Daily Schedule Highlights – Thursday, August 23rd

The 2018 Minnesota State Fair is here! Thursday, August 23rd is Opening Day for this year’s edition of the Fair, and the festivities get off to a fast start with a ton of great concerts, exhibitions and more crammed into the schedule. It’s also Thrifty Thursday at the Fair, with discounted admission and deals on food, rides and products throughout the Fairgrounds. Day One is also STEM Day at Dan Patch Park, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and math education; be sure to check out some cool Science Fair-style projects on display near the Grandstand. Below is a selection of what we think is most worthy of checking out on Day One; for a full daily schedule, visit the Minnesota State Fair official site at http://www.mnstatefair.org:

  • 8:00am and 1:00pm: Minnesota Horse Show Hunter Performance (Warner Coliseum) — the action begins early in the morning as the Minnesota Horse Show conducts equestrian horse jumping inside the Coliseum. The Fair’s agricultural roots are still on display in the Barns area of the Fairgrounds, and checking out this exciting competition will elicit a connection to the past while combining the excitement and speed of present-day.
  • 8:00am-5:00pm: STEM Day at the Fair (Dan Patch Park) — over 40 different organizations provide presentations related to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, including an opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a F4 jet and MNDOT snowplow simulator (too soon to think about snow!).
  • 9:00am-9:00pm: African Violet Society (Agriculture-Horticulture Building) — the flower shows in two of the exhibition halls inside the Agriculture-Horticulture Building rotate classes of flowers every two days of the Fair. The first two days of the Fair feature one of my favorites, the African Violet. Come see the stunning creations of Minnesotan horticulturalists arranging these flowers in accordance with judging criteria and check out who took home the coveted Blue Ribbons!
  • 9:15am and 12:15pm: University of Minnesota Raptor Center (Dan Patch Park) — birds of prey will be on display as the incomparable Raptor Center puts on a show of birds in their care.
  • 10:00am: Cornbread Harris (AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion) — Harris is a Twin Cities music legend, with a history of playing his blues music in various venues all over town.
  • 10:15am: University of Minnesota Physics Force (Dan Patch Park) — this high-energy crew put on an explosive, kid-friendly exhibition of science experiments to kick the Fair off with a bang!
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: MPR News Live Broadcast: Political Discussion & Debate (MPR Booth) — if you’re a political wonk like me, Minnesota Public Radio is a way of life. MPR always has great surprises in store for their live broadcasts from the Fair, and it’s a great way to feel engaged with the higher matters of the world while combining the levity of a day at the Fair.
  • 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm: Raptor Displays and Flying Demonstrations (DNR Building Garden Stage) — if you didn’t get enough of the birds of prey during the Raptor Center’s event earlier, cross the street to the DNR Garden Stage for Last Chance Forever Conservancy’s raptor show, which they have presented at the Fair for many years running. Owls, falcons and hawks swoop over the crowd and the intelligent conservationists dazzle with facts about these majestic creatures.
  • 11:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm: Miss Myra and the Moonshiners (West End Market) — 1920s style swing music on one of the Fair’s newest (and nicest) stages from a tight five-piece band performing standards and originals.
  • 12:30pm and 5:00pm: Sean Emery (Family Fair Stage) — this one is great for the kids, though usually the biggest laughs come from the adults in the audience. Sean Emery is a State Fair legend, performing his juggling act at the Family Fair Stage for decades. I can personally attest, after watching dozens of performances and doing a whole lot of growing up in the meantime, Emery’s act has never lost its luster.
  • 1:00-2:00pm: Classical MPR: Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration with Minnesota Opera and Host Lynne Warfel (MPR Booth) — join the Minnesota Opera and MPR in celebrating the wonderful composer Leonard Bernstein’s music with a special Fair performance.
  • 3:00pm, 4:00pm and 5:00pm: Lisa Wenger Band (West End Market) — Soul, blues and rockabilly American roots music from a full band on the Schilling Amphitheater stage.
  • 3:15pm, 4:30pm and 5:45pm: Cafe Accordion Orchestra (International Bazaar) — check out how good a whole team of accordions can sound in tandem, even if the sound of one on its own can be cloying.
  • 6:00pm: Minnesota Horse Show Jumper Speed (Warner Coliseum) — fast-paced and technical horse jumping over brightly-colored obstacles will excite the Coliseum.
  • 8:00pm: The Last Revel (West End Market) — Bluegrass pickin’ and strummin’ meets gorgeous harmonies with this wonderful local up and coming band who recently opened for Trampled By Turtles for their July homecoming show in Duluth.
  • 9:15pm: Laser Encore’s Laser Hitz Show (Eco Experience) — lasers and music combine for a visual spectacle each night of the Fair, outside the Eco Experience building.
Categories 2018 Minnesota State Fair, Daily Schedule Highlights

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