Preparations underway for Minnesota State Fair as opening day approaches

Days before the gates open, preparations are underway for this year’s Minnesota State Fair.

“The excitement is building, the fairgrounds are hopping,” said Danielle Dullinger, the Fair spokeswoman.

This year's theme could be "new." There will be 31 new foods, seven new vendors and more than 50 new brews and specialty drinks.

“Anything from salty to sweet, to on-a-stick to healthy, to gluten-free or gluten-friendly, there truly is something for everyone this year,” said Dullinger.

Also making debuts is an entertainment venue known as The Hangar, an open-air pet pavilion and the multi-million dollar North End Event Center.

“It’ll host annually changing museum quality exhibits and this year the inaugural exhibit is "Angry Birds Universe: The Exhibition" and what’s awesome about it is it’s free with Fair admission,” said Dullinger.

Paul Miller owns a sign and awning company. He’s been working the Fair for 30 years.

“I’m a big State Fair guy; to come out and do the preps, you just feel the excitement in the air when you’re out here,” said Miller.

Of course, there are plenty of the State Fair mainstays returning. The Cattle Barn that collapsed this past winter has been repaired.

“I think because it’s this massive cultural event... really, nowhere else can you get the quality of livestock exhibitions we have - the quality of food, the free entertainment 900 plus free shows, all of the education,” said Dullinger.

FOX 9 will be broadcasting all of its shows live at the FOX 9 booth. Find us at Nelson Street and Dan Patch Avenue right by the giant slide.