike 3D printed personal replicas" to a booth selling horse-themed apparel.
- Eight new food vendors – check them out here.