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‘Carousel Park’ no more: what’s changing at the Minnesota State Fair for 2017

Today, August 7, was the first day in the Minnesota State Fair’s “lockdown.” Guards are positioned at entrances as vendors really gear up to get their booths ready for the expected 1.9 million people expected attend the 2017 Great Minnesota Get Together, which starts Thursday, August 24.

Before you head out the Fair this year, you’ll want to brush up on your lingo as some areas on the Fairgrounds have changed.

Don’t say: second level of the Grandstand
Say: The Veranda

New for 2017, The Veranda on the second level of Grandstand features local vendors and food. Photo credit: Minnesota State Fair

The Veranda, located on the second level of the Grandstand, is a big transformation for the State Fair. Not only will you’ll be able shop from local vendors (check out Hagen and Oats for extremely well produced wood art), you’ll be able to grab a bite. I tried The Hideaway Speakeasy’s Mobster Caviar at a preview event — it’s a cream cheese dip with crab meat, green onions, fresh red pepper and water chestnuts.

Mobsters Caviar
The Mobster’s Caviar, available at The Hideaway Speakeasy in the Minnesota State Fairground’s Grandstand

Don’t say: Carousel Park
Say: Dan Patch Park

State Fair staff are pushing out the name Carousel Park, the area just south of the Grandstand. But not much else besides the name will change. Dan Patch Park will still play host to special themed days, including STEM Day on Thursday, August 24 and Hmong Minnesota Day on Labor Day.

Don’t say: Ramberg Senior Center
Say: Ramberg Center

The Ramberg Senior Center’s sign is gone: the word ‘senior’ is being stripped from its name

The Ramberg Center, located near the corner of Judson and Underwood, is home to a relax and recharge station, featuring rocking chairs, phone chargers and free water. You don’t need be a senior citizen to go inside!


Don’t say: that stage with square dancers next to the Education Building
Say: Cosgrove Stage

Education Building
The stage in front of the Education Building is gone

The gazebo looking stage next to the Education Building has been ripped down. Instead, what’s promised as a bigger, more permanent structure is expected to go up between the Education Building and the Creative Activities Annex. It’ll still host performances by community groups, so if you’re worried about those square dance groups, you can sleep easy.

Soon, the Cosgrove Stage will take its spot. As of August 7th, it’s more of a dream than reality

As of August 7, the old stage was gone, but the new stage has yet to go up.

The Best of What’s New in 2017

Great Big Wheel.jpg
The Great Big Wheel is North America’s largest traveling ferris wheel. Photo credit: Minnesota State Fair

The Great Big Wheel is North America’s largest traveling ferris wheel. Riders will go 15 stories high with what is being promised as a fantastic view of both downtowns. It will feature 500,000 LED lights. The Great Big Wheel will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and costs $5 per rider. It’ll be hard to miss, but you’ll see it at the southwest corner of Randall and Cooper (previous home for myTalk 107.1).

View my complete Minnesota State Fair guide by clicking here.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Patty Morrissey (Wild Rose Cloggers)

    Mike – Not just square dancers at the Cosgrove Stage – cloggers too! We danced on the old stage for years and years and always worried about the knot holes and popped-up nails. I had a metal tap virtually eaten by the stage a few years ago. We’re excited to see the new surface and have fans already asking about what will be there for us. We’re hoping for the best but one way or another, we’ll put on a good show!!

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