Minnesota State Fair officials on Wednesday rolled out seven new rides for the 2018 version of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, along with many other changes from last year.
The midway gets a fair amount mightier, with three of the new rides being billed as like no other in North America:
• Haunted Castle Dark Ride: Features two levels of animated spooks, sounds and lights. It's the largest traveling haunted attraction on the continent.
• Super Frisbee: At 52 feet high, the gondola rotates at 20 revolutions per minute and free-falls at 3½ times the force of gravity. A ride with no peer in North or South America.
• Twin Flip: High-flying spins within spins and in all directions.
Rounding out the new rides:
• Rock Star: A 360-degree thrill ride that spins to 60 feet high.
• Downdraft: Ride airwaves in a supersonic spin.
• Combination Carousel: Colorful ride takes tots on a spin, merry-go-round style.
• Teacups: A relatively calm rotating teacup ride for kids with bright lights and scenery.
Other new goings-on for 2018 unveiled Wednesday include the Hangar, a new destination for food, craft beer and entertainment on the north end of the grounds; a 6,600-square-foot pet pavilion and outdoor demonstration area; and the Cambria Kitchen, which showcases presentations in creating delicious and attractive food.
Turning to the essentials, there is a new restroom building on the north end with 54 toilets, 32 sinks, 22 urinals, 18 family restrooms, eight drinking fountains and four water-bottle refill stations. This is the sixth major restroom facility built on the fairgrounds in the past 10 years.
Away from the fair, but still of interest to fairgoers, there will be two new park-and-ride locations: Calvary Church, 4604 Greenhaven Drive, White Bear Township; and North Heights Lutheran Church, 1700 Hwy. 96 West, Arden Hills.
This year's fair runs from Aug. 23 through Sept. 3.