Wander Minnesota: The State Fair’s New West End
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It’s that time of year again—time for the Minnesota State Fair. And this year, not only are there several new foods to try, there’s a completely updated space on the fairgrounds.
Last year, I talked about the potential for change at the Fair’s long-standing Heritage Square. Those changes have come to pass: the old transit hub near the Miracle of Birth Center has been moved to a larger, much more efficient space near where Heritage Square used to be, and the area has been reimagined as the West End. Many of the Square’s long-time vendors, including Watkins and Minneapolis’ I Like You are still here, in very different abodes.
Sadly, Ole’s Cannoli did not return due to the cost of upgrading its former Square space. But there are new food vendors in the West End.
Lulu’s, which has considerable second-story seating that overlooks the adjacent Schilling Amphitheater, offers a number of new foods, as well as blueberry beer (which is not nearly as sweet as it sounds).
Jonny Pops is here.
The rhubarb-strawberry pop is especially refreshing on a hot day. And the highly anticipated Blue Barn is here, offering chicken in a waffle and corn-blue cheese fritzes.
Heritage Square is not completely gone or forgotten—the old log cabin display still exists.
As does the train car and caboose.
Other parts of Heritage Square’s history can be found in the brand-new History & Heritage Center.
It’s a beautiful building, packed full of info and trivia about the State Fair.
Including important timeline events.
Change is always hard. Heritage Square has had loyal fans for years and years. Some will adapt to this new spot, some may not. But many long-time Fair favorites are still here, just in new buildings, and for those who take the bus, the new transit area is a big improvement.
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.