Are you a connoisseur of country music? Would you love to cheer on piglets as they race around a track? Do you enjoy all things agriculture, whipping around on rides, or devouring poutine? If so, the North Dakota State Fair is just for you. Beginning on July 20th and going on for nine days straight, the endless string of carnival rides and fried foods will be all yours to enjoy.
The North Dakota State Fair is renowned for its great concerts, and is a country music fan’s dream destination. With performers including Cole Swindel, Florida Georgia Line, and Kip Moore lined up, this year’s grandstand is bound to be a total sensation. Rock lovers also rejoice: Cheap Trick and Nickelback are both doing their own sets as well.
And the food! If you’re planning to pencil a cheat day into your summer diet, schedule it during the North Dakota State Fair. Garlic cheese curds and mini cinnamon rolls are some fan favorites — but why not go all in and have fair food for every meal? For breakfast, how about some hash browns or a breakfast sandwich from A & M Concessions Burgers? Maybe for lunch you could stop by Little Blue Elephant for crab puffs and pad thai. For dinner, consider walleye on a stick accompanied by the fair’s famous poutine. This dish is a special salute to the Canadians who make the 50 mile long trip to enjoy everything North Dakota has to offer.
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for — yes, dessert! Dippin’ Dots, homemade pies, and mini donuts…lots of mini donuts! Vendors with new dishes can enter the Food Frenzy for a chance to win the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by patrons of the fair every year. Last year’s winner was Minnesota Wing King’s roughneck nachos, made with grilled buffalo chicken, bacon bits, and cheese sauce.
One of the fair’s greatest attractions is the Enduro Race. For two of the fair’s nine days you can watch cars race around a giant dirt track, each vying for the fastest finish. If you’re looking for a cuter competition, Daryl’s Racing Pigs will compete every day of the fair at 12:30pm, 3:00pm, and 5:30pm.
Agriculture is a great part of North Dakota’s culture, so it’s here at the fair. Pick a breed of livestock, and you’ll likely find it in a contest. The fair is a great place for people of all ages to showcase their animals and participate in events through FFA and 4-H. Last year, 47,000 exhibitors showed everything from livestock to needlework to baking and more.
And finally, there’s the rides. With a Mega Ride Pass, you can enjoy the carnival attractions all day, from the Blue Bounce to the Freak Out. Ride them two, three, or ten times if you’d like.
The North Dakota State Fair is the place to be this summer for wholesome family fun and entertainment. With food, games, shows, and contests that appeal to all ages, the North Dakota State Fair is the finest place on earth.
By Taylor Wiebke