Six Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Minnesota State Fair
Sure, it's been canceled for this year (thanks to our ongoing battle with the coronavirus), but how many of these other six facts do you know about the Minnesota State Fair?
We didn't get a chance to head to the Minnesota State Fair last year, as we getting ready to head to Italy and Spain for two weeks (a tough gig, I know!), so I was looking forward to taking in the Fair this year. But, as we know, that ain't happening (thanks for nothing, coronavirus!) By the way, did you know that this year's Fair was supposed to have been the 161st version? That's right, according to the State Fair website, the very first Minnesota State Fair took place WAAY back in 1859 (the year after Minnesota became a state) and has been running every year since then.
Well, every year except for THIS year, of course. Other years the Great Minnesota Get-Together didn't happen? Waaaay back in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War; in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; in 1945 due to federal government travel restrictions during WWII; and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic.
When the Fair IS up and running, one of our must-haves (at least for my wife) is a Corn Dog (not the very-closely-related Pronto Pup though). So, if you had to guess, just how many miles of foot-long hot dogs are eaten every year at the Fair? I guessed 10 miles but I was a little off-- the Fair site says a whopping 35 miles of hot dogs are consumed every year. (To put that into perspective, that amount stretches almost half the way between the Fairgrounds and Rochester.)
So what's the oldest amusement at the Fair? I guessed the Ferris wheel, but again, I was wrong. Ye Old Mill is actually the oldest amusement at the Fair, having made its debut back in 1915!
When I'm at the Fair, I love grabbing some of Martha's Cookies and then heading to the All You Can Drink Milk booth. Do you know how much milk they go through in an average year? I had no idea, but it turns out they churn through about 26,000 gallons of milk each year. Which is more than it takes to fill your average swimming pool!
And finally, do you know who broke the all-time record for the most tickets sold to a single Grandstand show at the Fair? I guessed Garth Brooks, who played the Fair back in 1991 and 1992, but again, I was wrong. It was actually... Christina Aguilera, who played the Fair 20 years ago, back in 2000.