Staying healthy at the State Fair

State Fair - Image 700 - University of Minnesota Physicians

Quick: What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear “Minnesota State Fair”?

Midway rides? Food on a stick? 4-H exhibits?

There’s a good chance ‘personal health’ wasn’t on the tip of your tongue—and that’s OK! For many, the State Fair is a chance to indulge in new experiences. But if health is a priority for you, here are a few easy tips to help protect you and your family during the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Be Germ Conscious

Let’s face it: with nearly 1.8 million annual guests and thousands of animals on display, the State Fair isn’t the most sterile environment. Do yourself a favor and slather on some hand sanitizer as you make your way from the cattle barn to the nearest food stand.

Protect Your Skin

The State Fair marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year, shorter days and cooler temps. So we understand why it’s so tempting to roll up the sleeves and work on that farmer’s tan while you still have the chance. But all that sun can put you at a higher risk for skin damage and skin cancer. Be sure to pack some sunscreen and apply it regularly.

Stay Hydrated

Between all that salty food, walking and warm temperatures, it’s easy to become dehydrated at the State Fair. Men need roughly three liters of fluids each day, while women should drink at least 2.2 liters of fluid daily. But when you’re active, you may need to consume a higher volume of water. Carry a water bottle, take breaks in the shade or find the nearest water fountain on the fairgrounds to avoid dehydration.

Strap on a Pedometer

The fairgrounds cover 320 acres and stretch roughly one mile from north to south. With hundreds of attractions and dozens of permanent buildings, a dedicated fair-goer can log plenty of steps on his or her pedometer over a single day. To help hit your walking goal, try the Minnesota State Fair History walking tour.

Ditch Deep Fried Food

State Fair attendees gobble up an average of 4.05 million mini-donuts, 2.6 million individual cheese curds and 500,000 corndogs every year. It may be hard to resist all the deep-fried products hawked at the fair, but ditching greasy, heavily processed food for a better option—like buttered corn on the cob, which has only 179 calories—is an easy way to cut back.


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