LIST: New Attractions and Exhibits for the Minn. State Fair

Updated: 06/19/2013 8:24 PM By: Leslie Dyste

Photo: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.

We're just two months away from the Minnesota State Fair. It runs Aug. 22 through Labor Day. The state fair announced its new attractions and exhibits for 2013.

The following list is courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.


This comprehensive horse exhibit features full-size skeletons and anatomy models, dental tools, tail-braiding and leg-wrapping activities, an 80-foot-long digestive tract, and stations detailing horse behavior, rider safety, careers and more. This free interactive education center for horse enthusiasts of all ages is presented by Equine Guelph, the horse owners' center at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Located in the Horse Barn

Arts A'Fair

In celebration of arts in Minnesota, fair guests will be entertained by drumming, dance, theater and music in surprise pop-up showcases throughout the fairgrounds. The inaugural Arts A'Fair will feature performances by COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company, Duniya Drum and Dance Company, Green T Productions, History Theatre, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Live Action Set, Mu Performing Arts, Stages Theatre Company, Summerset Theatre, TigerLion Arts, University of Minnesota Centennial Showboat, and Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre & School. Stop by the Arts A'Fair space in the Education Building to learn more about these groups. Arts A'Fair is supported by contributions made to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation from individuals and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Located throughout the fairgrounds


Smart Solutions for Aging at Home – This interactive exhibit is designed to help visitors and caregivers facing the challenges of aging or chronic health issues envision how they can transform their current homes into more user-friendly spaces. Each room of this "idea house" will showcase innovative product solutions and services that help support independence – ranging from simple household goods to new wireless technology to meal services and more. The Front Porch Stage will feature speakers, demonstrations and entertainment. WISER LIVING is a partnership of the Minnesota State Fair, Aging Services of Minnesota and Older but Wiser Living.

Located on the street level of the 4-H Building

Luminarium Exxopolis

This spectacular walk-through sculpture of winding paths, enchanting coves and soaring domes saturates guests in the beauty of light and color. In the structure's breathtaking pinnacle, 10 intricately composed "stained glass" windows climb three stories high. Inspired by natural geometry, Islamic architecture and Gothic cathedrals, Exxopolis is constructed of 32,000 square feet of plastic shaped into 9,000 individual pieces joined by nearly four miles of seams. Created by England's Architects of Air, the Luminarium Exxopolis is open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $4; children under 5 are free.

Located at the intersection of Cooper Street and Murphy Avenue, east of the Pet Center

Heritage Square Variety Showcase

Vaudeville family fun comes to the Heritage Square Stage each night at 5:30 p.m. Fair guests can enjoy the unique talents of a ventriloquist, juggler, comedians, musicians and magicians performing on different nights throughout the fair. For a complete schedule, visit

Located on the Heritage Square Stage

The LEGO Road Trip

This free creation station makes a stop at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Busy hands can build at the DUPLO® area, test their technique on a race ramp and play games at the Family Challenge Zone. Families can also snap a photo memory of their junior builders posing with life-size LEGO models.

Located on Wright Avenue, south of Baldwin Park

Minnesota State Florist Association Floralpalooza

Eight premier Minnesota florists each showcase their visual interpretations of beloved Dr. Seuss books. Flowers and botanical materials will engulf the Agriculture Horticulture Rotunda as each exhibit stretches 24' long in a flourish of color and magical whimsy. Visitors may cast a "People's Choice" vote for the display that captures their fancy.

Located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building Rotunda

Eco Experience: New Highlights – An array of new exhibits highlight innovations in green technology, the latest in environmentally focused living, and easy, everyday conservation how-tos:

• The Gen Y Eco-House is designed and constructed by University of Minnesota College of Design students. Combining Gen Y lifestyle trends and sustainability principles, the house features flexible living spaces, SuperWall technology, energy-efficient appliances and more.

• A new outdoor demonstration area features daily talks at noon on topics such as urban chicken farming and beekeeping, straw bale gardening and edible container design.

• Highlights of additional new exhibits include: a visually stunning display of 12,000 aluminum cans; home energy options; green building and remodeling products and techniques; electric, hybrid and compressed natural gas vehicles; Minnesota's drinking water; kids games; healthy, local food in schools; reducing waste and toxicity in manufacturing; care for urban trees; green products made in Minnesota; timely topics, cooking demonstrations and films on the Sustainability Stage; and more.

Located in the Progress Center

Canstruction® – Canstruction® showcases four super-sized agriculture-themed sculptures that are constructed entirely from thousands of cans of food. Created by teams of architects, designers, engineers and contractors, the designs were originally part of Canstruction® competitions and events, which are held internationally and raise more than 3.4 million pounds of food donations each year. These structures will be dismantled post-fair and donated to Second Harvest Heartland. (Canstruction® is sponsored by Syngenta.)

Located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building

Krazy Maze

The Krazy Maze is designed for adventurous visitors who wish to lose themselves in a maze filled with lights and music. Maze explorers become a spectacle as family and friends watch the excitement from a viewing deck. Cost is $5 per person.

Located in Adventure Park (Sponsored by Coca-Cola.)

Mighty Midway & Kidway

• Air Raid: The Air Raid takes riders on an acrobatic flight in all directions. Carrying riders upside down and side-to-side, this ride is a true thrill-seeker's dream.

• Big Bamboo Fun House: This beach-themed fun house is equipped with a waterfall, hammock, suspension bridge and much more.

• Riptide: This rollercoaster provides a healthy rush of adrenaline. Riders can travel fast up and over hills, ending with a grand spiral helix finale.

• Kiddie Coaster: Kidway adventure-seekers will squirm with excitement as they dip through the bumps and turns of this miniature rollercoaster, all the while riding inside of a large animated dog.

Located on the Mighty Midway and at Kidway (Sponsored by Sensodyne)

DNR Fish Aquariums

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit, installing five larger aquariums. Each tank will show fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeast Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes. The new tanks are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.

Located in the DNR Building

Military Appreciation Day Flyover and Vietnam Era Veterans Parade & Program

In celebration of Military Appreciation Day, presented by USAA on Aug. 27, four T-6 Texan World War II Trainer airplanes will thrill fair guests with a missing-man formation flyover. The flyover will take place following the 10:25 a.m. flag-raising ceremony at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell and the parade of Vietnam era veterans proceeding from the Bandshell to Carousel Park. Up to 10,000 bandanas will be given away to fair guests along the parade route to wave in honor of service members.

Located at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, Carousel Park and skies above the fairgrounds

Playatta Interactive Video Adventures

Visitors will have the chance to turn themselves into an instant music video star. They can choose a themed adventure, adorn props and watch for live action cues. Backgrounds, narratives and video effects are added to create a custom print photo or 30-second video that can be shared via Facebook and email. Prices for up to four people range from $10 to $20.

Located southwest of the carousel in Carousel Park

University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS):

"Solutions in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources" – CFANS is tackling some of the world's most pressing challenges. Through interactive displays, hands-on activities for kids and advice from master gardeners, explore how these issues affect each of us.

Located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building

"Ice" Skating & D1 Backyard Rinks

D1 Backyard Rinks offers fair guests a chance to skate on a sheet of synthetic ice surrounded by NHL-style dasher boards, hockey signs, banners, locker rooms and music. D1 provides skates and socks for the perfect end-of-summer outdoor "ice" skating experience. Cost is $3 for 10 minutes of skate time.

Located on Randall Avenue, south of the Progress Center

L'Oréal Paris

At the L'Oréal Paris' Advanced Haircare Style Studio, visitors will have one-on-one hair consultations to find out which advanced haircare products are right for them. There will be a sensory bar, free samples, coupons and prizes. Guests can also learn about the L'Oréal Paris Hair Genius App.

Located east of the Agriculture Horticulture Building on Cooper Street (Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 only)

Creative Activities Competitions – Three Creative Activities competitions debut in 2013:

• Gold Medal® Flour Scratch Bakers Cookie Challenge: Any style, size or shape of baked-from-scratch cookies are welcome. Recipes must include any Gold Medal® flour. Entries will be judged on appearance, flavor and texture.

• Bisquick® Family Favorites Recipe Contest: Competitors will use Bisquick® mix to reinvent a classic appetizer or revitalize an everyday main meal. Taste, ease of preparation and overall appeal are the top judging criteria.

• Canning with Mrs. Wages® Competition: Contestants will use a Mrs. Wages® pectin product to wow the judges with an outstanding jam. Entries are scored on flavor, texture, appearance, size and shape of fruit, color, processing and proportion of liquid to product.

For contest requirements and information on how to enter these and other Creative Activities competitions, visit Registration deadline is 4:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Entry drop-off is mid-August.

Located in the Creative Activities Building

Minnesota State Fair History Walking & Cell Phone Tour

History meets high-tech in a new smartphone version of the Minnesota State Fair History Walking & Cell Phone Tour. Archival images, maps and text enhance powerful audio of personal memories and narrated history.

Information on how to access the new mobile website will be available beginning in mid-August at Whether taking this free self-guided tour on the fairgrounds or on the phone or computer, visitors will be treated to two new tour stops added in 2013, learning tidbits about food at the fair and digging into the rich history of the DNR Building and exhibits.

Located throughout the fairgrounds

Minnesota Cutting Horse Association Competition

This competition showcases athleticism, courage, intuition and expert horsemanship. Horse and rider "cut" a cow from a herd. Then, with explosive moves, they work to keep her separated from the group in an electrifying duel of instincts. Free admission.

Located in AgStar Arena (Aug. 26 & 27)

Bunny Booth

Visitors can visit the rabbit exhibit and distinguish the variations of sizes, shapes, fur types, colors, tails and ears. A sampling of rabbit breeds will stay all 12 days of the fair, even though the rabbit competitions are only held on the first four days.

Located in the Poultry Barn