Wander Minnesota: The Fairgrounds In Winter

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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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You may only have this sort of picture in mind when you think about the Minnesota State Fair:

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But you may not realize that the Fairgrounds are open year-round, and visiting in winter gives an entirely different perspective. There are events that take place year-round as well, including open skating, jogging/walking, and hockey at Warner Coliseum.

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Yes, that’s the same street as the photo above—quite a change from the dog days of late summer.

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Not that the upcoming State Fair has been forgotten about—the Grandstand already has the correct 2013 dates listed.

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Of course this time of year there’s no all-you-can-drink milk. Or piles of Sweet Martha’s Cookies.

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The Space Tower is at half-mast.

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The International Bazaar has no sign of people clamoring for trinkets or lamb fries.

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The Haunted House looks downright jolly and holiday-ish.

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The Grandstand area looks it just needs a few wreaths and Christmas lights, and it’d be set for a holiday extravaganza.

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Where the Midway usually is, now there’s a giant vacancy.

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The WCCO-TV building is shut up tight for the season.

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The Giant Slide looks more like a mild ski jump.

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There is a little activity going on this time of year—if you decide to visit, you’ll see MN State Fair vehicles here and there, and the occasional curious stare from other visitors. But you’ll have much more room to roam than you will, say, starting next Aug. 22 for 12 days.

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

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