Minnesota State Fair Announces New Attractions for 2016

ST. PAUL, MINN. (07/20/2016)(readMedia)-- The Minnesota State Fair is proud to announce dozens of new attractions for the 2016 Great Minnesota Get-Together. The following is a list of the State Fair experiences debuting this year.

Note: A gallery of high-resolution downloadable photos featuring a selection of the new attractions is available for media use at the following link: http://www.mnstatefair.org/general_info/media_galleries.html

Hen House

Two flocks of hens take up residence in this brand-new exhibit showing modern housing designed for egg-laying feathered friends. State Fair visitors can discover more about how farmers use different egg production systems to produce safe and wholesome food, and see a backyard chicken coop up-close.

Located in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (3 p.m. on Labor Day)

Recipe Card Roundup

This year's Recipe Card Roundup giveaway features six top ribbon-winning recipes from 2015: Zesty Salsa, Strawberry Jam, Banana Bread, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars, Apple Pie (filling and crust) and Chocolate Brownies. A limited quantity of these collectible cards will be given away at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (while supplies last) each day in the Creative Activities Building. (A schedule of which recipes will be given away on specific days will be available in August and listed in our Fun Finder and daily schedules.)

Located in the Creative Activities Building. Limited quantity given out daily at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (recipes vary by day)

National Park Service Centennial Day at Carousel Park

Minnesota's six national parks come together to host a day celebrating the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Hands-on activity stations by the parks and their partners educate, entertain and inspire fair guests to get to know and treasure our national parks. Stage entertainment by The Lost Forty, Asian Media Access, Mark Twain and Trivia Mafia. Visitors can collect an exclusive State Fair-only stamp as part of the National Park Service passport program.

Located at Carousel Park on Monday, Aug. 29, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Garden Kaleidoscopes & Floralpalooza: Color Your World

Fair guests have the opportunity to peer into distinctive garden kaleidoscopes and see gorgeous flowers transform into mesmerizing images of color and movement. These three unique metal sculptures and spinning flower bowls are created by artist Robert C. Anderson of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. "Floralpalooza: Color Your World," a collection of botanical couture designs by the Minnesota State Florist Association, and a festive player piano also fill the rotunda of the iconic Agriculture Horticulture Building.

Located in the Agriculture Horticulture Building Rotunda. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (8 p.m. on Labor Day)

Kemps Little Farm Hands – New Features

New hands-on learning adventures have sprouted at Kemps Little Farm Hands, the pint-size mock farm experience especially for young fair fans ages 3 to 10. Little farm hands can explore why soil erosion occurs, the importance of pollination, the work of honeybees, how water travels in a cycle, and what rain barrels do. Children get to meander through a new path in the Field of Knowledge to get an up-close look at soybeans, wheat, a straw bale garden and a variety of sunflowers. These new activities join Little Farm Hands favorites – riding a tiny tractor, milking a cow, gathering eggs, planting crops and more – that walk children through the agricultural journey from farm to grocery store. Sponsored by Kemps, Cub Foods, John Deere Co., Faribault Woolen Mill Co., Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Cargill.

Located at Kemps Little Farm Hands. Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The Great Yoga Get-Together at Carousel Park

A novice wondering what the "downward-facing dog" rage is all about, or a long-time practitioner who can hold the most challenging yoga poses, will experience different styles of yoga at this event at Carousel Park. Experienced instructors lead a variety of classes in formats ranging from powerful flow to a light workshop to an educational seminar. Area yoga studios also host activities, prize drawings and giveaways and share information about the benefits of yoga.

Located at Carousel Park on Sunday, Sept. 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

New Construction on the State Fairgrounds

• A new 6,540-square-foot restroom located just south of Kidway on Cooper Street is home to men's and women's facilities and 14 family restrooms. In all, the building includes 47 shiny white toilets, 38 sinks and two drinking fountains/water bottle filling stations.

• The 35-year-old Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park has been replaced with a new stage. The structure will enhance the experience for families enjoying the stage's high-energy dance, silly antics, amazing feats of strength, magic, classic children's music and the MSF County Fair Talent Contest.

The new restroom is located south of Kidway on the west side of Cooper Street. The Family Fair Stage is located at Baldwin Park, south of Randall Avenue and west of Cosgrove Street.

New Competitions

• 4-H Minnesota Meat Grilling Contest: Teams of 4-H'ers are given 30 minutes to prepare and grill Minnesota-produced meat. Participants are judged on taste, appearance and knowledge of nutrition. Their final product, incorporating competitors' choice of processed rubs and seasonings, can be the grilled meat itself or the grilled meat worked into a salad creation. (Friday-Sunday, Aug. 26-28, outside the northeast corner of the Warner Coliseum; times vary. Details at http://www.extension.umn.edu/youth/mn4-h/state-fair/)

• Draft Horse Barrel Racing: Known for being regal and majestic, draft horses will stretch out their stride and thunder around barrels in this competition making its debut at the State Fair. (8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, in the Warner Coliseum)

Located at the Warner Coliseum.

Eco Experience – New Highlights

An array of new exhibits highlights the latest in easy, everyday reduce-reuse-recycle how-tos, healthy cooking, innovations in green technology and transportation, and other compelling topics on environmentally focused living.

