MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State Fair officials have relieved what new rides and attractions will be at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The Poultry Barn

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First off, birds are being banned.

This comes as a precaution following the outbreak of bird flu earlier this year that devastated farms around the state, resulting in the deaths of millions of turkeys.

So instead of showing prize birds, the poultry barn will feature 4H kids’ exhibits about their birds and presentations by poultry experts.

There will also be an area where fairgoers can write cards of support and sympathy to send back to the farms.

New Rides

The Midway will feature a brand new rollercoaster called The Super Nova, which will feature “flying cars.”

There will also be a new, four-story fun house.

Freebies

A new freebie at the fair this year will be free sunscreen at all information booths.

Fair spokesperson Brienna Schuette said this comes because of a partnership between the fair and Vanicream, “a local company that makes a hypo-allergenic cream that is safe for anyone from birth on up.”

Also partnering up to give away the free sunscreen is the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center.

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Competitions & Appearances

On Aug. 31, there will be figure skating on a plastic ice sheet and an appearance by Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi.

There will be special events surrounding the 15th anniversary of the Crop Art Competition and the 100th anniversary of the fair’s oldest ride, Ye old Moll.

There also will be what the fair is calling “Math on a Stick,” which will include something of a math scavenger hunt for preschoolers.

“Kids will be able to go around the fair grounds and play a game and notice that a pronto pup is on one stick and a cow has four legs,” Schuette said.

Vendors

There will also be 34 new merchandise vendors, and expect surprises from some of the veterans.

Cafe Caribe let us in on theirs.

“This year we are doing a hard root beer float,” said owner Adam Chesin. “There is a product out there called Not Your Father’s Root Beer. It’s 5.9 percent alcohol, and were doing a scoop of blue bunny ice cream in there.”

Running Late

Because Labor Day is so late, the fair is actually the latest it can be, from Aug. 27 – Sept. 7.

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But if you are looking for some deals now, Cub Foods is already selling discounted admission tickets and coupon books.

Esme Murphy