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The sign was carefully moved and brought to a metalworks business in Hugo, where it was sandblasted and refurbished — it was actually in pretty good shape, Hammer said. It is now primed and ready for painting, and will be on display this year next to the ShenaniGuns Comedy Wild West Show at the northeast corner of Heritage Square. The project could cost $25,000 when complete.
“There might be some kind of cosmic State Fair sensibility or something that the arch happened to pop up just as we were talking about a transit hub,” he said. “We have more people every year taking transit to the fair, just like the old days. We’ve come full circle.”
The Como parking lot is serviceable, but it isn’t efficient and forces people to cross Como Avenue. That won’t be the case next year if plans fall into place. And the arch will be placed front and center once again.
The only decision left is what to paint on the sign, Hammer said.
Historic photos show it saying simply “State Fair,” but when it was found, it said “Minnesota State Fair.”
“I want to find out what it said originally, when it was brand new,” Hammer said. “You really don’t have to say Minnesota State Fair when you’re here, do you?”
Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson