University of Minnesota showcases entertainment, research and outreach at the 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together

The University of Minnesota is gearing up for the 2015 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.

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 Vocal U and MinnesoTap; a life-sized Operation game presented by the Medical Devices Center; “Where in the world does our State Fair food come from?” game show hosted by The National Center for Food Protection and Defense; 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 here. The U of M Building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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, cheering on engineering teams as they showcase Rube Goldberg machines, and the 4-H Purple Ribbon beef auction. Saturday, August 23rd  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 the Minnesota Weather Quiz broadcast with Extension climatologist Mark Seeley, and cold climate housing strategies that could minimize your utility bill.

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 and carrots on wheels, racing down a ramp similar to 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 to answer questions, and an insect zoo. The Bell Museum of Natural History and 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.

Driven to Discover
Stop by and join U of M researchers in the second year of projects at the Driven to Discover Building. Boasting more than 30 projects, there’s something for ever fairgoer to join in on, contribute to, or learn more about. Projects this year range from law and values to exercise science 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.

Freebies and Giveaways
Throughout the MN State Fair, visitors will find many freebies and giveaways from U of M affiliated organizations. U of M backpacks and sunglasses will be given away daily at the U of M Central building. Supplies are limited. 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. 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 Fair.

President and Mrs. Kaler visit
University President Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen, will visit the fair August 28. The Kalers 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.

STEM Day is Aug. 27
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. Stage events include the U of M's Physics Force show and demonstrations by the University's Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity.

Maroon and Gold Day is Sept. 6
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.

A free shuttle runs daily from free parking locations on the U’s Minneapolis campus (with the exception of Sept. 3). The public is welcome to park and ride from these locations. For detailed parking and shuttle information, visit the State Fair website,

Download the new UMN@TheFair app at to see the entire schedule of activities and events.




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