UMN celebrates 158 years at the Great Minnesota Get Together

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

The University of Minnesota is gearing up for the 2017 Great Minnesota Get-Together, featuring a 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 visit to view the entire schedule of activities and events at Check out the top 10 things to do at the Fair at

About the University of Minnesota
Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota is ranked among the nation's top public research universities. As a land-grant institution, the U of M is committed to engaging Minnesota, national and global communities to advance interdisciplinary knowledge; enhance students' academic, civic, career, social and personal development; and apply intellectual and human capital to serve the public good. The U of M has five system campuses across Minnesota: Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester.  Visit to learn more.

U of M at the State Fair highlights:

Thursday, August 24 

New Driven to Discover Building opens (contact: Caroline Marin,, 651-497-5530)
Be one of the first participants in the newly renovated research building, run by the U of M. The updated building makes it easier for researchers and fairgoers to collaborate on studies, conduct experiments and surveys, and engage in community-focused discovery. Each study takes under 30 minutes, many with compensation for participating. See a full study schedule at or pop by and see how you can get involved.

STEM day at the Fair (contact: Lacey Nygard,
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 Bell Museum's ExploraDome, a traveling planetarium. Stage shows include the U of M's Physics Force.

Driven to Ensure you Thrive as you Age (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Addressing the needs of our aging population is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge. Seniors long to grow and thrive, but they face insidious diseases and a shrinking pool of family caregivers. U of M researchers are promoting healthy aging from every angle, from designing spaces where seniors can age in place, to supporting caregivers to studying the interplay between diabetes and dementia and developing a cure for Alzheimer’s. Stop by the U of M Central stage for a panel discussion about healthy aging at 2 p.m.

Friday, August 25

President and Mrs. Kaler visit the State Fair (contact: Lacey Nygard,
The Kalers will visit the Great Minnesota Get Together and tour the U’s Driven to Discover research building, The U of M Central building, engage with 4-H’ers, participate in a Physics Force stage show, view projects throughout the State Fair grounds and visit the newly designed CFANS wing in the Agriculture Horticulture Building.

Livestock weekend (contact: Erin Kelly-Collins,, 612-910-6054)
Be sure to visit the livestock barns during the weekend as 4-H’ers show nearly 3,000 cows, horses, pigs, sheep, poultry, rabbits and more.    

Saturday, August 26

4-H Day at the Fair  (contact: Erin Kelly-Collins,, 612-910-6054)
It’s 4-H Day at the Fair. Throughout the Fair, Minnesota 4-H youth show projects at the State Fair, giving them a chance to showcase accomplishments and continue learning. Keep up with what’s happening in 4-H through downloadable apps on

Sunday, August 27

CFANS on the DNR Stage (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Researchers and educators from CFANS and the Bell Museum will facilitate family-friendly interactive presentations including “Good bacteria to keep Minnesota Water clean” - Satoshi Isshi, Department of Soil, Water and Climate (11 a.m.); “Aquatic Insects: The good, the bad, and the fascinating” - Jeff Hahn, Department of Entomology (1 p.m.); and “Aquatic Creatures” - Jennifer Menken, Bell Museum + Planetarium (3 p.m.).

Monday, August 28

Check your balance and your blood pressure (contact: Caroline Marin,, 651-497-5530)
Feeling a little off kilter as you traipse around the Fairgrounds? Interested in learning more about how electrical stimulation can help you rebuild or restore muscles? Stop by to learn more about physical rehabilitation and therapy in the health zone at the U of M Central building, where experts from the Medical School’s Division of Physical Therapy will be doing testing on balance, electro-stimulation, and blood pressure from 3-9 p.m.

Lifespan Human Connectome Project hits the Fair (contact: Caroline Marin,, 651-497-5530)
Navigate the brain in a way never before possible in this nationwide study focused on mapping the brain’s complicated connections. The University of Minnesota is one of four sites in this major study and researchers will be on the Fairgrounds, ready to share more about the bold Human Connectome Project and engage interested participants.

