Ten #UMNonaStick things to do at the fair

August 10, 2016
A marching band wearing gold T-shirts walks while playing at the Minnesota State Fair with the Skyride operating overhead.

From raptors and bees to performances and freebies, the U has something to offer everyone at the Minnesota State Fair. Download the UMN@TheFair app to see the entire schedule of activities and events.

1. Giveaways!

Did somebody say “free”? We’re talking Goldy Gopher glasses, Honeycrisp-flavored lip balm, water bottles, mixtapes, and more. Visit all the University of Minnesota locations around the fair and see what freebies are there for the taking! Details

2. Pictures with Goldy

Have your photo taken with everyone’s favorite mascot—Goldy Gopher—at the U of M Central building, Goldy will be on hand every day at the fair from noon to 1 p.m. Be sure to post your U of M picture with our #UMNonaStick hashtag.

3. A ‘Force’ of nature

Take a few crazy scientists, mix in basic physics, top it off with slapstick comedy, and you have an incredibly entertaining science show by the Physics Force on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3. Details  

4. This will have your rapt(or) attention

Join us on Aug. 25 to see live raptors and learn about their role in the environment. Raptor Center programs are educational and entertaining, whether they’re at the St. Paul campus or the fair. This will be a nose-to-beak experience you won’t soon forget! Details

5. Research and You

Learn how the new Driven to Discover Research Building (located at 1367 Cosgrove) is crowdsourcing research at the fair. Investigators will describe fascinating studies that you can be a part of—at UofM Central on Aug. 26, 29; Sept. 2. Or visit the Driven to Discover Research Building to see what research studies you could participate in! Details

6. U students (and alumni) rock!

Check out the bands Color Tab, Drift, Sister Calypso, Kendric Voss, and Whosah—all of which feature current U students or alumni—and pick up a free digital #GoldyRocks Mixtape. Concerts take place on Aug. 25, 27; and Sept. 2, 4. Details

7. A beard that’s all the buzz

The U’s bee exhibit at the Agriculture Horticulture Building runs every day of the fair, but on Aug. 31 is your chance to see a live bee beard! Details

8. U of M Extension

The "Great Minnesota Get-Together" wouldn’t be as great without Greater Minnesota represented. University of Minnesota Extension serves the state’s agricultural needs, engaging individuals and organizations in asking the challenging questions to discover science-based answers that make a difference in our communities. Extension offers many fun and educational opportunities at the State Fair, and is the largest U of M presence there, with over 6,000 Extension 4-H kids. Details

9. An Eco Experience

In the EcoExperience Building you can learn about energy-efficient initiatives, the creation of chemicals and materials from renewable resources, and efforts to minimize waste and prevent pollution. Check out the U's Center for Sustainable Polymers exhibit to learn about bio-plastics. Details

10. The Pride of Minnesota

Check out the world-class University of Minnesota Marching Band on Maroon & Gold Day (Sept. 4), as members step, strut, and play their way across the fairgrounds during the parade. Wear your Gopher gear! Details

Bonus - Goldy Gopher and Bucky Badger
Join Goldy Gopher and Bucky Badger as they visit the Minnesota State Fair with U of M President Eric Kaler and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank on Friday, August 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. President Kaler and Goldy, and Chancellor Blank and Bucky, will visit displays, participate in a few friendly "border battles," and potentially build up the courage to take a ride on the Giant Slide. Goldy may even try a Wisconsin cheese curd! Details