Stop by and visit us at the Great Minnesota Get together! Follow #Didyouknow to learn more about the work Minnesota state agencies are doing to
make users’ experiences better, and simpler. You can find out more at the #MNStateFair
This week marks the beginning of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair! At more than a dozen state agency booths across the State Fair, fair-goers will be able to find more information about the work State Agencies are doing to make government better, faster, and simpler.
These reforms have saved Minnesotans time and money – including reducing expensive and time-consuming paperwork, and creating new online solutions for permit applications. Over the last four years, Minnesota state agencies have reduced waiting times for vehicle registrations from 90 days to just 10 days, cut environmental permit waits by over 40 percent, and made hunting and fishing licenses available on smartphones. To learn more about these and other initiatives, come and find us at the fair!
Eco Experience Building
Pollution Control Agency: The Minnesota State Fair's history in agriculture, arts, innovation and youth projects comes alive in the Eco Experience building - the 2013 People's Choice award-winner for best State Fair attraction. New this year is the world's largest ball of paper, a nature adventure play yard for families and kids, and interactive exhibits about Minnesota's changing climate, pollinators in the garden, clean air and quality drinking water. Families are invited to take a break in the Eco Experience's kids' activity area - complete with a photobooth, air hockey table, puzzles and projects. With more than 350,000 visitors during the 12 days of the Fair, the Eco Experience brings together different organizations, ideas, and hands-on activities to discover ways we can work to improve Minnesota’s environment!
Department of Commerce: The Minnesota Department of Commerce booth will show you how to improve your home, save on energy costs and reduce environmental impacts. Visitors can talk to experts and find out ways to pay for energy-conserving home improvements. With information on energy-efficient appliances, home assessments and insulation, Minnesotans can find ways to improve their homes and save money. You can also find the Department of Commerce in the Education building to learn more about financial capability in all stages of life, senior fraud and scam protection, propane season preparedness, renewable energy and to answer questions about insurance.
Department of Agriculture: The Minnesota State Fair was originally an occasion for farmers and Minnesotans from across the state to gather to talk about Agriculture, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture booth keeps this history alive for the 2014 Fair. MDA Commissioners, scientists, inspectors, marketers and event student workers have joined forces to make the MDA state fair exhibit interactive and fun! Check out this family themed exhibit to meet fabulous farmers, find out how to best protect bees and butterflies, test your food safety knowledge and to learn to identify three types of Minnesotan bugs.
Department of Education: Join Read-It at the Fair! Read-It will visit the booth several times during the fair to take photos with children and raise awareness of the importance of literacy. Other special events include “STEM Day” on August 21, featuring Science, technology, engineering and math activities from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. August 27 is "Read and Ride Day" with daily story times. Families visiting the Fair on August 24, 25 and September 1 can participate in an educational “Make a Healthy Lunch Tray” activity.
Department of Health: The MDH booth offers information on health topics for Minnesotans, including tobacco prevention, oral health, newborn screening, foodborne illness and building healthy communities. Visitors can talk with Commissioner Ehlinger from 11am to 1pm on Friday, August 22. New for 2014, the booth features a marble maze game, and an interactive computer kiosk to demonstrate how vaccines protect from disease.
Department of Revenue: Fairgoers can learn more about property tax refunds for renters, homeowners, and farmers. Stop by for a free fan giveaway and visits from Commissioner Frans!
Department of Transportation: This year the MnDOT booth has doubled in size - stop by to learn the ways transportation connects Minnesota residents and businesses with their community, region and world. Visitors can take home a free state highway or bicycle map, ask questions about road projects in their area, and learn how to drive a roundabout. New this year, visitors can experience a snow storm from the driver's seat of a snowplow, watch the Larpenteur Avenue Bridge come together through time-lapse photography, and learn more about the zipper merge. Plus, don’t miss the MnDOT snow plow making special appearances in a number of the daily parades over the course of the fair!
Department of Human Services: Minnesota’s seniors can find excellent resources at the Minnesota Board on Aging booth and can learn more about the “Own Your Future” campaign.
Higher Education: If visitors to the fair have questions about preparing and paying for college, the OHE booth is a one-stop-shop. The Office of Higher Education will be giving out publications and handouts on a variety of college-related topics, and will be available to answer questions. There will be a daily drawing for a MN College Savings Plan. Try your luck at some smart savings for higher education!
The Department of Natural Resources. Fairgoers can celebrate Smokey the Bear's 70th birthday on August 22 at the Outdoor Stage, learn facts about invasive species in MN with the DNR’s interactive stations and videos, and participate in scavenger hunt with prizes. Check out the Fire Tower between 9am and 5pm and attend a Fish Pond Talk by MinnAqua Program Specialists.
Everywhere at the Fair
Metro Transit: Keep an eye out for Metro Transit pick-up and drop-off locations for an easy and affordable ride to the great Minnesota get-together. Once at the fair, attendees should make a stop at Metro Transit’s booth located at the Grandstand where they can find information about current and future projects. You can also find Metro Transit at the Kick Gas booth located in the Eco Experience Building. This booth offers a range of sustainable options and resources such as transit, bicycling, walking and car sharing to Kick Gas.
Minnesota State Patrol: Monday August 25 is the annual Minnesota State Patrol Day at the Great Minnesota Get Together. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to meet State Troopers, check out new and vintage squads and see the K9 unit in action.
Veterans Affairs: Join MDVA on August 26th for Military Appreciation Day at the Fair! Visitors can also check out informational booths in the Veterans area of the 4-H Building for the entire length of the fair.