Minnesota DNR Commissioner at State Fair 9-5 Friday, Aug. 26
For the first time in many years, Minnesota’s DNR Commissioner
will be on hand to talk with the public during the State Fair. On
Friday, Aug. 26, Commissioner Tom Landwehr will be at the DNR
information booth “and surrounding park area” from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m., to speak with fairgoers about the state’s natural
The DNR’s State Fair theme this year is Stop the Invaders! The
focus will be on invasive species and measures for preventing their
foothold and controlling their spread.
DNR has installed two live webcams at this year’s State
DNR Fish Pond Cam: www.dnr.state.mn.us/statefair/webcam/fish.html
DNR Fire Tower: www.dnr.state.mn.us/statefair/webcam/firetower.html
Details on some other attractions at the DNR Building and
surrounding area, some of which is specific to Friday, Aug. 26:
Smokey Bear is celebrating his 67th birthday this year. He reminds
children and their parents they can help prevent wildfires by being
cautious with burning. In conjunction with the Governor’s Fire
Prevention Day, the Division of Forestry will host a variety of
special activities and events throughout the day, including a fire
prevention quiz, beanbag toss, temporary tattoos, and views from
the top of the fire tower as well as from a cab located at ground
level. On the Governor’s Prevention Day, Smokey will be visiting
children every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Near north side of DNR building
CLIMB DNR FIRE TOWER
Located next to the Fire Prevention Building, the DNR fire tower is
open to the public. The 65-foot State Fair fire tower was
constructed in 1966. It was specifically built for the Fair to
provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors. Although this
tower was never used for actual fire detection, there were at one
time more than 100 active fire towers in Minnesota that were the
primary tool used for fire detection. Today, aircraft detection and
citizen reports have replaced the need for all but a few of the
fire towers that were once used.
Fairgoers can climb the 84 steps to get a birds-eye view of the
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily
WHERE: Near northwest corner of main DNR building
A nearly 15-foot tall sculpture of an eight-point buck, weighing
more than 500 pounds, is on display at the DNR Adopt-a-River
exhibit. The project was made out of rubbish collected
collected from Minnesota public waters.
Within the sculpture, people can see rusted car parts,
headlights, pliers, a license plate, a jumper cable clip, a toy
tractor, a rubber cement bottle, rebar, and assorted gears and
scrap metal. In the antlers of the buck, there is a nest and with a
pair of herons. With outstretched wings, the herons’ feathers were
constructed using more than five garbage bags full of discarded,
sun-bleached plastic water and pop bottles.
Artist Raina Belleau, a Minneapolis native, spent approximately
240 hours creating the sculpture.
WHEN: All day
WHERE: South end of DNR Park
The DNR sponsored National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)
will be featured at the State Fair. The archery range is located in
the DNR indoor theater. Volunteers from area schools participating
in the NASP program, along with staff from the DNR outreach
section, will assist fairgoers who want to try archery and learn
more about this fun and exciting lifelong sport.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily
WHERE: DNR indoor theater
OUTDOOR FUN AT FINGERTIPS
An interactive, touch-screen kiosk display in the shape of
Minnesota helps people find great opportunities for recreation.
With the touch of a few buttons, people can now check trail and
weather conditions statewide, browse photos and upcoming events,
and order free maps and other publications.
WHEN: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Inside the DNR Building
DNR FISH POND TALKS
Learn all about the different fish that call Minnesota home during
the DNRs fish pond talks. The live fish exhibit is one of the State
Fairs most popular attractions with an estimated 800,000 visitors
Started in 1905, the fairs first live fish exhibit used
aquariums purchased from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. This
year’s exhibit features about 45 species of fish.
One of the most popular fish with fairgoers has been the
paddlefish. Characterized by their long, paddle-like bill, the
paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below
Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being
recorded. These fish are like sharks in that the skeleton
(including the snout) contains no bone and is made entirely of
cartilage. Paddlefish are filter feeders without mechanical gills.
They swim constantly to pass water over their rigid gill membranes,
extracting oxygen and filtering out the plankton that make up their
The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which
exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift
of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix
several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the
Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.
WHEN: Daily at 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45
2:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
WHERE: DNR fish pond, south side of DNR Building
LAST CHANCE FOREVER – BIRDS OF PREY
A nationally known organization based in San Antonio, Texas, called
Last Chance Forever – Birds of Prey Conservancy will demonstrate
the beauty and magnificence of the winged predators.
This show allows people to feel the wind from a hawk’s wings and
see the eyes of an owl up close. Spectators have a chance to get up
close and personal with an eagle and see the beauty of a hawk
swooping down from a pine tree.
The excitement mounts when music chosen just for the
demonstration begins, causing the visitor to be transported into
their imagination. Suddenly a hawk appears, seemingly out of thin
air, to allow visitors a close look at this beautiful, powerful
WHEN: 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
WHERE: Garden Stage, west side of DNR building