By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Fair is full of memories. And if you look closely, you will find permanent places their names are etched into fair history.

The Dorschner family is one of them. You may not know the name, but you know Mike Dorschner’s work. Andrea Jones is his daughter.

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“He had a love-hate relationship with the fair [laughs]!” Jones said.

Mike Dorschner (credit: CBS)

For nearly 50 years, Dorschner’s problem-solving skills powered WCCO Television. His innovative inventions made our State Fair booth a must-stop destination. He was the brainpower behind WePower, viewer newscasts and the Pulling Together experiences, to name a few.

“He worked really, really hard on it, but he loved it, and he’d always talk about the inventions he was making,” Jones said.

Dorschner passed away in December after a battle with cancer. The pandemic prevented his friends and family from gathering. Instead, they raised money.

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“Kind of used it as a way to heal at the time,” she said.

They dedicated a bench as a place to remember him and share stories.

(credit: CBS)

“The fair was such a big part of his life and our lives, and just having a memory of him to see at the fair is gonna be so great,” Jones said.

Dorschner’s bench will remain in front of the WCCO Building.

“I think he would be so honored by it. He’d love it,” Jones said.

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More than 150 benches are dedicated at the fairgrounds each year. Click here to learn more about the personalized memorials.

John Lauritsen