Issue: 52 | Jan. 20, 2022
2022 tickets at 2021 ticket prices
11 Days Left to Get This Deal!  
Monday, Jan. 31, is the last day to buy your 2022 State Fair admission tickets for $13 each. Beginning Feb. 1, pre-fair discount admission tickets will be $14, still a great deal for a full day’s worth of entertainment, exhibitions and end-of-summer excitement.
  
If you’re on the hunt for a wintertime gift, a Valentine’s Day surprise, or just 
want to get a head start on State Fair savings, now is the time to buy. (Check out our website for details on the refund policy and other important information. Maximum of 12 tickets per order.) 
  
Giving tickets as a gift? Visit our website for a print-at-home greeting card.  
Got Your Fair Thinking Caps On?
Got Your Fair Thinking Caps On?  
What do you get when you combine intriguing State Fair “did you knows” with the insanely popular Trivia Mafia game? Find out at 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, when Trivia Mafia and the Minnesota State Fair Foundation host the first-ever State Fair Virtual Trivia Night. Join from your couch along with whatever inspires you – your favorite fair wear, craft brew, fair food, and friends and family who say they know it all! 
 
Proceeds support the nonprofit Minnesota State Fair Foundation, celebrating its 20th year and $16 million donated toward projects and programs that enrich the unforgettable memories and traditions you experience only at the Minnesota State Fair. Trivia Night details coming soon at msffoundation.org, mnstatefair.org and on social media.
Minnesota State Fair Main Gate
Reflecting on a “Miraculous” 2021 State Fair as Planning Is Underway for 2022
At this time last year, there was a real possibility that the Great Minnesota
Get-Together might have been canceled for a second straight year. 
 
“Uncertainty lingered into May, creating a significantly compressed time frame in which to produce what is normally one of the largest and best-attended events in the world,” State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer reported at last weekend’s 163rd annual meeting of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, the State Fair’s governing body. “The severe labor shortage, supply chain issues, lack of time to obtain thousands of commitments needed and security concerns were just a few of the myriad hurdles to clear. The reemergence of the virus late in the summer created further complications,” he added. “Concessionaires, vendors, suppliers, entertainers, competitive exhibitors, volunteers and many others were all affected.” 
 
Hammer credited the State Fair’s staff and tens of thousands of participants for overcoming long odds to present what was one of North America’s largest events of 2021. “The fact that we were able to produce a great fair for 1.3 million guests was miraculous.”
 
Hammer stressed the importance of the State Fair to Minnesota through its huge social and economic impacts. According to a 2018 study, the State Fair annually generates nearly $300 million in economic impact in the Twin Cities, plus additional unmeasured impact throughout the state. Included are more than 12,000 jobs and job equivalents generating nearly $77 million in wages. “The social impact is just as important,” Hammer said. “The fair is the only place where all of us celebrate the very best of our state and of each other. We needed the fair more than ever in ’21.” 
 
Additionally, Hammer said that during the past two decades, the Society had invested nearly $200 million in the facilities and infrastructure of the historic State Fairgrounds – all with no public funding of any type. 
 
During the meeting, the State Fair reported an operating loss of $1.3 million for 2021. That follows a $16.5 million operating loss in ’20 when the fair was canceled. 
 
2022 Planning Is Underway as the Fair Continues Rebuilding Its Operation
 
Also at the meeting, the fair’s board of managers approved 2022 admission prices. Regular gate admission for adults 13-64 is $17; kids 5-12 and seniors 65+ are admitted for $15; children 4 and under are always admitted free. The fees represent a $1 increase in each category from 2021 and take effect Feb. 1. Pre-fair discount admission tickets are currently on sale through Jan. 31 at the 2021 discount price of $13 for all ages. 

 
2022 will also bring modified hours of operation. The fairgrounds will be open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 4, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 5. (In 2021, the fairgrounds were open from 6 a.m. to midnight for the first 11 days of the fair and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Labor Day.) The change in hours was based on an analysis of when guests enter and exit the fair and enables more focused staffing, guest services, resources and operations. It also allows more time for the fairgrounds to be readied for the next day, an increasingly monumental task by hundreds of employees and fair participants.
 
 
As plans continue for 2022, stay up-to-date by watching your inbox for email updates and following us on social media.
Fair Recognizes Longtime Service and Holds Board Elections at Annual Meeting
Jim Sinclair
At the 163rd annual meeting of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, Jim Sinclair (pictured left), the State Fair’s recently retired deputy general manager of sales and exhibits, was elected as the newest member of the Minnesota State Fair Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was founded in 1966 to recognize individuals whose outstanding service has had a lasting impact on the Great Minnesota Get-Together. 

