State Fair Invites Community to Unite in Purple on Friday, Aug. 26

New Event Planned to Unify and Honor Minnesota's Own Prince

ST. PAUL, MINN. (08/08/2016)(readMedia)-- The Minnesota State Fair invites everyone to Unite in Purple and celebrate the life of Prince on Friday, Aug. 26 from 5 p.m. to close. Just like Prince, the State Fair brings people together, and together we will join in a State Fair-sized celebration of the life of Minnesota's beloved icon. Everyone who attends is encouraged to wear purple as a tribute to our famed native son.

Visitors to the fair on the night of Aug. 26 will experience:

• Prince music, tributes and cover songs at stages throughout the fairgrounds

• A Fireworks Spectacular sponsored by Mazda featuring a Prince tribute

• A sea of fair visitors in purple and Prince gear

• A Prince Party in the Park with music and dancing led by GenerationNOW's DJ Dudley D, Prince's personal DJ, at Carousel Park

• Lavender lighting on iconic fair buildings and carnival rides

• A one-night-only Lasertainment's Laser Hitz show featuring a Prince finale

• Unite in Purple glow bracelets for the first 5,000 guests through the gates after 5 p.m.

• Unite in Purple buttons for the first 7,500 visitors through the gates after 5 p.m.

Following Charlie Wilson and Fantasia's show at the Grandstand, the evening will conclude with the Minnesota State Fair Fireworks Spectacular set entirely to Prince music and featuring a special pyrotechnic Prince tribute.

Unite in Purple is produced by the Minnesota State Fair in partnership with event marketing consultants Sharon Smith-Akinsanya of the rae mackenzie group, inc. and Monique Linder of OMG Media Solutions.

About Sharon Smith-Akinsanya of the rae mackenzie group, inc: Sharon Smith-Akinsanya has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and marketing consultant, including working at Prince's Paisley Park Enterprises and Glam Slam Night Clubs as Director of Marketing. She is the founder and executive producer of high-profile events that celebrate diversity and inclusion like The Gathering! Women of Color Expo and the People of Color Career Fair. As the president and CEO of the rae mackenzie group, inc., Sharon has worked with major corporations, including Fortune 500s Target, U.S. Bank, Verizon Wireless, General Mills, Best Buy, Microsoft, and AT&T to develop strategies, concepts, ideas and partnerships that build strong relationships with communities of color. Sharon has many accolades, including being named one of the Twin Cities Business Journal's "Top 25 Most Influential Women." Additionally, her strategic consulting firm, rae mackenzie group, inc., was a recipient of a Twin Cities Business Journal Minority Business Award. For more information, visit

About Monique Linder of OMG Media Solutions: Monique is the founder of OMG Media Solutions, a media, marketing, communications, technology and business strategy company. Her expertise includes developing solutions that address critical business and organizational challenges to help businesses grow and meet their goals. Her 25 years of experience include executive management positions at CBS Radio and iHeartMedia, (formerly Clear Channel). Monique managed the media and marketing during Prince's 3121 Tour in Las Vegas and at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. She is a board member of the Minnesota Women's Consortium and past-president of the Minnesota Alliance for Women in Media. Monique is also passionate about her community-based research, supported by the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). Her most recent research, "Disrupting Poverty," is credited with promoting change in public policy aimed at decreasing poverty in communities of color. For more information, visit

About the Minnesota State Fair:

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 for more information. The 2016 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 25 - Labor Day, Sept. 5.