New tastes and sights at State Fair

Jill Yanish
Review staff

Leave it to the Minnesota State Fair to entice guests with new foods hitting the stick and plunging into the fryers.

This year’s new lineup of foods includes bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp on-a-stick, deep-fried pickles dipped in chocolate sauce and grilled glazed doughnuts on-a-stick.
Is your mouth watering yet?

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is Aug. 22-Sept. 2. The 12 days of fun include 48 additions to the Fair’s unique foods, as well as new attractions for people of all ages.
“The fair is a feeling,” said Brienna Schuette, marketing and communications manager of the State Fair. “It’s an end of summer celebration where people come to celebrate with friends and family before people go back to school and it gets colds and people have to hunker down for winter.”
Since 1859, the Minnesota State Fair has brought Minnesotans together, making it the largest state fair in the United States for daily attendance. Last year, the Minnesota State Fair had the second highest attendance record with 1,788,512 people, just shy of 2009’s record of 1,790,497.
“It’s a magical place where you learn new things and create memories with friends and family,” Schuette said.

Taste-it out
The Minnesota State Fair will once again not disappoint with its unique tastes, some of which may leave you puzzled. Here’s a list of a few of the new foods and where to find them this year at the Minnesota State Fair.

Big Andy
Philly steak on top of a quarter-pound hamburger, sautéed onions, red and green peppers and melted American-Swiss cheese.
Location: Andy’s Grille on Carnes Avenue, near Chambers Street.

Bourbon Wurst
Homemade pork sausage seasoned with sage, caraway, nutmeg and infused with whiskey.
Location: Sausage by Cynthia on Judson Avenue, just off Nelson Street.

Deep Fried Bread Pudding
Bite-size cubes of deep fried bread pudding drizzled with hot caramel sauce.
Location: O’Gara’s at the Fair on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street.

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Shrimp On-A-Stick
Grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon served on a stick.
Location: The Shrimp Shack on Underwood Street at Carnes Avenue.

Flavored Corndogs
Choose corndog flavors of jalapeno cheese, sweet corn or double bacon.
Location: Campbell’s Flavored Corndogs on Cosgrove Street, across from the Education Building.

Fried Pickles ‘n’ Chocolate
Deep fried pickles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of chocolate for dipping.
Location: Preferred Pickles on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street.

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
Fresh lobster in a dish of creamy macaroni and cheese.
Location: Oodles of Noodles inside the Food Building on the east wall.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Malts and Sundaes
Soft-served ice cream with homemade peanut butter sauce and grape jelly.
Location: Goertze’s Dairy Kone on Cooper Street, behind the Leinie Lodge Bandshell.

Wine Glazed Deep Fried Meatloaf
Homemade meatloaf deep-fried on a stick glazed with red pepper wine.
Location: Minnesota Wine Country on Underwood Street, across from the Agriculture Horticulture Building.

New attractions
In addition to scoping out the State Fair classics like the butter head sculptures, Miracle of Birth Center and the Skyride, be sure to check out these new attractions.  

EquiMania!
Horse enthusiasts will have a heyday at the interactive horse exhibit that includes full-size skeletons and anatomy models, as well as education for rider safety and horse behavior. The EquiMania! exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in the Horse Barn.

“Ice” Skating and D1 Backyard Rinks
Fairgoers will have the chance to ice skate in summer. D1 Backyard Rinks will create an NHL-style scene - no, the ice won’t be real; it’s synthetic. D1 will even provide skaters with skates and socks. Cost is $3 for 10 minutes of skate time. The rink is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and is located on Randall Avenue, south of the Progress Center.

Military Appreciation Day Flyover and Vietnam Era Veterans Parade and Program
Watch the skies during the Military Appreciation Day on Aug. 27 in Carousel Park for four T-6 Texan World War II Trainer airplanes.

DNR Fish Aquariums
Check out the renovated fish exhibit in the DNR Building that now includes five new larger aquariums. Each tank displays natural habitats for the fish, such as the St. Croix River and lakes around Minnesota. The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Arts A’Fair
Surprise pop-up showcases of music, dance and theater will entertain guests throughout the fairgrounds. Numerous performance groups will display the local art talent of Minnesota.

Minnesota State Florist Association Floralpalooza
Minnesota florists have put a new spin on Dr. Seuss books - they interpret the beloved literary works with flowers and botanical materials. This display is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (8 p.m. on Labor Day) in the Agriculture Horticulture Building Rotunda.

Did you know?
Minnesota State Fair facts by the numbers
• 450 different foods
• 500,000 corndogs consumed each year
• 25 acres of corn sold at the Corn Roast booth in 2012
• 85-90 pounds of butter used to sculpt Princess Kay of the Milky Way
• 338,000 dozen mini donuts eaten each year
• 600-800 people attended the opening day of the first State Fair in 1859
• 3-4 years for the average cow to produce all the milk served during the Fair’s 12-day run at the All-You-Can-Drink milk booth
• 2.6 million cheese curds battered and deep-fried

Admission fees
Regular admission at the gate
Adults (13-64): $12
Seniors (65 & over): $10
Kids (5-12): $10
Children (Under 5): Free

Discount days
Thrifty Thursday (Aug. 22)
Adults: $10
Seniors: $10
Kids: $7
Children: Free

Seniors and kids day (Aug. 26)
Adults: $12
Seniors: $7
Kids: $7
Children: Free

Military appreciation day (Aug. 27)
(Must present valid documentation of military service)
Active military, their spouses and kids: $7
Retired military and their spouses: $7
Military veterans and their spouses: $7

Read and ride day (Aug. 28)
(Must present valid public library card)
Adults: $10
Seniors: $7
Kids: $7
Children: Free

Seniors day (Aug. 29)
Adults: $12
Seniors: $7
Kids: $10
Children: Free

Kids day (Sept. 2)
Adults: $12
Seniors: $10
Kids $7
Children: Free

Jill Yanish can be reached at jyanish@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7825.

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