By Mary McGuire

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — If you close your eyes, you can almost smell it.

The grease, the sweat, the animals.

The Minnesota State Fair is almost here, but 14 days before the gates open up, there are more construction workers than cotton candy-makers at the fairgrounds.

That’s because there is a lot of work happening on some exciting and different attractions.

“We are always going to have food on a stick, you are always going to be able to come see your animals, but we make updates. Minnesota is ever-changing,” fair spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said.

The old Pet Center has transformed into “The Hangar,” which will serve up flights of food, beer and live music to patrons.

Don’t worry, the pets are not going very far away. They are moving right across the street to the brand new Pet Pavillion.

What would the fair be without Sweet Martha and her famous cookies?

You can get your fix at her new yellow booth on the northside of the fairgrounds, complete with a sneaky little feature around back: a window where fairgoers can watch the cookies being made.

Of course, there is a lot of eating and drinking that happens at the fair, so you’ll be happy to hear there is a new bathroom facility with dozens of new toilets.

Fifty-four toilets, 32 sinks and 22 urinals to be exact.

“People are weirdly excited about them. We are excited about them. It’s an amenity for our fair guests, so we are glad we can have these brand new, state-of-the-art bathrooms,” Dullinger said.

There are also two new “Park & Ride” facilities in Arden Hills and White Bear Township.

Click here to find out more information about what’s new at the fair this year.

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