Sinclair began his career in the industry at age 15 with the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, where he continued to work during the summers and after graduating from college. In 1975, he was hired by the Minnesota State Fair as an administrative assistant and, for the next 46 years, has had numerous responsibilities, including overseeing the fair’s sales division and concession, exhibit, carnival and attraction operations, purchasing, facility usage and non-fair events. In 1995, Sinclair initiated and held the lead role in implementing and managing the State Fair’s independent carnival midway. He was named deputy general manager in 1999.
Ron Oleheiser and Joe Scapanski
Also at the annual meeting, retired Society Board President Ron Oleheiser (pictured top right) was elected to honorary life membership in the Society. Oleheiser, a lifelong resident of Grand Rapids, Minn., served on the board from 2009 to 2021 and was president 2020-21. His long history of leadership and volunteerism includes serving the Itasca County Fair from 1978 to 2011.

In other business conducted at the meeting, Joe Scapanski of Sauk Rapids (pictured bottom right) was elected president of the Society. Scapanski is in his 13th year as a member of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society board of managers, has served on the Benton County Agricultural Society board for 25 years and as a director for five years with the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs. Kirk Peysar of Aitkin was elected to fill the remaining one-year term of Scapanski’s three-year term representing the sixth regional district. Sara Donaldson of Minneapolis was re-elected to a two-year term as State Fair board vice president, representing the Society’s fifth regional district. Jeff Hawkins of Inver Grove Heights and Ray Erspamer of Hibbing were each re-elected to three-year terms representing the second and eighth districts respectively.

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society is made up of delegates from each of the state’s 87 county fairs, plus representatives of 44 statewide associations involved in agriculture, horticulture and education. The Society is a self-supporting quasi-state agency and has not received state government funding since 1949. It is charged exclusively with the production of the Minnesota State Fair and management of the historic 322-acre State Fairgrounds. 
Cattle Barn
State Fair Earns Industry Honors
As part of our continuing efforts to engage with guests and the greater community and to elevate standards in our industry, two State Fair projects were featured in the livestock area during the 2021 fair. They were recently recognized with honors from the International Association of Fairs & Expositions.
 
To commemorate 100 years of the Cattle Barn, an educational timeline outlining the classic building’s many milestones over the past century was displayed for guests. Did you know the Cattle Barn was designed by famed and prolific architect Clarence H. Johnston, who also designed Williams Arena and Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, and dozens of stately homes on Summit Avenue?
To showcase the livestock and draft horse exhibitions beyond the audience that could attend in person, the State Fair offered livestreamed programming throughout the fair’s 12 days. Exhibitors come to the State Fair to make connections and promote their business, and the livestreamed programs were another tool to help them accomplish these goals. At the same time, the programming enabled the fair to make agriculture more accessible to the public and brought us to the forefront of industry trends. Nearly 70,000 viewers tuned in! A partnership with Walton Webcasting, the livestreaming was made possible with the support of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation, Minnesota 4-H and Midwest Dairy. 
Enestvedt Family Recognized for Eight Decades of
Fair Participation
Enestvedt Seed Co.
For 82 years, about half of the Minnesota State Fair’s more than 160-year existence, the Enestvedt family was a steadfast presence on Machinery Hill. Enestvedt Seed Co. was the longest-running continual exhibitor at the fair until their final exhibit in 2019. The Enestvedts were honored with Legacy Recognition at the 2021 State Fair by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society and the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

The first Enestvedt exhibit was a small tent showcasing a few ears of the forerunner to the early hybrid corn. The company then upgraded to their iconic building on Underwood Street, where they displayed their latest seed and enjoyed educating the public on agriculture, farming and where food comes from. 

Now the oldest seed company in Minnesota, marking 121 years in 2021, Enesvedt Seed Co. of Sacred Heart, Minn., is a third-generation family-owned business and produces and processes all varieties of hybrid corn.

Photo: The Enestvedt brothers demonstrate their 1879 Deere and Mansur corn planter, which they displayed at the 100th Minnesota State Fair in 1961.
Popular Brick Program Coming to a Close
Popular Brick Program Coming to a Close
Through the years, recognition bricks have been a favorite of donors to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. The program has been so successful that our plazas now have limited spaces available for new bricks. If you have been thinking about ordering a recognition brick, now is the time! New brick orders will be fulfilled on a first-come basis, and we anticipate reaching our limit before the July 1, 2022, deadline.

These 8” x 8” bricks can feature family names, fair memories, logos (art may be subject to an additional charge) and much more and are placed on the east side of the Grandstand in the brick plaza. Visit the Foundation website for more information.
Beef Expo Heifer Donation
A Story About Chad, Leighton and Destiny
Ever since he was a boy, Chad Schmit of Plainview, Minn., loved learning about cattle, showing cattle and sharing his knowledge and experience with young people. He also loved attending the Minnesota Beef Expo, an annual event in October at the State Fairgrounds, where hundreds of youth and cattle enthusiasts bring nearly 1,000 head of cattle for exhibition, education and sale.
 
