The MN DNR Building is the place to be at the MN State Fair

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ building and surrounding grounds at the Minnesota State Fair (which runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5) will feature new musicians, presentations and activities in addition to its popular attractions from previous years.

The activities and entertainment will coincide with the DNR’s theme for 2022, which is “Connecting People to the Outdoors.”

“We’re thrilled to connect with Minnesotans again at the State Fair to promote getting outside and enjoying all the amazing natural resources of our state,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or are considering your first visit to Minnesota’s public lands, you can find the DNR at the Fair to celebrate and learn more about the great outdoors in Minnesota.”

The DNR’s iconic State Fair log building opened 88 years ago in 1934, and its park-like location provides fairgoers with a unique opportunity to experience the outdoors among State Fair carnival rides and food stands.

Some of the activities visitors can enjoy at the DNR building and surrounding grounds include:

  • Visiting an outdoor fish pond and listening to a talk about Minnesota fish
  • Asking DNR staff questions
  • Learning about outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Enjoying music or a presentation at an outdoor stage
  • Taking a picture in front of giant butterfly wings

What’s new?

Minnesota Mammal Mix-Up: Aug. 25 at 1 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • A Minnesota state parks naturalist will host this interactive program, which will allow visitors to match up furs, skulls and other animal parts to learn about the mammals found in Minnesota state parks.

Firewise Best Practices: Aug. 26 at 1 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • Firewise Specialist Jeffery Jackson will teach visitors how to protect their homes and properties from wildfire.

Grace Dunavan: Aug. 29 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • Grace Dunavan and her band, the Gracenotes, will perform contemporary jazz and soft rock.

Land O’Dixie Rented Mules Band: Aug. 30 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • The Land O’Dixie Rented Mules Band will perform traditional jazz and some pop music.

Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship: Aug. 30 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • DNR Fish and Wildlife staff will share tips and techniques for outdoor skills and natural resource stewardship, including fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation.

Church Basement Ladies: Sept. 1 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage

  • The Church Basement Ladies will perform “Plowin’ Thru,” a musical. The show navigates cultural shifts in America in 1975 from the basement of a rural Lutheran church in northern Minnesota.

The DNR’s State Fair building and surrounding grounds are located at the corner of Carnes Ave. and Nelson St. in Falcon Heights. The main building is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the fair.

For more information and to find a complete schedule of DNR attractions and activities at the fair, visit the DNR website (

Photo: MN DNR