Preston kelly's guide to The State Fair

Pronto pups. The Giant Slide. Four-legged animals covered in afterbirth. These are the things we Minnesotans find iconic at the Fair. Here at Preston Kelly, we’ve marked these iconic items on a GPS-enabled map so you won’t miss the most important stuff.

TO THE MAP!
  • food
    Tom Thumb mini donuts
    by
    Watch little circles of dough travel down a lazy river of oil to become grown-up mini donuts. Then they’re showered with an ungodly amount of sugar. Then you eat them.
    Go to Map
    food
    All-you-can-drink milk
    by Allie
    Where else would you want to be with your bucket of Sweet Martha's Cookies? Conveniently located nearby.
    Go to Map
    food
    Sweet Martha's Cookies
    by Dan R
    A quintessential iconic fair item. You get a whole bucket of them! If you eat them all, you’ll have an empty bucket that comes in handy for riding the rides.
    Go to Map
    food
    Pronto Pups
    by Peter
    Eat a pronto pup. Eat a corn dog. Talk about how they're different. Repeat.
    Go to Map
    food
    French fries
    by Anne S
    Look for the iconic yellow stands throughout the fair. Fries are easy to overlook, but these are completely worth your snackhole’s consideration.
    Go to Map
    food
    Ice cream from the Dairy Barn
    by Ann
    This is the best soft serve ice cream you have ever had. No lie. Others in the Twin Cities have tried to replicate it, but none have come close.
    Go to Map
    food
    Corn on the cob
    by Anne T
    This is Minnesota, people. You can’t leave without trying one of Minnesota’s claims to fame. They will ask if you want it dipped in a big vat of butter. Your answer is “yes.”
    Go to Map
    food
    Food on a stick
    by Bud
    The fair’s biggest claims to fame are interesting foods curiously stuck on stick. Most notably, the pork chop and the deep-fried Snickers bar.
    Go to Map
    beer
    The beer garden
    by Charlie
    It’s not a bar. Or even a beer stand. It’s a beer garden. And that makes it all the more magical.
    Go to Map
  • rides
    Giant slide
    by Beth
    Oh, what? It's for kids? You're too cool to go down a dorky giant slide? Whatever. You're at the fair with a corn dog in your hand. You're not that cool.
    Go to Map
    rides
    Skyride
    by Heather
    Want to see the fair in all its glory? Go on the Sky Ride in your own private gondola to get the lay of the land. It’s much better at night.
    Go to Map
    rides
    Ye Old Mill
    by Jaime
    The iconic mill houses a boat ride where you’ll find yourself amongst wooden cartoon-like cutouts or pitch-black darkness. It’s a hilarious can’t miss.
    Go to Map
    rides
    Space Tower
    by Erin
    Voted one of the best fair rides, this 340 foot slow-moving tower gives you 360-degree rotating look at the fair in Zen-like fashion.
    Go to Map
    look
    The Mighty Midway
    by Chris
    Three grubby pool balls, crooked cues and the giant stuffed dog you can win just for sinking three balls in successive shots. Iconic Midway sleaze.
    Go to Map
    look
    Lumberjack Show
    by Ryan
    There could be blood.
    Go to Map
    look
    International Bazaar
    by Ly'Neys
    Different stuff from different cultures. Like jewelry, moccasins, rugs and gnome taxidermy. There’s also a stage and some say the nicest bathrooms at the fair.
    Go to Map
    look
    Grandstand
    by Liz
    Concerts galore. If you don’t have tickets yet, it might be too late. But you can probably still get into a talent show or two.
    Go to Map
    look
    Shopping at Merchandise Mart
    by Chuck
    The best of the people you see on infomercials in person! Buy something you don’t need, but will never forget. Just make sure you feel like lugging that item around the rest of the day.

    Go to Map
  • look
    Butter sculpture
    by Sherri
    Check your butter knife at the door.
    Go to Map
    look
    Fairchild the Gopher
    by Scott
    Hail Fairchild, the official mascot of the fair. Gaze upon his compelling directional guidance and fair barker attire.
    Go to Map
    look
    Haunted House
    by Nicki
    The iconic haunted house has been here forever. Complete with creepy characters outside who will try to lure you in.
    Go to Map
    look
    Machinery Hill
    by Mark
    If you have kids, you’ll want to bring them here so that they can beg you for a tractor. Or any of the latest and greatest farm equipment.
    Go to Map
    look
    Seed Art
    by Stacy
    If you’re a violent sneezer, it’s best you don’t enter the Ag-Hort building—unless you want to risk ruining amazing seed landscapes or portraits of Lady Gaga.
    Go to Map
    animals
    The Coliseum
    by Dawn
    Quarter horses. Mini horses. Giant Clydesdales. If you’re a horse lover, and we know you are, this is the place to be.
    Go to Map
    animals
    Miracle of Birth Center
    by Katie
    Because babies are cute! And it IS a miracle. Four legs with hooves? Man, you have to pause for appreciation.
    Go to Map
    animals
    DNR Pond
    by Dan D
    Get up close and personal with the Minnesota fish you’ll never catch. There’s also canoe making and falcon demos.
    Go to Map
    animals
    Giant boar
    by Leah
    Rest assured, when you go to the fair, you’ll see a record-breaking boar, usually lounging in the animal barn, not listening to any fitness advice or fat jokes.
    Go to Map
find your favorite fair fancies
Go to Map
food Tom Thumb mini donuts by
food All-you-can-drink milk by Allie
food Sweet Martha's Cookies by Dan R
food Pronto Pups by Peter
food French fries by Anne S
food Ice cream from the Dairy Barn by Ann
food Corn on the cob by Anne T
food Food on a stick by Bud
beer The beer garden by Charlie
rides Giant slide by Beth
rides Skyride by Heather
rides Ye Old Mill by Jaime
rides Space Tower by Erin
look The Mighty Midway by Chris
look Lumberjack Show by Ryan
look International Bazaar by Ly'Neys
look Grandstand by Liz
look Shopping at Merchandise Mart by Chuck
look Butter sculpture by Sherri
look Fairchild the Gopher by Scott
look Haunted House by Nicki
look Machinery Hill by Mark
look Seed Art by Stacy
animals The Coliseum by Dawn
animals Miracle of Birth Center by Katie
animals DNR Pond by Dan D
animals Giant boar by Leah
fairly iconic
fairly iconic

View as Map

View as List

Go Fair Yourself!

Help us figure out the MOST iconic thing at the fair. Vote now with our iconic-o-tology bracket. Just by playing you’ll automatically be entered into our weekly drawing for free fair tickets. Plus the grand prize of 2 tickets to see the Avett Brothers + 2 tickets for entry to the fair.

Start Voting