Tuesday, August 29

Appearances by The Raptor Center (contact: Paige Calhoun,, 612-518-2975)
Meet winged ambassadors from The Raptor Center at several locations throughout the Minnesota State Fair, including August 29 at the U of M Central Building stage. Show times: 10 and 11 a.m. Education birds and staff visit with Fairgoers, answer questions, and conduct wildlife demonstrations. For a full schedule of shows, visit The Raptor Center’s website at

Wednesday, August 30

CFANS interactive experience (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Check out the new interactive exhibit in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences wing in the Agriculture Horticulture Building. The display has a new look and numerous ways to share stories and engage in conversations with experts. Throughout the State Fair, Extension Master Gardeners will be in the Agriculture Horticulture Building to answer fairgoers questions about lawns, gardens and more.

Thursday, August 31

University of Minnesota vs. Cancer (contact: Max Huber,, 612-396-3828)
Going for a cure: The Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Health are teaming up at the U of M Central Building on August 31. It will be Goldy vs. cancer as we #GOpherACure! Check out free skin and oral cancer screenings, giveaways and stage shows with experts. For more information visit

Friday, September 1

Driven to address the opioid crisis in your communities (contact: Caroline Marin,, 651-497-5530)
Opioid addiction is a growing epidemic nationwide; the U of M is driven to find solutions big and small to tackle this public health crisis. Stop by the health zone at the U of M Central building September 1  to learn more about safe medication disposal, how to get involved in your community to support friends and family, and the research being done to turn the tide on this dangerous addiction. Then test your knowledge with trivia and fact games with what you’ve learned for a chance to earn prizes!

U of M Faculty rock (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Check out Hypoxic Punks, a band composed of four professors from the U of M. The band will be featured on the U of M Central stage at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 2

Minnesota 4-H State Arts-In (contact: Erin Kelly-Collins,, 612-910-6054)
Throughout the State Fair, Minnesota 4-H’ers will present the ever-popular State Arts-In live musical performance. Each year, State Arts-In youth perform at least 35 shows to 12,000 audience members in the 4-H building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. 4-H’ers showcase their skills at singing, dancing, acting, instrumental accompaniment, costume design, set construction and technical work.  Check out this year’s schedule at   

Sunday, September 3

Maroon and Gold Day (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Check out the U of M Marching Band, the Pride of Minnesota, on Maroon and Gold Day as its members join the parade from 2-2:45 p.m. Fair visitors are also encouraged to proudly wear their maroon and gold attire!

Solar Vehicle Project (contact: Lacey Nygard,
Visit the Solar Vehicle Project Team, made up of CSE undergraduate students, in U of M Central as they prepare for their race across the Australian Outback this fall. They’ll also be at the Fair on Sept. 4.

Labor Day, Monday, September 4

Alumni Marching Band (contact: Lacey Nygard,
It’s your last chance to catch a rousing performance from the U of M Alumni Marching Band. They perform on the U of M Central stage August 24, September 3 and 4 at 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.

Additional helpful information:

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 U of M Building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Driven to Discover
Stop by the newest building on the Fairgrounds, to 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 community building to concussions 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 at

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 virtual reality, 4-H Arts-In performances, and cheering on engineering teams as they showcase Rube Goldberg machines. August 26th is 4-H Day at the Fair. Visit for details and a free app. Also, find out about other Extension activities, such as ask a Master Gardener at

CFANS Displays and activities
The University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) will feature a new interactive display in the Agriculture Horticulture Building. The exhibit features a life-sized take on connect-the-dots, a Post-It wall for sharing college memories and larger-than-life photo booths. Find out about low-maintenance turf, bioreactors, new crops, and all the ways CFANS is a path-breaking center of science for living. Displays staffed with plant scientists and Extension Master Gardeners will be ready with consumer-friendly tips and answers to garden and yard questions. The Bell Museum + 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.

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 U of M giveaways include temporary tattoos, backpacks, pins, pens, t-shirts, bike lights, magnets, magnifying glasses, keychains, Goldy Gopher ears and more. A complete list of giveaways is available on 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, the U of M and the Minnesota State Fair.

A free shuttle runs daily from parking locations on the U’s Minneapolis campus (with the exception of August 31 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, download a map of the U of M Park and Ride lots at

Social media
Visit to see the entire schedule of activities and events, and follow the U of M at the State Fair through #UMNonaStick on our social media channels.
Twitter: @UMnews
Instagram:  @UMNpics

Media Contacts

After hours line
University Public Relations
(612) 293-0831
Public Relations
University Public Relations main line
University Public Relations
(612) 624-5551
Public Relations
Lacey Nygard
University Public Relations
Public Relations
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities