Sports are an integral part of every culture. So, it’s only fitting that Minnesota’s cultural icon, the Minnesota State Fair, would include several sporting attractions.
While the Great Minnesota Get-Together is often a test of endurance itself, there are plenty of other ways to get into the athletic spirit.
And as food is an important part of both a sporting experience and the State Fair, we’ve included a snack that’s located nearby each attraction to enhance the experience.
FAN Central is the State Fair stop for all things sports related. Learn more about what your favorite local teams are up to, stock up on gear and even meet local athletes. Soak up Minnesota sports while enjoying Sweet Martha’s cookies.
FAN Central is located on the northwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street.
3rd Lair Skate Park
Experience sports in the extreme! BMX Bikes, skateboarders and roller skaters perform tricks and flips while defying gravity. The park will be open from noon to 3 p.m. through Sept. 3, and noon, 1:30, 3, 4:30 and 6 p.m. Sept. 4 through 7. Watch them flip, twist and soar while enjoying a red velvet funnel cake.
3rd Lair Skate Park is in the X-Zone, located in the northwest corner of Murphy Avenue and Underwood Street.
It wouldn’t be a Minnesota fair if there weren’t lumberjacks featured somehow. Head up to the North Woods to see some of the state’s finest lumberjacks run across wet logs, chop wood, throw axes, speed climb, log roll, hot saw and more. The Lumberjack Show takes place daily at 3, 5:30 and 7 p.m. Watch them flex their muscles while enjoying a stuffed walleye mushroom.
The Timberwork Lumberjack Show takes place in The North Woods, located on Cooper Street east of Little Farm Hands.
University of Minnesota
Visit Goldy and learn more about the Golden Gophers at the University of Minnesota booth! The booth is not exclusively designated to the U of M Athletic Department, but, as with the University, they have a big presence. Learn more about the University, the individual sports teams and get some Gopher gear! Educate yourself while enjoying a deep fried S’more.
The University of Minnesota is located on Dan Path Avenue in between Underwood Street and Cooper Street.
The Mighty Midway
Sports are all about competition. So, flex your competitive muscles by trying your hand at some of the State Fair games. The Mighty Midway is open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day, except Labor Day when it is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Snack on the chocolate-dipped caramel bacon ice cream bar while testing your skills.
If you’re one of those sports fans that enjoys the elements a bit more than the game itself, here are a few places for you.
True, it’s not really an integral part of sports aside from being on the pitcher’s mound or the court in beach volleyball, but it’s fun to play in! Dip your sand in the toes any time from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. while enjoying a stuffed meatloaf-on-a-stick.
The Great Big Sandbox is located just east of the Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park.
The Ball Park Café
Enjoy having a beer while watching the game? Then head to the Ball Park Café, where you don’t even have to watch a game to have a beer. Soak up the essence of a sports game while enjoying a Mini Doughnut Beer from Lift Bridge.
The Ball Park Café is located on Underwood Street in between Dan Patch Avenue and Carnes Avenue.
For Next Year
Much like the State Fair itself, this sporting activity is a little in left field. While polo may not be the first thing you think of when you think “Minnesota sports,” or just “sports,” it takes a great deal of agility and precision. Experience the horses in a different way when Team Alworth takes on the Twin City Polo All-Stars. This year’s match was on Tuesday at the Warner Coliseum. Keep that on your agenda for next year, and enjoy some Sriracha balls while watching the match.
The Warner Coliseum is located at the corner of Judson Avenue and Clough Street.