FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — From the Space Tower to all the food on a stick, there are plenty of State Fair staples, but few quite as iconic as the Mighty Midway.

For opening day, Natalie Nyhus wanted to test her luck at one of the Midway’s games. You voted and sent Natalie to the horse race, where there’s always a winner!

When you step onto the Mighty Midway with its flashing lights and giant prizes, the games are quite alluring.

“They’re all skill games, not games of chance because the player has a reasonable opportunity to win,” Deputy General of the State Fair Jim Sinclair said.

Of the more than 50 games of skill, we asked you to pick your absolute favorite. Turns out, it has some serious history.

“The Derby has its origins in an English Derby that came from England. Games have been a part of the Midway presentation since the early 20s in this country,” Sinclair said. “They really started to evolve in the 1970s, when what are called “group games” started to come along, and that was driven by advancements in technology.”

That’s what we have here — an electronic group game. You don’t play against the game or the game owner, you play against the person next to you.

“That interaction is part of why they are so popular,” Sinclair said.

The goal is to get your horse across the finish line.

“If you roll the ball up the ramp and it goes into the red hole, you get three jumps. Blue is 2 jumps and yellow is 1 jump,” Sinclair said.

The Derby typically costs four tickets. Your other favorite games at the Midway are the glass bottle ring toss, balloon darts and the the wiffle ball toss.


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