Stay-at-home State Fair calendar
Thursday, Aug. 27
Fact Frenzy: Think you know Minnesota? Join our trivia challenge with hosts Eric Roper and Nicole Norfleet to test that theory. Today’s category: state landmarks. Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy to play along for fabulous prize packs and bragging rights. 9:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Lucinda Williams: The queen of Americana music’s new album, “Good Souls Better Angels,” echoes our troubled times with its mix of anger and optimism. Her six-song virtual set is on startribune.com at noon.
Food Guide: Rick Nelson offers 10 favorites of the fair that are still available around town.
Beer Garden: If it’s State Fair season, it’s still summer, and our beer expert Michael Agnew, with food and drink writer Sharyn Jackson and music critic Chris Riemenschneider invite you to sip along with them as they walk viewers through a sudsy six-pack of local brews. Buy your beer in advance or simply watch along to get a sense for what you’ll like. 4 p.m. List of six beers included.
Conversations: Gov. Tim Walz addresses the future of a post-COVID, post-George Floyd Minnesota with opinion writer Pat Lopez at 2 p.m.
Friday Aug. 28
DIY Fair: This year’s butter carver shows us how to carve our very own princess head from a one-pound block of butter. Follow along and share your work on social media by tagging it #DIYstatefair. 9:30 a.m.
Grandstand/André Cymone: Prince’s original bassist — and childhood friend — this funk-rocker has raised his voice in song that speaks to the Black experience in America. Virtual set on startribune.com at noon.
Food Guide: Local restaurants have always figured prominently at the fair. This year, many are cooking up dishes like they would have had at the State Fair. Find Part 1 of our guide today.
Fair Minute: Columnist James Lileks explores the empty fairgrounds and invites you to take a peek at landmarks you know and (maybe) love. 2 p.m.
Saturday Aug. 29
Fact Frenzy: The Minnesota State Fair may be canceled, but it lives on in our hearts — and in this trivia contest. Today’s topic: How deep is your State Fair love? Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy to play along. 9:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Nur-D: The Rosemount-raised rapper, whose stage name reflects his love for comics and video games, is churning out music at a pace that defies quarantine standards. Get ready to dance in the living room at noon; go to startribune.com.
Food Guide: Local restaurants have always figured prominently at the fair. This year, many are cooking up dishes like they would have had at the State Fair. Part 2 of our restaurant guide.
Conversations: How will schools manage reopening this fall and what happens if COVID-19 throws a curveball? Minnesota Commissioner of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker breaks it down with opinion writer Denise Johnson. 2 p.m.
Sunday Aug. 30
Grandstand/Jearlyn Steele: The WCCO Radio host and former “Prairie Home Companion” favorite is a member of Minnesota First Family of gospel and soul. Check out her power performance at noon on startribune.com.
Food Guide: State Fair beer offerings are known for their wackiness. Find out where some breweries are offering them in their taprooms this year for a very limited time.
Fair Minute: James Lileks offers up a quick history of the Great Minnesota Get-Together from the fairgrounds. 2 p.m.
Monday Aug. 31
Fact Frenzy: Today’s trivia contest challenges how well you know your Minnesota sports teams. Bring your A Game, champ. Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy to play along. 9:30 a.m.
Talent contest: We asked for amateur talent, and we got lots of it. Our panel of judges selected the first round of semifinalists. Now it’s your turn to watch and vote. startribune.com/fairtalent. 10:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Cory Wong: This Twin Cities guitar star has played Madison Square Garden and become a regular on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” He’ll delight the hometown crowd at noon on startribune.com.
Food Guide: Missing food on a stick and other fair treats? We rounded up classic fair foods you can find around town in a two-part guide starting today.
Conversations: Mayo expert Dr. Gregory Poland speaks with opinion writer Jill Burcum on the rush to develop a vaccine, and how we’ll know it’s safe. 2 p.m.
Tuesday Sept. 1
DIY Fair: Missing your State Fair souvenirs? Make your own “Blue Ox, Blue Ribbon” keepsake with official Star Tribune felt ornamentalist Jennifer Brooks. Gather some felt, googly eyes and a hot glue gun for this fun tutorial. Be sure to share your work on social media by tagging #DIYStateFair. 9:30 a.m.
Talent contest: Minnesota’s got talent. So much that we had to have several rounds of voting in our Amateur Talent Contest. Here’s the second batch of semifinalists. Watch and vote at startribune.com/fairtalent. 10:30 a.m.
Grandstand/The Jayhawks: One of Minnesota’s most celebrated bands, the alt-country heroes have an acclaimed new album, “XOXO,” but they recorded a fun all-covers set for us. Check out the exclusive at noon on startribune.com.
Food Guide: Missing food on a stick and other fair treats? We rounded up a list of classic fair foods you can find around town; Part 2.
Fair Minute: James Lileks takes you on a tour of the eerily empty Midway. 2 p.m.
