Along with the previously announced tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America, several other new Minnesota State Fair attractions were revealed Wednesday ranging from a celebration of the NHL's centennial to yarn-inspired street art to a live appearance by celebrity chef Paula Deen.
Other additions to the fair, which runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, include a shopping and eating venue on the grandstand's upper level featuring craft beers and Minnesota wine and 30 new vendors selling everything from outdoor gear to foodie products.
To mark 100 years of the NHL, the league will bring to the State of Hockey two 53-foot-long trailers filled with memorabilia and visual attractions — including a Stanley Cup appearance on the first two days of the exhibit's Sept. 1-4 run.
Evine, a Minnesota-based entertainment video retailer, will be broadcasting live to millions of homes with Deen and John O'Hurley, best known for his role as J. Peterman on TV's "Seinfeld."
Deen will be creating a dish in the kitchen during her Aug. 24 broadcast starting at 11 a.m. "Pet Shoppe with John O'Hurley" follows.
"The Great Minnesota Knit Together" will be parked on the grandstand ramp and will feature crocheted, knitted and other yarn craftings in what fair officials are calling a "community yarnbomb." Contributors will be groups such as Knitteapolis, the Minnesota Knitters' Guild and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
News of the Great Big Wheel coming to the fair was announced in May. The continent's most imposing Ferris wheel takes riders 156 feet in the air. It's adorned with more than 500,000 LED lights that can be programmed to display countless colorful designs. The spinning spectacle will cost riders $5 and will be on the southwest corner of Randall Avenue and Cosgrove Street.
Fair officials said there are no attractions closing to make way for the many additions. That could mean more crowded walks for a fair that tallied record attendance of nearly 2 million last year.
For a full rundown of the slew of new attractions, including locations, dates and times, visit mnstatefair.org.