Minnesota State Fair Day Two: History Walking Tour

I had several goals for my fair visit today:  Seeing the parade; seeing the 4-H Arts-In; seeing the Amateur Talent Contest; riding various things that would take me up in the air; and also doing the Walking Tour.

There are 12 stops on the walking tour.  If you visit 8 of 12, you get a prize.  “PLUS the added bonus of walking approximately 2 miles!” says the brochure.

The walking tour took me all day as I wandered hither and yon.  But here are all the walking tour pictures, in the order they were encountered, in one post.  I visited 11 of 12 sites, only missing reading the informative sign at the Grandstand, though I did visit the grandstand itself, the shops under it and the ramp with the Yarn Bombs.

Sites 1 and 2 are easy.  They are right inside the main gate.

Though it was fun to come on the bus, what if the streetcar brought you right into the fair?  It used to “…until the ’50s when its usage declined with a new mode of public transport: the bus”  (Also because the car companies paid for the destruction of streetcar tracks, but I digress.)  This arch was reinstalled in 2014. The Skyride was installed in 1964 when the fair theme was “Pageant of Midwest Progress.”  Apparently, many amusement parks have removed their gondola-across-the-park rides.  This is terrible news.  In other news, there will be a Skyride post forthcoming! Hey look!  I’ve made my way back to Fairchild, who was also in yesterday’s post.  He’s been the State Fair mascot since 1966.  He’s named after Henry S. Fairchild, the guy who, in 1885, solved the Twin Cities conundrum as to who would permanently host the fair by persuading both cities to agree to a spot between them.  Fairchild is part of the daily parade, with his sidekick and nephew Fairborne, who appeared in 1983.

Speaking of, this is my only picture of the parade, but there are some princesses, and Fairchild/borne.  Other cool things in the parade:  the University of Minnesota Marching Band, really big fiberglass farm animals, plus some other bands. Food! It used to be, way back in the beginning, people would bring their food to the fair.  But now, there’s no need.  There are so many food options. 

Deep fried apple pie, anyone?   Many people said yes.  There was a line.  There was a line for everything. Even the milk booth.

Here’s a fellow fair-goer memorialized forever on this blog.  Hi, buddy!  Apparently, he’s partaken of Mr. Pillow. He’s blocking the sign for the Dairy Building, which you will recall I visited yesterday to see the butter princesses.  The brochure tells me those blocks of butter weigh 90 pounds!  Also that this butter sculpture thing isn’t new. In 1910 there was a full-sized Teddy Roosevelt.

Here we are at the sign for the CHS Miracle of Birth Center.  Though the brochure talks about genesis of this attraction, it does not tell me what CHS stands for.  While I find the name to be awkward, who can resist baby animals?  There’s a full post about this place.

Here’s a part of Fair History I only have a picture of from the outside.  (There was just too much to do–I didn’t see everything.)  This is where people go to watch things like the Supreme Six-Horse Hitch class.  (I don’t know what that is.)  Apparently, this building also once had an ice rink, but it closed in 2014.

Swine Barn!  We went here yesterday, but I have no pictures, due to low light conditions. Completed in 1936 by the WPA!  In WWII, all animal barns became a military aircraft propeller plant.  This is also where you can get your pig ear headbands.  I saw a lot of people wearing them.

Machinery Hill. I skipped this too.  Farm Machinery?  Not really my thing.

Walking tour sites visited, but neglected to take a picture of:  J.V. Baley House.  I’m sad I don’t have a picture of this one.  The greenhouse superintendents used to live in this house, right on the state fair property.  That’s something that has disappeared in this modern world: free housing as part of your salary.  Now this house is the home of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

4-H building!  I went there yesterday.  I returned today.  I neglected to get a picture of the walking tour sign. It’s another WPA building.  Apparently there are dormitories upstairs?  What?  4-H participants stay in the 4-H building during the fair?  Oh my gosh!

Having punched all but one of my circles, I headed to the Heritage Center.

And here’s my prize! Postcards! (Big win for me.) A pennant, and a collapsible water bottle.  Very fun!

The Heritage Center has interesting exhibits that I would have loved to have taken more time with.

4 thoughts on “Minnesota State Fair Day Two: History Walking Tour”

  1. Wow! This is my first post of your Day Two of the fair posts! I cannot believe how much you accomplished in one day! So amazing.

    Also it is My Pillow, which is a MN based company. Love the swag you got! I quite enjoy that pennant banner which is nw in my home!

  2. Apparently Fairchild isn’t a corny name for the mascot after all! I stand corrected.

    You’re very adept at finding walking tours that result in prizes. I’m impressed. And I love those postcards! They’re just my style.

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