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10 facts about the State Fair

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1. The State Fair was first held in 1859.

2. The location of the State Fair used to change annually, moving around the state.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1928 short story “A Night at the Fair” is set at the MN State Fair.

4. In 1915 a “baby contest” saw city babies vs. Country babies, as well as Minneapolis babies vs. St. Paul babies, presumably based on cuteness, but also possibly combat.

5. Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar can produce 3 million cookies per day.

6. The All You Can Drink Milk booth serves more than 25,000 gallons of milk during the Fair. It’d take one average cow 9-10 years to produce that much milk.

7. The Corn Roast booth serves on average 25,000 ears of corn each day.

8. Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy speech (“Speak softly and carry a big stick—you will go far”) was delivered at the MN State Fair in 1901. Four days later, President William McKinley was shot by an assassin.

9. The oldest food concession on the fairgrounds is the Hamline Church Dining Hall, which started in 1897.

10. Dan Patch’s younger brother, Don, was also a horse.

Who was Dan Patch Anyway?

While exploring the Minnesota State Fair you may notice many references to Dan Patch. But who was he? Dan was an American standard bred pacer used for harness racing in the early 1900s. In 1905, he set a world's record for the fastest mile by a harness horse that stood unmatched for over 30 years. He was undefeated in open competition, and was so dominant on the racetrack that other owners eventually refused to enter their horses against him

Dan Patch Illustration

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