State Fair History

Minot area people have put considerable effort into their fair from its 1922 start in a rye field on the city's southeast side, to its move to the present location, comprimising 154 acres. The Fair has attracted entertainment like Lawrence Welk's Champagne Music Makers, New York City's famous Rockettes dance troupe, and evangelist Billy Sunday. Horse, car and motorcycle races are also part of its colorful history.

The growth of physical facilities was a major improvement. The All Seasons Arena, built in 1975, became the core of a gigantic and bustling cluster of connected buildings that has become the State Fair Center. Added were the Crops and Gardens building (1980), Arena II (1985), Flickertail Gardens (1986), Cultural building (1988), and Magic Place (1999). Just south of the Center, the huge Livestock Expo building added space for livestock shows. A stagnant holding pond for run-off water in the center of the Fairgrounds, has became one of the most visited areas in the State Fair complex. It is stocked with fish for the popular Pathways to Fishing experience on one side and home of the Fur Traders Rendezvous with teepees and cabins on the other.

The crown jewel of the Fairgrounds is the 7,200 seat Grandstand, which was erected in less than a year. It was jammed with 14,863 visitors for Brooks & Dunn's Last Rodeo concert on opening night 2010 and welcomed 15,082 appreciative listeners for the KISS concert the following week. There is no question that the $17 million building, with its enlarged ticket windows and bathrooms, Carousel Pub, and accessibility is appreciated.

Ten free stages offer entertainment everywhere! Events encouraging Fair-goers to participate in sports contests and musical competitions draw crowds as does, the bustling Murphy Brothers Carnival, a fixture in Minot since 1968. Quiet spaces like the Kids' Kingdom and benches and park areas offer a space to sit and do a bit of people-watching. The ever-improving central food court keeps getting bigger, brighter and cleaner and has moved far beyond foot-longs and mini-donuts!

The North Dakota Fair staff, led by nine district directors from across the state, welcome change and innovation, but they maintain the concepts long held: A welcoming, safe, family-friendly event that is focused on both North Dakota's agriculture past and its youth, who represent the future.


State Fair History Books


The North Dakota State Fair Foundation Board commissioned the book to preserve the memories of what makes the North Dakota State Fair outstanding. The book tells the Fair’s history from 1920 - 2015.  And includes the story of the official ND State Fair designation and a description of events that no longer take place. The book is filled with photographs, and even has a few favorite memories of different Fair directors and staff members.

To purchase this commemorative book on the History of the North Dakota State Fair, you can stop by the State Fair Center, Home Sweet Home or Main Street Books in Minot and purchase your book in person.


If you prefer to have the book shipped to you, please click the Paypal link below or submit the order form provided.   Cost is $30.00 plus $6.95 shipping and handling.




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