Ten great UMN things to do at the fair

August 3, 2017
Band members march at the Minnesota State Fair.

The 12-day run of the Minnesota State Fair is also a great University of Minnesota get-together! Here are 10 attractions that will leave you informed, entertained, or carrying home freebies. See a complete lineup of events at our State Fair website.

Goldy poses at the Minnesota State Fair.

10. Pictures with Goldy. The nonstop hijinks of Goldy Gopher bring smiles to kids and adults alike. Have your photo taken with Goldy each day from noon to 1 p.m. at the U of M Central.

4-H children at the Minnesota State Fair.

9. U of M Extension. The State Fair celebrates Greater Minnesota, and U of M Extension also engages the entire state through science-based education and research. See Extension 4-H youth, Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, pollinator experts, and more.

Gopher athletes talk with visitors at the Minnesota State Fair.
8. Gopher athletes on stage. On Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit with Golden Gopher athletes from various sports and feel their excitement for the upcoming seasons. U of M Central Building.

A person affixes post-it notes to a board.

7. Interact with CFANS. The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences wing in the Agricultural/Horticultural Building has a new look and numerous ways to share stories and engage in conversations with experts. 

A promo photo for the Hypoxic Punks.
6. U students (and faculty) rock! Check out the bands Whosah (Aug. 25) and Hypoxic Punks (pictured here, Sept. 1) on the stage at U of M Central, both of which feature current U of M students or faculty.

A man doing something resembling research
5. Research and you.  Be a part of U of M research in a fun, innovative, and convenient way. You can partake in a research study lasting no more than 30 minutes, and you won’t even need to remove your fanny pack. Driven to Discover Building.

The GOpherACure logo

4. Going for a cure. The Masonic Cancer Center and MHealth are teaming up at the U of M Central Building on Aug. 31. It’ll be Goldy vs. cancer as we #GOpherACure. There will be free skin and oral cancer screenings, as well as great giveaways.

The U of M Marching Band struts at the Minnesota State Fair.
3. The Pride of Minnesota. Check out the University of Minnesota Marching Band on Maroon and Gold Day (Sept. 3) as its members stride, strut, smile for the cameras, and punctuate the parade from 2-2:45 p.m.

STEM Day at the Minnesota State Fair.

2. STEM Day. Experience science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and interactive environment on Aug. 24. Stage events include the popular Physics Force show. At Carousel Park, next to the Grandstand.

Backpacks, sunglasses, and lip balm that will be given away at the Minnesota State Fair.
1. Giveaways! Next to “fair,” everyone’s favorite four-letter word is free! This year’s swag for visitors to the U of M Central Building includes backpacks, stylish maroon-and-gold sunglasses, and, to whet your appetite for apple season, Honeycrisp-flavored lip balm. “Explosively smooth!”