What is the mission of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation?
The Minnesota State Fair Foundation preserves and improves the historic Minnesota State Fair buildings, grounds and educational programs.
Why does the State Fair have a Foundation?
The State Fair and the fairgrounds are like a small city where the organization is responsible for preservation and development of the 320-acre fairgrounds and the multitude of programs you enjoy. Even though our State Fair is as popular as ever, the fair’s operating budget is stretched too thin to keep pace with aging facilities, sustain traditions and provide innovative and contemporary programming. The State Fair needs additional resources for capital and program improvements.
This is why, in 2002, the State Fair created the Minnesota State Fair Foundation to preserve the State Fair experience for future generations. As the nonprofit fundraising entity, the Foundation accepts contributions and grants funds to the State Fair for preservation of historic buildings, new buildings, beautification of the fairgrounds and support for educational programs.
How has the State Fair Foundation supported the Minnesota State Fair?
The State Fair Foundation was founded in 2002. Since then, contributions have funded:
- AgStar Arena, a new equine and livestock facility
- Preservation of the historic Grandstand Ramp and the Grandstand Marquee
- A new Moo Booth for beef and dairy education
- The CHS Miracle of Birth and FFA Center
- Improvements to the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum
- Restoration of the historic greenhouse residence with naming for J.V. Bailey
- Preservation of the historic towers atop the Agriculture Horticulture and 4-H Buildings
- More than 300 recognition benches saluting great names on the fairgrounds
- More than 3,000 recognition pavers with names and stories
- The addition of more than 60 trees, including disease resistant elms.
What is a Friend of the Fair?
Friends of the Fair is the Foundation’s membership giving program. Gift levels range from $25 to $2,500. Friends donors receive a variety of benefits including gate tickets, pre-sale access to Grandstand shows, personalized bricks, benches, tables and more. Funds raised through the Friends of the Fair program support the Minnesota State Fair Foundation mission.
Click here to learn more about becoming a Friend of the Fair.
How can I support a specific program or improvement project through the State Fair Foundation?
There are several restricted funds (meaning the Foundation can only use the money for a specific purpose) that have been established to support State Fair Program Areas. Those areas include: educational enrichment, history and heritage, agricultural education, environmental applications, and cultural and artistic expressions. The Foundation also raises funds for specific campaigns.
If there is a specific project you are interested in supporting that is not included in our existing restricted funds please contact Lindsay Dickson at (651) 288-4322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does the State Fair Foundation accept in-kind gifts?
Yes. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation accepts in-kind gifts that fit with our mission.
Contact Jennine Duda at (651) 288-4323 or email@example.com for more information.
How do I place a personalized brick, bench or table on the fairgrounds?
Bricks, benches and tables are placed in recognition of gifts to our Friends of the Fair program at the $250 level (bricks), $1,500 level (benches) and $2,500 level (tables).
Click here if you are interested in a recognition brick, bench or table.
How can I volunteer for the State Fair Foundation?
Hundreds of volunteers promote the Foundation mission, primarily during the summer months and at the Minnesota State Fair. Groups and individuals bring a variety of skills and expertise.
If you are interested in volunteering with the State Fair Foundation, please contact Jennine Duda at (651) 288-4323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the State Fair Foundation do during the fair?
The State Fair Foundation hosts donors and fair guests at the J.V. Bailey House on Cosgrove Street across from the Space Tower.
Click here to learn about Foundation activities at the 2012 State Fair.
State Fair Story
“It’s the little things that color your life. The thunderstorm 48 years ago that my young wife and I watched in wonder as we sat in the beer garden. The family meeting by the car for lunch on machinery hill. Sitting on the grass with Grandma’s basket of food 59 years ago–when it was common to bring your lunch. Life changing, no, but the accumulation of these memories through the years are keepsakes more precious than diamonds. The fair has supplied more than its share.”
- George Bordner