University of Minnesota System showcases impact on state at 2019 Minnesota State Fair

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 2019 Great Minnesota Get-Together, featuring a 12-day schedule of events and exhibits that highlight the University’s research, education and outreach across the state and world. Below is an outline of key events and activities that the U of M is providing during the Minnesota State Fair. Visitors are encouraged to view the entire schedule of activities and events at

About U of M
The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Visit

U of M at the State Fair highlights:

Driven to Discover research building
The Driven to Discover (D2D) research building, located at 1367 Cosgrove Street, welcomes fairgoers to participate in active University research while at the fair. In the building, researchers engage in community-focused discovery by conducting experiments and surveys to solve grand challenges. With more than 50 projects, there’s something for every fairgoer to participate in, contribute to or learn more about. Project topics this year range from 3D avatars, to robotic printing, driving simulations, preventing the flu, 3D hand scans, brain development, insects as food, augmented reality, milk and more. Over 60,000 fairgoers visited D2D in 2018! A complete list of research projects is available at

President Joan T.A. Gabel and Dr. Gary Gabel visit the State Fair
On Friday, Aug. 30, President Joan T.A. Gabel and Dr. Gary Gabel will visit the Great Minnesota Get-Together for the first time in her presidency. During the visit they will experience and tour the University’s Driven to Discover research building, the U of M Central building, meet 4-H’ers, view U of M projects throughout the State Fair grounds and visit the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) wing in the Agriculture Horticulture Building. President Gabel and Dr. Gabel will also join the University of Minnesota Marching Band in the parade on Sept. 1 at 2 p.m.

Goldy vs. Cancer Day
The Masonic Cancer Center, M Health Fairview and the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs are teaming up to take over the Driven to Discover Building on Aug. 23 to engage Minnesotans in all aspects of cancer research and care happening at the U of M. Check out free skin and oral cancer screenings, giveaways, interactive exhibits and games, lab presentations and exhibits with experts. Follow along on social media by searching #GOpherACure. For more information visit

Maroon and Gold Day
Check out the U of M Marching Band, the Pride of Minnesota, in the State Fair parade on Maroon and Gold Day, Sept. 1st. Band members will join President Gabel and Dr. Gabel in the parade from 2-2:45 p.m. Fair visitors are also encouraged to proudly wear their maroon and gold attire!

U of M Central
The U of M Central building and stage, located at 1673 Dan Patch Avenue in the Crossroads Building, will feature an array of programming throughout the 12 days of the fair. Events and exhibits include music and dance performances by student artists; U of M Marching Band Alumni and MinnesoTap; a unique mix of slapstick humor and science through presentations by Physics Force; opportunities to interact with Gopher athletes and teams; and demonstrations by many university colleges and departments.  Guests can also shop for systemwide merchandise and Gopher game tickets. A full schedule is available on The U of M Central Building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Extension and 4-H activities
All across the State Fair, visitors will see the U of M’s statewide impact through 4-H, a U of M Extension youth development program that engages K-12 participants from all 87 Minnesota counties. Activities include Arts-In performances, a llama costume competition and more than 2,500 projects showcased in the 4-H building. Additionally, over 2,500 youth will exhibit livestock in the animal barns during the first four days of the fair. Extension experts and attractions are also in the U of M Central building and other locations, Visit for more information.

CFANS displays and activities
CFANS will feature an interactive display in the Agriculture Horticulture Building. CFANS experts, scheduled throughout the length of the fair, will present innovative science-for-life on several topics including natural history specimens from the Bell Museum, crop development and renewable agriculture resources, sustainable turf management, bugs as food of the future, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and more. Extension Master Gardeners will also be on hand with tips and answers to garden and yard questions. View the full schedule at

Freebies and giveaways
Throughout the State Fair, visitors will find many freebies and giveaways from U of M affiliated organizations. U of M fanny packs will be given away daily at the U of M Central building at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Supplies are limited. Additionally, visitors who participate in U of M trivia at the main stage or visit other U of M locations at the fair will have the chance to win prizes and giveaways. 

A free shuttle runs daily from parking locations on the east bank of the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis (with the exception of Aug. 29 due to Gopher Football). The public is welcome to park and ride for free from various surface lots on campus. For detailed transportation information, visit

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:  @UMNtwincities

Media Contacts

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University of Minnesota, Twin Cities