FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Taking a historical tour of the Minnesota State Fair is as easy as picking up your phone.
The fair’s History Walking Tour is up and running and all you need is a mobile device.
“It allows people to learn a little bit more about the State Fair’s history that they may have not known before,” said Rebecca Gillette, Program Associate for Minnesota Historical Society. She’s been working on the phone tour since January.
It’s free and simple. When you arrive at the fair you can dial 1-877-411-4123, select the option for the State Fair and begin your tour.
“There are 12 sites around the fairgrounds,” said Gillette. “They call a number and then they can plug in what they want to hear about.”
For example, you can learn about the Grandstand where the demolition derby, air shows and locomotive crashes took place in front of cheering crowds during “Thrill Days”.
You can also hear about a buildings history or an interesting story on how the space was used years ago.
“They’ll hear some unusual facts and some interesting stories that will make them look at a space in a new and different way,” said Gillette.
The tour is narrated by Tim Russell from “A Prairie Home Companion.” Each stop lasts about 90 second to 2 minutes.
Gillette collected 25 oral histories from people who attended the fair many, many years ago. You’ll hear those interviews sprinkled throughout the tour.
“We created the cell phone tour because it creates an absent narrative between generations,” said Gillette.
For those who live in another state and can’t get back to fair, they can click here and access the same tour.