A sampling:

• A 15-foot Paul Bunyan re-fashions his outfit to call attention to a giant-sized waste problem: Minnesotans throw away nearly 12 grocery carts of clothing and textiles every MINUTE.

• A more than 14-foot-long living greenwall created by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls highlights study findings that show foliage can positively impact college students' wellbeing and academic performance.

• An elegant, solar-powered "Getaway Tiny House" features a lofted sleeping and seating area.

• A 7-foot tall pop-up book provides photo opportunities while offering a story on reuse, recycle and repair.

Eco Experience is a partnership of the State Fair, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and more than 150 organizations and businesses across the state. It is the largest environmental event of its kind in the country. Visit ecoexperience.org for more information.

Located in the Progress Center. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

New Kidway Ride

Charlie Chopper airlifts pint-size pilots skyward for a birds-eye view of Kidway.

Located at Kidway, sponsored by DISH

Selfie Spots

Five iconic fairgrounds locations will be marked with a Selfie Spot badge on the ground. Visitors may stand on the badges to snap State Fair photo memories.

Located at five spots throughout the fairgrounds. Check out "Selfie Spots" in the Visitor Guide at mnstatefair.org, or stop by an information booth for exact locations.

Bulls & Barrels Championship

In the most heart-pounding eight seconds in sports, bull riders from across the Midwest vie for thousands of dollars in prize money. Plus, 12 of the region's premier horse and rider combos bolt through the cloverleaf barrel pattern in a race against the clock. A free event of the Minnesota State Fair Horse Show.

Located in the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum at 3 & 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5

Anniversaries of Fairchild and the Moo Booth

2016 marks significant anniversaries for these State Fair icons:

• Fairchild turns 50! Named in a statewide contest in 1966, Fairchild the Gopher wears a green pinstriped jacket and is often seen with his sidekick and nephew, Fairborne, who was introduced to the fair in 1983. State Fair visitors can pose for photos with the birthday boy daily at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Visitors Plaza.

• The Moo Booth in the Cattle Barn celebrates 25 years. Guests can watch cow milking, learn fascinating facts about cattle care and behavior, join in fun "cow-ntests" and demonstrations, see a showcase cattle breed, and more. There will be 25th anniversary activities daily at 12:30 p.m. and an anniversary party at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, following the Celebrity Milking Contest.

Located at Visitors Plaza and the Cattle Barn

Arts A'Fair – New Groups

These pop-up showcases celebrate performing arts in Minnesota. Making their Arts A'Fair debut this year are Carly Wicks, Chicks on Sticks, Dreamland Arts, Interact Theater Company, and Mixed Precipitation. Returning for encores are Black Storytellers Alliance, COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company, Duniya Drum & Dance, Green T Productions, Ifrah Mansour, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Open Eye Figure Theatre, Stages Theatre Company, Theatre of Fools, Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, and Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre & School.

Located at the Education Building Courtyard and West End Market

Gate #18 Trolley Route

A free ADA-accessible trolley will run along Randall Avenue with stops at Buford Avenue and Gate #18 at Dan Elmer Way. The trolley, which runs 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. daily, will serve guests who enter at Buford Avenue or park at the Robin Lot.

Located on Randall Avenue with stops at Buford Avenue and at Gate #18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m.

CHS Miracle of Birth Center History Highlight

In the 15 years since it was established and 10 years since the move to its current location, the CHS Miracle of Birth Center has become the most popular free exhibit at the State Fair and is the birthplace of nearly 200 calves, lambs, goats and piglets each fair. The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association coordinates 150 volunteer veterinarians to staff the center, along with University of Minnesota interns and FFA members who feed and care for the animals. The CHS Miracle of Birth Center is a new stop on the self-guided History Walking and Cell Phone Tour. Pick up a tour brochure from the History & Heritage Center or at any tour stop on the fairgrounds, or call (877) 411-4123 to listen anywhere.

Located at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center

Special Exhibits

Fifteen traveling exhibits make a stop at the fair this year. New exhibit highlights include:

• Go RVing (Aug. 25-28): Sponsor of Family Fair. Promotion of RVing through RV tours, giveaways and games.

• Malt O'Meal (Aug. 25-Sept. 5): Sampling 15 varieties of cereal.

• Red Baron (Aug. 25-27): Giving away Red Baron pizza samples.

• Silver Jeans (Aug. 25-Sept. 5): Providing custom fitting sessions and onsite sales of Silver clothing.

Located throughout the fairgrounds

New Merchandise Vendors – For 2016, the Minnesota State Fair welcomes more than 50 new merchandise vendors selling goods including upcycled gifts, home and garden décor, foodie products, gadgets, apparel, accessories and home solutions. These vendors join the nearly 1,000 existing merchants who offer exceptional merchandise and great savings.

Located throughout the fairgrounds. For more information and a complete list of shops and vendors at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair, use the online, searchable Merch & More Search. This tool is also part of the free State Fair App for iPhones and Androids.

Media: A gallery of high-resolution downloadable photos featuring a selection of the new attractions is available for media use at the following link: http://www.mnstatefair.org/general_info/media_galleries.html

Public: For more information on new attractions visit: http://www.mnstatefair.org/fun/16_new_att/

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting 1.8 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota's finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information. The 2016 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 25 - Labor Day, Sept. 5.