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Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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Obviously, there’s plenty to do at the Fair (eating being one of the best choices). But besides things like rides and exhibits and parades and concerts, you might spy a group of people like this:

msf 1 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

This is a group of people that have been coming to the Fair for four years with an extra purpose: to make art. Led by Roz Stendahl, every year a group of sketchers and painters bring their art materials with them and spend the day roving the fairgrounds, looking for fun things to sketch. Of course, there’s plenty of material.

msf 2 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

Such as this panorama by Suzanne Hughes, who also creates her own books.

msf 3 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

Or these lovely pieces by Lisa-Marie Greenly, along with the palette used to create them.

msf 4 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

Roz herself is fond of the farm animals.

You can follow Roz’s blog for information on next year’s Sketch-Out, as well as other events (I’ve participated in her International Fake Journal Month, which is huge fun).

One way to explore the Fair with an eye for sketching would be to take the Fair’s self-guided history tour. There are 12 stops on this tour, which you can find with a brochure produced by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, which offers the option of using your cell phone to have a narrated tour as well.

Along the way, you’ll see things like:

msf 5 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

The 4-H Building, opened in 1939 and built by the Works Progress Administration.

msf 6 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

The antique machinery on Machinery Hill (in existence since at least 1905, although it’s possible it was created earlier than that) would make a fun study of color.

msf 7 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

The Mighty Midway itself was officially created in 1933, when rides that were scattered across the fairgrounds were consolidated into one central area. But rides themselves had appeared at the Fair by the late 1800s.

msf 8 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

What would the Fair be without animals?? The Horse Barn was also built by the Works Progress Administration, in 1937.

msf 9 Wander MN: What Else To See At The Fair

(credit: Amy Rea)

The J.V. Bailey House, near the Space Tower and the International Bazaar, was once home to the Fair greenhouse superintendents and groundskeepers, which housed them from 1916-2004.

There are several other stops on the history tour. Visit any of the places mentioned here to pick up the brochure and map. Don’t forget your sketchbook.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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