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Best Older Attractions At The Minnesota State Fair

November 6, 2010 1:40 PM

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Fine Art Center

(Credit: CBS)

From deep-fried food to riveting rides and cattle contests to awe-inspiring art — the State Fair is part of Minnesota’s homegrown heritage and it’s chock-full of nostalgia and traditions of a time passed.If you love the Minnesota State Fair, then you are used to seeing your favorite spots year after year and you know that there are the places that have stood the test of time and others that have faded away as a fad. So, here are 10 of the best older attractions that have kept people entertained while they are enjoying the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Ye Old Mill

(Credit: CBS)

Ye Old Mill

Located On Clough St. & Judson Ave.

Built in 1913, this is the oldest ride on the fairgrounds. Why some may consider this a tunnel of love others look to it as a manufactured river ride and a place to escape from the sun with their family.

Progress Center

(Credit: CBS)

Progress Center

Located on Cosgrove St. and Randall Ave.

Step in this building now and it screams, “Future! Future! Future!” You would never expect this place to be one of two oldest on the fairgrounds, but it is. This building and the Arts Center were both built in 1907. Today, the Progress Center is home to the Eco Experience, which teaches about renewable energy and all things green to a whole new generation.

Hamline Dining Hall

(Credit: CBS)

Hamline Dining Hall

Located on north side of Dan Patch between Underwood/Cooper

Hamline Dining Hall has been at the fair for 113 years! I’d venture to say they’ve served millions of home-style meals since its opening in 1897. They have been at the current location since 1947 (or earlier). Hamline is one of three church dining halls remaining — Salem and Epiphany are the other two.

Seed Art

(Credit: CBS)

Corn Competition/Crop Art

Located in the Ag Building on Judson Ave. and Underwood St.

Have you ever seen fine art made from seeds and corn? Well you can in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building. The year 2010 is the 100th Anniversary of the corn competition which takes place in Farm Crop Hall. You’ve got to see some of the amazing Ag art that has been going on for a century here and keeps bringing people back.

Cattle at State Fair

(Credit: CBS)

Cattle Barn/Livestock Competitions

Located on Judson Ave. between Stevens and Liggett Streets

This is where it all started! The fair was basically created as a place to show off the best livestock in the land and show the hearty bunch of animals that were bred in Minnesota. The Cattle Barn, which opened in 1921, is still drawing crowds that want to see (and smell) the cows.

Tilt A Whirl

(Credit: CBS)

Tilt-A-Whirl

Location: Midway and Kidway

This chaotic ride tilts and twirls people in the Mighty Midway and Kidway at the fair. It’s popular at carnivals and amusement parks everywhere, but did you know it was invented right here in Minnesota? Yep, back in 1926 this ride took off with the Sellner Family in Faribault, Minn. It was made of wood back then, but moved on to metal and ride-lovers have been whirling ever since.

Fine Art Center

(Credit: CBS)

Fine Arts Competition

Located on Randall Ave. and Cosgrove St.

Here you’ll find paintings that look like photographs, and sculptures that will have you wondering how the artist made it. The Fine Arts Competition has been happening since 1911, and is nearly as old as the building that houses it (the Fine Arts Center, mentioned above as being built in 1907).

Blacksmith

(Credit: CBS)

Heritage Square

Located on Dan Patch Ave, past Liggett St.

Heritage Square is the place where history goes to gather. Take a trip way down memory lane and see a pioneer cabin (mid-1800s), the blacksmith shop (1937) and some cool train cars full of artifacts from the 1930s. You can also check out the Minnesota State Fair History Museum and some of the old ride components from the past state fairs.

Grandstand

(Credit: CBS)

The Grandstand

Located in center of fair near Carousel Park.

Think of all the different musical acts that have played here over the years: Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, New Kids on the Block, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Rush, The Beach Boys and Dolly Parton,  just to name a few. The Grandstand has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same — the talented musicians that come to share their music with Minnesotans.

(Credit: CBS)

(Credit: CBS)

J.V. Bailey House

Located on Cosgrove St., across from Space Tower

This was originally greenhouse superintendents and groundskeepers house. Built in 1911, but then restored in 2006 and named for J.V. Bailey, the fair’s Superintendent of Horticulture in the 30s. Now you can check out old photographs and history from the fair inside.

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