When Chad died unexpectedly at last fall’s expo, the community immediately rallied and, as a way to make a financial donation to Chad’s family, purchased the Shorthorn Plus heifer Chad had brought to the expo. Instead of returning home with Chad’s heifer, his family selected a young future cattle farmer – 14-year-old Leighton Hugoson of Fairmont, Minn., an applicant to the expo’s Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP) – to receive the heifer. Mentorship is a major component of MYBEP, and Leighton’s grandparents will serve as his teachers as he starts his own venture raising cattle. 
 
This story includes so many heartwarming touches – too numerous to describe here. Let’s just say, Chad called his heifer Destiny, and that name couldn’t be more fitting. To learn more, watch this beautiful U.S. Farm Report feature on Farm Journal Television or read about it in the Minnesota Farm Guide Ag Update
Throwback Thursday
Throw Your Thursdays Back with State Fair History!
Every week on our social media channels, we post intriguing, interesting #ThrowbackThursday tidbits about the State Fair and the fairgrounds. To get the history highlights and fun facts, follow the Minnesota State Fair on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

This #TBT photo flashes back to 100 years ago at the 1922 State Fair when Lillian Boyer’s Flying Circus thrilled Grandstand crowds as Lillian attempts an auto-to-plane transfer on a rope ladder.
Want Even More Fair History?
In the hunt for some fair fun on a cold, winter day? Browse through the fair history section on our website! You’ll find a timeline and historical overview of the fair’s more than 160 years, a photo gallery, trivia to amaze your family and friends, then-and-now information on iconic fair buildings, a list of significant fair anniversaries and more.

Photo from 1934 (above): Before the Historic Streetcar Arch was restored and moved to its current spot near Gate 16 on the west side of the State Fairgrounds, it welcomed guests at a new entrance near the streetcar station on the south side of the grounds.
State Fair Operations Crew
Hiring Starts Soon for Summer Fair Jobs and Internships 
Later this month, we’ll start our process of hiring summer employees and interns for a variety of departments! Most of these positions begin work in the spring or early summer and go through September. For examples of summer positions, please check out the employment page on our website. Plus, sign up to receive employment email updates. When details are available, we'll send you information on open opportunities and how and when to apply. 
Applications Accepted Now for Program Honoring Multi-Generation Family Farms 
Century Farms, a partnership between the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau, recognizes Minnesota farms that have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years, are 50 acres or more, and are currently involved in agricultural production. Each year, typically more than 100 farms are honored as Century Farms, bringing the total to nearly 11,000 farms that have been recognized since the program began in 1976.
 
Applications for recognition in 2022 as a Century Farm are due March 7, 2022.

Farms celebrating 150 years or more of continuous ownership are invited to apply through the Minnesota Farm Bureau for Sesquicentennial Farm recognition
Progress Center
Host Your Event in the Timeless Progress Center 
With a rich history dating back to 1907, the Progress Center has the distinction of being one of the two oldest buildings on the iconic Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Stunning finishes include high ceilings, clean and classic lines, abundant natural light and original early-1900s exposed brick. Featuring 25,000 square feet of open, flexible space, this timeless venue is the ideal setting for any event – from trade shows and receptions to conferences and galas. Choose a simple ambiance focused on the architecture or let your imagination set the tone with theme, style and décor.

For rental information about this and other fairgrounds facilities, contact events@mnstatefair.org or 651-288-4400.
Vulcan Snow Park
Vulcan Snow Park Is SNOW Much Fun!
Vulcan Snow Park, one of the signature events of this year’s Saint Paul Winter Carnival, brings tons of fun to the State Fairgrounds. The festivities begin with a Snow Stomp on Saturday, Jan. 22, and continue Jan. 28-Feb. 6 with the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition, the Small-Block Snow Sculpting Contest, a snow maze and snow mountain play area. Vulcan Fun Day, a big day full of great family activities, is Sunday, Jan. 30. Visit mnsnowpark.com for complete details.
Beer Dabbler
Upcoming Events at the Fairgrounds 
January
21-22: Crowley’s Gymnastics 50th Winter Challenge Meet
28-30: Legacy Luau Gymnastics Invitational
28-Feb. 6: Vulcan Snow Park and Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition
30: Saint Paul Winter Carnival Fire & Ice Run/Walk
 
February
Thru Feb. 6: Vulcan Snow Park and Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition
12-13: Gina Morri Invitational Gymnastics Meet
19: 12th Annual Winter Beer Dabbler (pictured above)
 
March
4-6: George’s Minnesota Muskie Expo
24-27: Saint Paul Osman Shrine Circus

For more information, check out our State Fairgrounds Events Calendar.
Sunny, warm summer days are ahead! (A big thank-you to Lori Giebel, who sent us this photo via Flickr. Don't forget to share your best fair photos to the Official Minnesota State Fair Group Pool on Flickr. We're always on the lookout for great photos to use in our marketing materials!)