Wednesday Sept. 2
Fact Frenzy: Minnesota movies and music star in this round of our trivia challenge. Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy to play along for fabulous prize packs and bragging rights. 9:30 a.m.
Talent contest: The competition is fierce in our third and last batch of semifinalists. Watch and vote at startribune.com/fairtalent. 10:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Lyle Lovett/Siama’s Congo Roots: Texas singer-songwriter Lovett, whose music blends more flavors than Ben & Jerry’s, headlines a twofer day that also includes the infectious Afropop grooves of Congolese guitar picker Siama Matuzungidi. Lovett at noon; Siama’s Congo Roots at 3 p.m.
Food Guide: Walking up to a food stand and walking away with fair food is a hallmark of summer. Here’s a list of stands around town that feel like the real thing.
Conversations: University of St. Thomas athletic director Phil Esten talks with Michael Rand about the transition to Division I sports. 2 p.m.
Thursday Sept. 3
DIY Fair: No, Sweet Martha won’t share her secret recipe, but she does have tips and tricks for making warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Bake your own and share your work on social media using #DIYstatefair 9:30 a.m.
Talent show: You’ve thinned the herd. The Amateur Talent Contest is in its final round of voting. Which of the finalists will you choose? Vote at startribune.com/fairtalent. 10:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Dan Wilson and Cactus Blossoms: Another doubleheader! Wilson, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter of “Closing Time” fame, whose band Semisonic is releasing its first new music in 19 years, starts at noon. Country-rock brothers-in-harmony Page Burkum and Jack Torrey take the virtual stage at 3 p.m.
Food Guide: Rick Nelson and Sharyn Jackson offer their wish list of future food options for the fair. Will State Fair officials be listening? We’ll see next year.
Beer Garden: Our beer expert Michael Agnew, with food and drink writer Sharyn Jackson and music critic Chris Riemenschneider invite you to sip along with them as they walk viewers through a sudsy six-pack of local fall brews. Buy your beer in advance or simply watch to get a sense for what you’ll like. 4 p.m.
Fair Minute: Counting columns and reminiscing about what happens at the Grandstand, from the empty fairgrounds with James Lileks. 2 p.m.
Friday Sept. 4
Fact Frenzy: Hungry for trivia action? For this round of Fact Frenzy, we’ve got six questions about classic Minnesota cuisine to test your local food IQ. Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy to play along and enter to win a Star Tribune prize pack. 9:30 a.m.
Talent show: This is it! We’ll reveal the winners of our Amateur Talent contest at startribune.com/fairtalent. The winners — including our Grand Champion — will receive the coveted Star Tribune lip balm. 10:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Lady Midnight: This fast-rising Twin Cities singer has an eye-popping sense of style and a soothing yet riveting voice that’s part Eartha Kitt, Solange and Jeff Buckley. Noon.
Food Guide: Where to get corn dogs — and Pronto Pups — in the Twin Cities while the Minnesota State Fair is canceled.
Conversations: Lynx head coach and GM Cheryl Reeve explains the WNBA’s social justice efforts. 2 p.m.
Saturday Sept. 5
Grandstand/Nachito Herrera: A grave case of COVID-19 that landed him in intensive care for 18 days couldn’t stop this powerhouse piano star from Cuba. Noon.
Food Guide: There’s no Dairy Barn for malts and shakes this year, but there are plenty of ice cream options around the Twin Cities that can make you miss the fair less.
DIY Fair: Seed art champion Jill Moe breaks down the basics so you can craft crop art at home. Check out the instructional video starting at 9:30 a.m. and share your seed art masterpiece later on social media with #DIYstatefair.
Fair Minute: Here’s why you should add the Horticulture Building to your must-visit list next year, when the shindig is on again. 2 p.m.
Sunday Sept. 6
Fact Frenzy: Pop quiz! Do you know your state history? We’ll be judge of that. Go to startribune.com/factfrenzy for your last chance to play along and win fabulous prizes and bragging rights. 9:30 a.m.
Grandstand/Molly Maher: A multitalented force on the Twin Cities music scene, this singer/songwriter just released the alluringly organic album “Follow.” See her artful performance, complete with spin painting, starting at noon.
Food Guide: Missing your State Fair bucket of cookies? Here are cookie options from around the Twin Cities that offer a sweet replacement.
Conversations: Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders talks with Mike Rand about the long offseason — and the State Fair.
Monday Sept. 7
Grandstand/Kat Perkins: “Fearless” is a watchword for this former finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” who has a song for fans of every taste. Watch her performance recorded exclusively for the Star Tribune at noon.
Fair Minute: When the fair’s epicenter for food is packed with people, you never notice this funny feature. James Lileks guides us through the Food Building. 2 p.m.
Food Guide: You can get your fix of State Fair food all year long with some specialties that appear in grocery stores.