Updated: 08/26/2013 5:54 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
It's the fifth day of the Minnesota State Fair, and it's going to be a scorcher. Here are some highlights of Monday's Great Minnesota Get-Together:
Seniors and Kids Day
It’s Seniors and Kids Day at the Minnesota State Fair, which means you can save a few dollars on admission prices for them. For a list of other discount days, visit our Links page.
Minnesota State Patrol Day
It’s also Minnesota State Patrol Day. If you want to see K-9 demonstrations, vintage squad cars, and meet the officers themselves, they will be just outside Heritage Square starting at 8 a.m.
Excessive Heat at the Fair
The Minnesota State Fair says it is ready to provide help to anyone who becomes ill due to the heat wave gripping the state this week. However, doctors are asking people to do their part as well.
Fair officials and doctors are asking people to drink plenty of water before coming to the fair. The goal is to ensure people are well hydrated before ever stepping through fair gates.
Fair officials say 32 people have been taken to hospitals during the first three days of the fair, and 115 other people have sought medical help. These statistics include heat-related illnesses.
The fair has opened several misting stations and more than 40 water fountains so people can refill plastic bottles. If you get sick and cannot make it to one of the two medical aid stations, call 911 for help.
If you think the heat would be keeping people away from the fair, you’d be wrong; nearly 171,000 people packed the fairgrounds Saturday, which is about 18,000 more than the same day last year. Crowds were also bigger on the first three days of the fair this year compared to last year.
The heat may have kept the crowds down Sunday. This year 145,706 attended the fair, which is down from the 185,485 people who went to the fourth day of the fair in 2012.
The Minnesota State Fair and its vendors are hoping to cash in big over the next two weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, gross sales last year reached as high as $1.5 million for some vendors. In total throughout the fair, gross food and beverage sales jumped to nearly $35 million last year, up from $25 million in 2007.
2013 Competition Results
There are a number of competitions at the state fair where judges will look for the best livestock, plants, exhibits and foods. Click here for real-time results.
Much is the same at the fair from years past, but there are a few new attractions and new foods for you to check out this time around. The Minnesota State Fair announced the addition of more than 40 new foods to the line-up, bringing the total to more than 450 foods from 300 concessions
Virtual Fair Tour
History meets high-tech in a new smartphone version of the Minnesota State Fair History Walking and Cell Phone Tour. In the tour, old photos, maps and text combine with audio of personal memories and narrated history. Access the new mobile website here.
You can take the free self-guided tour while walking around the fairgrounds, on your phone or on your computer. This year, two new tour stops were added about food at the fair and the history of the Department of Natural Resources Building and exhibits.
Find Us at the Fair
You can find 5 Eyewitness News at the fair. We’re in the building at the corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street, which is our usual location. You can catch a front-row seat to our newscasts starting with our midday newscast.
The 2013 Minnesota State Fair runs through Labor Day, Sept. 2. For complete information, click here.