Reporting Esme Murphy
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) – The Heritage Square area of the State Fairgrounds is getting a $15 million make-over.
The new attraction will be called the West End Market, and it will be ready for the 2014 fair.
The unveiling of the West End Market name on Wednesday was accompanied by bluegrass music and both State Fair Gophers, Fairborn and Fairchild.
“This old Heritage Square was built in 1964 as the Young America Center, as a teen fair,” Jerry Hammer said. “And it wasn’t intended to last very long — five, six, seven years, and then knock it down and build something else.”
But those temporary buildings lasted 50 years. The Teen Center became Heritage Square in 1975, in preparation for America’s bicentennial.
Part of the West End Market will be a new State Fair Museum.
“When it comes to our history and heritage program area, that’s really where we can gather memories, and stories from generations of families from all over Minnesota that have been coming to the fair,” Jesse Poppe said.
Some parts of Heritage Square will remain, like a 150-year-old Minnesota home. And there will be lots of food, some of it in a blue barn.
“It will be a little slice of Americana — hearty meals, hard work, and back to the day when the only napkin you had was a clean bandana,” Stephanie Shimp said, of Blue Plate Restaurants.
The 2014 fair opens Aug. 21 and runs through Labor Day.