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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > State fair

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair

Aug. 25 - Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2016

youth dancing on a stage

Showing their projects at the state fair gives Minnesota 4-H youth a chance to showcase their accomplishments and continue learning. Read more about 4-H'ers at the fair.

What happens at the fair?

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair is not just a fun annual event. Every summer, thousands of 4-H youth participate in the state fair to showcase the knowledge and skills they've gained throughout the year, and to continue their learning experiences.

4-H youth spend months working on projects designed to equip them with essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, project management, communications and public speaking. 4-H'ers then share their accomplishments and educate the public about their subject at their local county fair. Those who demonstrate the highest achievements are then selected to participate in 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair!

At both county and state fairs, 4-H'ers meet one-on-one with experts to have their projects evaluated, discuss what they've learned, and identify future learning opportunities. 4-H'ers also lead visitors on tours of the 4-H Building and barns, and conduct workshops and hands-on demonstrations for the public.

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair not only makes great memories, it helps 4-H youth grow into successful adults.

Resources for 4-H participants

General information, transportation & lodging, livestock, schedules and policies.


Judging results, scholarships, photos, and media releases for current and past state fairs.

Stay connected!


Daily highlights

Wednesday, August 31

* 8:30 a.m., Project judging: Cats, Electric, Exploring the Environment, Flower Gardening, Food Preservation, Food Review, Needle Arts, Potato, Shooting Sports & Wildlife Management, Shop & Wood Science, Veterinary Science, Water & Wetlands, Youth Leadership -- 4-H Building
* 10 a.m. Rube Goldberg Machine conference judging and presentations -- 4-H Building
* 11:30 a.m., Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building
* 12 p.m., Project judging: Child & Family Development, Citizenship, Crop Sciences, Dog, Fishing Sports, Food & Nutrition, Home Environment, Indoor Gardening, Pets, Self Determined, Fruit & Vegetable Gardening -- 4-H Building
* 12 p.m., Lamas arrive, ID'ing and Interviews at 2 p.m. -- AgStar Arena
* 2:00 p.m., Chef for a Day Cook-Off -- 4-H Building
* 3 p.m. Rube Goldberg Machine conference judging and presentations -- 4-H Building
* 5 p.m., Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building
* 5:15 p.m.: Project judging: Bicycle, Consumer Education, Creative Arts: Crafts & Fine Arts, Exploring Animals, Global Connections, Lawn & Landscape, Plant & Soil Science, Wildlife Biology -- 4-H Building
* 6:00 p.m., Lama Costume Competition -- AgStar Arena
* 6:00 p.m., Chef for a Day Cook-Off -- 4-H Building
* 6:30 p.m., Fashion Review Show -- 4-H Building
* 6:30 p.m., Share the Fun Showcase -- 4-H Building, 2nd floor
* 7:30 p.m., Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building

Thursday, September 1

* 8:30 a.m., Project judging in Aerospace, Clothing, Community Pride, Engineering Design, Health, Quilting, Robotics, Small Engines, Tractor.
* 11:30 a.m., Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building
* 3:30 Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building
* 4:30 p.m., Lama obstacle course competition -- AgStar Arena
* 4:30 p.m., Lama public relations competition -- AgStar Arena
* 5 p.m., Arts-In performance -- 4-H Building
* 5:15 p.m., Project judging in Computer, Entomology, Forest Resources, Geology, Photography, Safety, Small Engine, Video -- 4-H Building
* 5:25 p.m., Performing Arts judging -- 4-H Building
* 6 - 8 p.m. -- Chef for a Day -- 4-H Building

State fair by the numbers

Last year, 5630 4-H'ers:
  • Exhibited 2,689 projects in the 4-H Building
  • Showed 2,858 livestock
  • 261 took part in Arts-In performances
  • Served (and ate!) more than 32,593 meals

One in five people who attend the state fair visit the 4-H Building -- that's more than 320,000 in 12 days!


Brad Rugg or Karen Nelson at the Center for Youth Development, 612-624-2116.

Read more about Minnesota 4-H. To join, contact your local county Extension office.

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