Fried food, free swag and people watching -- all are set to begin on Thursday when the Minnesota State Fair opens and the great Minnesota get together gets going.
The coronation of Mar Jenna McWilliam of Polk County as PrincessK of the Milky Way marked the beginning of the only affair that brings Minnesotans from across the state together for an agricultural and entertaining experience that lasts for nearly two weeks. In just a few hours, droves will flock to Falcon Heights for 12 consecutive days of state fair fun.
By then, Princess K will have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter that will welcome fairgoers to a festival of rides, games and exhibits to enjoy.
In the last several years, between 1.6 and 1.8 million people attended the fair. This year, attendees should bring their appetites along too because there are 48 new foods set to debut -- including Cajun pork rinds and lobster mac 'n' cheese.
After feasting on the fare, fairgoers can head over to the Progress Center, which is where the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be running a totally revamped eco experience, a recycling exhibit that puts a bit of perspective on the things that Minnesotans trash.
"Aluminum itself is actually 100% recyclable and there's tons of jobs that are tied to recycling in our state," said Pam McCurdy, with MPCA. "So, when you throw away your can, you're throwing away a job for somebody in your own state."
After learning how to better care for the environment, a vast array of vendors will be vying for attention, but before the day is spent, some sounds will start to echo from the Grand Stand -- and a number are included in the ticket price.
Be sure to visit FOX 9 at the fair! Our booth is located at Nelson and Dan Patch, across from Carousel Park and next to the giant slide.