Description: What began in 1854 as a territorial fair to highlight agriculture and encourage farming in the region became the Minnesota State Fair in 1859, a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. Today, often referred to as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” the annual Minnesota State Fair is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. The fair attracts nearly 2 million guests annually. This end-of-summer tradition is always held the 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day. The 2018 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 23 - Sept. 3. The fair employs nearly 80 year-round full-time staff members. During the summer, about 400 seasonal staff are added. Close to 2,700 people are hired as fair-time staff members. Located mid-way between Minneapolis and St. Paul, the 320-acre Minnesota State Fairgrounds is renowned for its beautiful gardens and architecture reflecting the art deco and Works Progress Administration eras. Hundreds of events are held on the fairgrounds throughout the year during the non-fair time, including horse and livestock competitions, merchandise sales, expositions, car shows and more. The Minnesota State Fair is a recipient of a 2013-14 BBB Torch Award for Ethics. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota presents the award annually to companies that display exemplary levels of ethics, customer service and integrity in all aspects of their operations. The Minnesota State Fair’s mission is to educate and involve our guests by providing a world-class showcase that is innovative, entertaining and fun.