15 Jul What’s Happenin’ at the State Fair: An Overview
When the 2021 North Dakota State Fair opens on July 23, that’s how long it will have been since lead singer Rivers Cuomo and the band Weezer closed the last Saturday of the 2019 North Dakota State Fair. It is the last time the largest annual event in the state graced the State Fairgrounds in Minot. 2019’s attendance drew 293,145 people.
The State Fair returns for a 55th season this July after being cancelled for only the second time since the event was formally placed in the Magic City in 1962 (the other being 2011). This year’s event resumes the action with a Grandstand Showpass that is well worth the price, new food vendors and endless hours of entertainment. Ride in through the gate and take a preview of what this year’s festivities have to offer.
Two new food vendors this year
Who are the new food vendors this year at the Fair bringing new treats and classic favorites???
Sue Sue’s Concessions
If it’s Sue Sue’s, it’s probably wrapped in bacon! They offer: Bacon Wrapped Chicken on a Stick, Bacon Wrapped Hotdogs, Bacon Fries, Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos, Bacon Nachos, Lemonade and Sweet Tea! It’s all about the bacon!
Amish Annie Donuts
Amish Annie’s features every batch made from scratch! They offer Large Glazed Donuts and Homemade Whipping Cream with a variety of toppings: Fruit, Chocolate, Maple Bacon and more. Lemonade shakeup flavors and cold-brew coffee is also available.
First, let’s look at this year’s lineup on the Grandstand stage.
Live Performances and Music
*Wednesday, July 28th’s opening act is Tigirlily; Saturday, July 31st’s opening act is Restless Road
Automotive and Rodeo Events
**General Admission (limited seating) for Enduro Races and Freestyle Motocross
Well worth the price is the Grandstand Showpass for $110! It includes:
Dan & Shay – July 24
Ashley McBryde – July 25
Enduro Races – July 26
Freestyle Motocross – July 27
Sawyer Brown (and Tigirlily) – July 28
Casey Donahew – July 29
Kane Brown (with Restless Road) – July 31
Daily or seasonal passes can be purchased here, as well as tickets to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Billy Idol (sold separately) not included in the Grandstand Showpass. Save with seasonal passes or a Grandstand Showpass:
Adult Seasonal Gate Pass for 9 days – $25
Junior Seasonal Gate Pass for 9 days – $15
Grandstand Showpass for 7 concerts – $110
Visitors can also purchase a daily pass at the gate or online for single-day entry (kids 6 and under get in free)!
In addition to the performance lineups, the fair features over 600 spaces for commercial events and stands that have a little bit of everything for everyone!
There are eight free stages that run free events, from entertainment to music and more.
One of the longest-standing fair attractions at Stage 4 this year is Daryl’s Racing Pigs, which is going into its 31st year. Daryl was a freshman in high school when he entered the pigs as part of a FFA project, and 33 years later he still provides daily entertainment at the Fair with his daughter Amber. Spectators can bet on which pig they think will win each race! Showtimes are 12:30, 3:00 and 5:30pm daily.
The Dakota Talent Stage is your chance to enjoy local talent at its best as artists from across the region take the stage to showcase their music and various talents every day from 1:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
Children also have a chance to see live animals at various times of the fair, from goats to chickens and more. Occasionally, you might just scratch that itch, literally.
The North Dakota State Fair runs from July 23 to 31 at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot.