The Fair enters the holiday weekend with a huge schedule of events going on! Today is MPR Day at the Fair, with lots of performances happening at Dan Patch Park near the Grandstand, but there’s lots going on all over the Fairgrounds too.
Below is a selection of what we think is most worthy of checking out on Day Nine; for a full daily schedule, visit the Minnesota State Fair official site at http://www.mnstatefair.org:
- 7:30am: Minnesota State Fair Horse Show: Northwoods Trail Cup Challenge, Appaloosa, Paint, Pinto, Quarter Horses, WSCA Pleasure (Warner Coliseum) — each of these breeds of horses compete by completing an obstacle course imitating Northern Minnesota scenery.
- 9:00am: Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Sanders (Star Tribune Stage) — Star Tribune reporter Chris Hine will interview the Timberwolves’ head coach ahead of his first full season at the helm of the team.
- 9:30am: Safe Tractor Operator’s Contest (Compeer Arena) — watch the action as tractor drivers pull off difficult maneuvers in their rigs and compete to become the best in their business.
- 10:00-11:00am: MPR News Live: Mark Seeley Weather Quiz (Dan Patch Park) — Minnesotans love to talk about the weather, and now you can win prizes for doing so with MPR’s annual weather quiz.
- 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm: Raptor Displays and Flying Demonstrations (DNR Building Garden Stage) — Make your way 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-2:15pm: Minnesota Americana-Roots Duet Contest (West End Market) — pairs of performers in the old-timey genre of roots music compete on stage for cash prizes and notoriety, providing spectators with an entertaining show of talented musicians.
- 12:00pm: Trivia Mafia (Star Tribune Stage) — play a game of team trivia with questions pulled from the Star Tribune’s archives for fantastic prizes.
- 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.
- 2:00-3:00pm: Classical MPR Activity: Bring the Sing with Cantus (Dan Patch Park) — world famous choral group Cantus conducts a special performance for the crowds gathered at the Fair, dazzling listeners with their incredible voices.
- 3:30pm: Shredders (Dan Patch Park) — get down with this hip hop group comprised of members of the legendary Doomtree crew as they headline MPR Day.
- 3:15pm, 4:30pm and 5:45pm: Patrick Adams (International Bazaar) — blending soul, gospel, R&B and funk, this singer-songwriter will entertain audiences with his variety of genres.
- 3:30pm and 4:45pm: Lucky Chops (Leinie Lodge Bandshell) — dance along to this high-energy brass band known for their flashy performances.
- 6:00pm: Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest (Leinie Lodge Bandshell Stage) — watch as contestants in various age divisions compete for the opportunity to advance to the Talent Contest Finals, held Sunday, September 2nd in the Grandstand.
- 7:30pm: Lionel Richie with special guest Lauren Jauregui (Grandstand) — Lionel Richie takes the Grandstand stage to perform selections from his lengthy career of music, from classic hits from his time with the Commodores to his timeless solo songs that will have fans singing along all night long.
- 8:00pm: First Avenue Goes To The Fair (West End Market) — a new concept being introduced this year, the Fair has turned over programming of the Schell’s Stage over to the legendary music venue First Avenue for two separate nights of great Minnesota music, highlighting some of the best in the state. Night one includes rowdy punk group The Bad Man, up and coming hip-hop star Dwynell Roland, Twin Cities legend Har Mar Superstar and raucous performer Mark Mallman.
- 8:00pm: Malamanya (International Bazaar) — this diverse group of musicians will bring Latin and Caribbean flair to the Bazaar stage.
- 8:30pm: Tony! Toni! Toné (Leinie Lodge Bandshell) — these 90s R&B hit-makers will delight the audience with their recognizable songs, both upbeat and soulful classics that highlight their many talents.
- 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.