By Christina Killion Valdez


It's one small step for mankind after another this year at the Minnesota State Fair.

And it starts with macaroni and cheese on a stick.



But how is that possible, you ask?

So did we, and Danyl Zamber, the media and public relations supervisor for the Great Minnesota Get-Together, knew the answer.

"They form the macaroni and cheese, batter it and deep-fry it," Zamber explained.

OK, but how does it taste?

"We don't know. None of the vendors are here yet," Zamber said.

Looks like you'll have to try it yourself during the fair's 10-day run, which begins Thursday and continues through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Another advance in food technology to debut this year at the fair is "nitro ice-cream."


"It's like whipped cream in a can, except they'll be making ice-cream right in front of your face with nitrogen," Zamber said.


The leaps and bounds don't stop with the food, either.

The NBA Jam Van, an interactive basketball exhibit, has slam dunk, foul shot and three-point shoot-outs, a video wall and a display to compare your hand and shoe sizes with those of NBA players.

Football fans will have more than 5,000 square feet of football activities including hike, pass and catch relays, and tests of field goal, kick-off and quarterback skills at the new Coca-Cola Gridiron Zone.

And Peanuts fans can proclaim their love of Lucy on "Looking for Lucy Day" Aug. 28.

Similar to the Snoopy and Charlie Brown figurines on display throughout the fair the past two years in honor of the late Charles Schultz, Lucy will be this year's model.

"Superstar Lucy" has already arrived, Zamber said. She commemorates the 30th year of the fair's amateur talent contest.


There will also be a Lucy look-a-like contest and advice given for 5 cents, as in the comic strip, Zamber said.

"It's amazing how much goes on," Zamber said.

The Extreme High Diving Team in Mermaids &; Mariners will perform at the Amphitheater.

More than 150 animals are expected to be born during the fair in the Miracle of Birth Center at the Children's Barnyard.

Hundreds of free concerts will take place, in addition to the Grandstand shows.

But wait, there's more

"We have the largest juried art show in the state," Zamber said. "It's really wonderful."

And of course, she added, "all the best vendors and rides from across the country."

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