From rides to animal barns, parts of the Minnesota State Fair have thrilled generations during its 157-year run.
Ye Old Mill began operating in 1915. Princess Kay was first crowned in 1954. grandstand concerts began rocking audiences in 1962.
We asked fairgoers to share some of their favorite memories of the Minnesota State Fair. Then we headed off to grab a Pronto Pup, the first of which was sold in 1947.
"Liza Minnelli at the grandstand. I would have never seen her — I went kicking and screaming back in the '70s. She never stopped singing for three hours."
–Deb Krieg, 61, Edina
"I went to the Haunted House with my dad when I was probably about 8. I remember being really nervous, but we bought the tickets and were at the front of the line when I froze at the entryway. I couldn't decide if I wanted to go in or not and the workers even offered me a flashlight, which you're not allowed to do. I ended up chickening out, but after that we made our own haunted house for the next four to five years at my house during Halloween."
–Ben Tracy, 22, Minneapolis
"I loved the barn tours where agricultural students would take you for a free tour and tell you where your food comes from. That was hands down the best thing about the fair. You always gotta see the animals."
–Mark Zaban, 61, Mendota Heights
"I liked the rides. It was really scary at the top of [Crazy] Mouse because it was really high. I asked to get off the ride."
–Tierra Holmes, 10, New Hope
"Before I left for college, as a sort of sendoff, my parents got us tickets to the Current's Music on a Stick. Jeremy Messersmith and the Jayhawks were playing so it hit both generations. It was like a last huzzah before I went to school."
–Siri Keller, 22, Minneapolis
"When I was around 6 years old, I was sitting on a bench eating an ice cream sandwich and Goldy Gopher shoved it in my face. I just stared at him wondering 'What is this strange thing and why is he touching my food?' "
–Casey McCloy, 17, Mahtomedi
Ben Kraszyk, a Chicago transplant, made his first State Fair memory by winning a giant stuffed animal in the ring toss during his company's annual retreat. "You can't throw the ring aggressively; you have to gently lob it over," he said on his winning strategy. Other first-timer thoughts: "I was fascinated by the idea that people buy buckets of cookies."
–Ben Kraszyk, 25, Minneapolis
"There used to be a salon where you could get a 'Fair-Do.' I took my granddaughters (6 and 8 years old at the time), where they got their hair teased, colored and glittered. One had giant puffs on the side of her head. People would see them on the SkyRide and point and giggle. They were so cute. These two are fearless."
–Joline Gitis, 63, Minneapolis
"Going down the big slide when I was younger with my four siblings was super fun."
–Kenzie Hale, 20, Forest Lake
"Every year I sit with my mom at the DNR stage to see all the artists perform for free. I've always enjoyed spending time with family, just being together, without spending a lot of money."
–Cedric Holecek, 18, New Hope