Theme – public lands – owned by you, managed by the DNR
- Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 85th anniversary this year
- The 40-foot-high building opened Sept. 1, 1934.
- Approximately 500,000 people visit the DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
- Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. In 2019, a regular adult admission ticket costs $15.
- Crews from the Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
- Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
- DNR building is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions.
- Pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water. It is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
- There are about three dozen species of fish in the outdoor pond.
- Fish pond talks take place at quarter to the hour daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- DNR renovated its indoor fish exhibit in 2013 installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building.
- Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
- Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
- Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
- When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of 118 Minnesota moose.
- Aquariums are open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Specifically built for the State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
- Tower is 65 feet tall and there are 84 steps from bottom to top.
- There is no charge to climb fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
- Fire tower is on the National Historic Lookout Register. It is number 10 out of 14 historic lookouts.
- Tower originally opened in 1966 but was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns. It was repaired and reopened in 2006.
- Open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., weather permitting.
State Park Camper cabin
- Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot camper cabin that’s on display.
- Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
- There are more than 90 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas around the state. Many of the cabins include electricity, and some are wheelchair accessible.
- Cabins have two sets of bunks sleeping up to six people. Also includes a picnic table and fire ring with grill.
- Camper cabin display is open daily during the fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Staff available at the cabin to answer questions when the building is open.
- Camper cabin is located near southwest corner of the DNR building.
DNR forestry display
- Three interactive exhibit areas opened in 2017.
- Step inside a giant hiking boot surrounded by huge leaves for a unique Minnesota photo. Just imagine what it is like to step into a real Minnesota forest!
- Explore a life-sized white pine tree, complete with roots a person can walk on and learn how forests create clean water.
- Gaze upon a wall of “tree cookies” 11 feet tall – all native, Minnesota trees.
- Walk into a “forest” of interactive, informational trees on: forest stewardship, urban trees, forest products, fire and forests, climate change, and emerald ash borer.
- Play with a puzzle of dimensional lumber to learn how much wood comes from a log.
- Explore the tools foresters use in the woods every day – clinometer, increment borer and drip torch.
- Exhibit is open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. in DNR Building.
Legacy Amendment Display
- Instagrammable 17-foot waterfall and other photo opportunities.
- A children’s play area.
- Smokey Bear is celebrating 75 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
- Smokey Bear’s birthday party: 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, on the DNR stage.
- Smokey Bear puppet show: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23 on the DNR stage.
- Smokey makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Wall of Shame trailer – Turn in Poachers
- Mounted animals and stories about how they were taken illegally.
- Display located on south side of DNR building.
- Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
- Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
- Master naturalist volunteers available to answer wildlife questions.
- Display located in DNR building and is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Invasive species display
- Learn about the invasive species present in Minnesota
- Explore interactive displays to learn the actions people can take to prevent invasive species. People can clean, drain and dispose to stop aquatic invasive species and PlayCleanGo to stop invasive species on land.
- Check out the PlayCleanGo pledge wall to pledge to clear gear to Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks.
- See examples of invasive animals and plants and the impacts they can have.
- Talk with DNR staff and volunteers about invasive species questions.