U showcases entertainment, research and outreach at the 2016 MN State Fair

August 24, 2016
State Fair

The University of Minnesota is gearing up for the 2016 Great Minnesota Get-Together, showcasing an impressive 12-day schedule of events and exhibits that highlight the U’s research and outreach across the state and world. Below is an outline of events and activities that the U of M is providing during the Minnesota State Fair. Visitors are encouraged to download the new UMN@TheFair app to see the entire schedule of activities and events and check out the top 10 things to do at the Fair.

U of M Central
The U of M building and stage will feature an array of programming throughout the 12 days of the Fair. Events and exhibits include music and dance performances by student bands, U of M Marching Band Alumni and MinnesoTap; a unique mix of slapstick humor and science through presentations by Physics Force; Apple tasting with Pete Moe; opportunities to interact with Gopher athletes and teams; and demonstrations by many of the U’s colleges and departments. A full U of M building and stage schedule is available on the UMN@TheFair app. The U of M Building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Driven to Discover
Stop by and join U of M researchers in the third year of projects at the Driven to Discover Building. Boasting more than 30 projects, there’s something for every fairgoer to join in on, contribute to, or learn more about. Projects this year range from laughing and chatting to agriourism to bullying and more. Be a part of the groundbreaking research the U of M is known for! The Driven to Discover Research Building is located across from the Education Building and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the Fair. A complete list of research projects being hosted this year is available here.

Extension and 4-H activities
In addition to many experts and attractions in the U building, fairgoers can check out the U’s statewide impact by visiting the 4-H Building. 4-H, a U of M Extension youth development program, engages K-12 participants from all 87 Minnesota counties. Nearly 6,000 exhibits and performing arts shows will feature the knowledge and skills 4-H’ers have acquired throughout the year. Approximately 2,200 ‘blue ribbon’ kids will exhibit livestock in the animal barns. Activities in the 4-H Building include operating a drone, 4-H Arts-In performances, and cheering on engineering teams as they showcase Rube Goldberg machines. August 27th  is 4-H Day at the Fair. Visit 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair for details and a free app. Also, find out about other Extension activities, such as ask a Master Gardener.

CFANS Displays and activities
The University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) display in the Agriculture-Horticulture Building will host “Veggie Races” (potatoes, carrots and corn on wheels, racing down a miniature version of the Fair’s Giant Slide) as well as a walk-through greenhouse staffed with plant scientists and including consumer-friendly tips on plant health; a photo booth; Extension Master Gardeners and trivia games. The Bell Museum of Natural History + Planetarium will showcase real specimens on loan from the museum's collections — everything from butterflies to fossils — and will give away buttons and other prizes. Visitors can find the popular paper “Goldy Ears” in the CFANS exhibit and wear their Gopher pride proudly around the Fairgrounds.

Freebies and Giveaways
Throughout the MN State Fair, visitors will find many freebies and giveaways from U of M affiliated organizations. U of M sunglasses and Honeycrisp apple flavored lip balm will be given away daily at the U of M Central building (sunglasses at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., lip balm at noon and 6 p.m.). Supplies are limited. Other giveaways in U of M Central include temporary tattoos, pens, post-it notes, t-shirts, coffee mugs, buttons, Goldy ears, window clings and more. A complete list of giveaways is available on the UMN@TheFair app. In the event of rain, U of M ponchos will be handed out at U of M Central. If the temperature soars above 90 degrees, water bottles will be given away. Additionally, visitors who participate in U of M trivia at the main stage will have the chance to win items. Throughout the run of the fair, free sunscreen will be provided at all information booths through a partnership of Vanicream Sunscreen, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Fair.

President and Mrs. Kaler visit
On August 26, University President Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen, will visit the fair and host UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Hanns Kuttner. The group will tour the U’s Driven to Discover research building, engage with 4-H participants and view projects throughout the State Fair grounds and visit the CFANS wing in the Agriculture-Horticulture Building. Goldy Gopher and Bucky Badger will also tag along and participate in a few ‘border battles.’

STEM Day is Aug. 25
Experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and interactive environment in Carousel Park. Visitors can engage in hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations, including the University Bell Museum's ExploraDome. Stage shows include the U of M's Physics Force.

Maroon and Gold Day is Sept. 4
Visitors are encouraged to proudly wear their maroon and gold attire, stop by the U of M building to show their love for the U in an Instagram photo opportunity and watch the U of M Marching Band in the 2 p.m. State Fair Parade on Maroon & Gold Day.

Transportation
A free shuttle runs daily from parking locations on the U’s Minneapolis campus (with the exception of Sept. 1 due to Gopher Football). The public is welcome to park and ride for free from various surface lots on campus. For detailed parking and shuttle information, visit the U of M Parking and Transportation website.

Follow UMN at the State Fair through #UMNonaStick on our social media channels.

Media Contacts

24-hour line
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
(612) 293-0831
Email: 
unews@umn.edu
Lacey Nygard
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
612-625-0552
Email: 
ljnygard@umn.edu
U News main line
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
(612) 624-5551
Email: 
unews@umn.edu