Updated: 08/22/2014 1:43 PM
Created: 08/22/2014 6:54 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
It’s the second day of the Minnesota State Fair, and for some people it’s the only time of the year they can get away with eating anything and everything – and no one gets to make them feel guilty. There’s plenty of new food to try this year, but there are also new events and activities as well.
About 300 licensed food vendors with 500 different types of food are at the fair this year. Twenty-eight new dishes have been rolled out, including bacon-wrapped turkey legs, beer gelato, and blue cheese and corn fritz.
Fair attendees can also score some great deals during the Great Minnesota Get Together. Between 1,500 and 1,600 commercial exhibitors are at the fair this year. See all of the new attractions here.
Getting to the Fair
New this year, the renovated Gate 16 will serve as a grand entrance to the fairgrounds. A projected one-third of the crowd is expected to enter and exit through that gate, which is also right next to the new transit hub.
The transit hub will be the designated drop-off and pick-up zone for anyone taking Metro Transit or the park-and-ride system.
"The idea of this is to relieve bottleneck," Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said.
Hammer hopes the renovations and the addition of the Green Line light rail will ease congestion along Como Avenue on the south side of the fairgrounds. In the past, buses shared that space with cars, pedestrians and livestock trailers.
Hammer expects the horseshoe-shaped transit hub to reduce the number of buses turning across busy intersections and crosswalks.
Aretha Franklin and the Four Tops perform at the Grandstand on Friday night. Tickets are still available for $45 each.
Careers in Welding Exhibit
While there’s no better place than the fair to try out new foods, attendees can also try out a new career while they’re there.
The “Careers in Welding” exhibit is located inside a semi-truck trailer just east of the Coliseum. Guests can test their welding knowledge and even try some virtual welding.
“We’re just trying to inform people and spark their interest and let them know that there’s a huge demand for welders right now,” tour manager Jesica Wasczenski said.
The exhibit will be at the fair through Saturday.
Princess Kay of the Milky Way
Jeni Haler, a 19-year-old college student from Norwood Young America, representing Carver County, was crowned the 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Haler will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 3,600 Minnesota dairy farm families. Jeni is the daughter of Rick Haler and Connie Helget Haasken and attends the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where she double majors in animal science and Spanish/Portuguese studies.
Haler’s first official duty as Princess Kay will be to sit in a rotating cooler in the Dairy Building for nearly six hours to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair. Each finalist will also have her likeness carved in butter during the fair. This year marks butter sculptor Linda Christensen’s 43rd year carving the Princess Kay of the Milky Way winner and finalists at the Minnesota State Fair.
KSTP at the Fair
You can find KSTP near the corner of Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue, just south of the Grandstand. We’ll be on air throughout the fair.
The Minnesota State Fair runs through Labor Day, the tickets can be purchased at the fairgrounds.