Minnesotans love a fair. The first official state fair was organized in 1859 after Minnesota became a state, but territorial fairs had already been held for four years.
Eventually known as “The Great Minnesota Get Together,” the Minnesota State Fair moved from location to location in the early years. The first celebration was near the area that is now downtown Minneapolis. After that it traveled to Rochester, Red Wing, St. Paul, Winona and Owatonna.
After the extensive efforts of civic groups, the Minnesota State Fair finally found its permanent home in 1885. Its current space was donated by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and has grown from a 210-acre farm to 320 acres.
In its long history, there have only been five years when it hasn’t been held: 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 because of the fuel shortages during WWII, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic. The Minnesota State Fair is now one of the largest state fairs in the United States by attendance, attracting nearly 1.8 million guests annually.
The Minnesota State Fair was a primary source used in this blog post.
[…] awareness of the Garden, Eloise gave Garden tours and for several years had an exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. She also wrote articles and had a weekly series about native plants for the Sunday Minneapolis […]