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U of M cheerleaders at the State Fair.

U of M cheerleaders will do their thing again this year at the fair during Maroon and Gold Day on August 29.

Deep-fried Twinkies and Goldy: U at the State Fair

U at the State Fair

By Cass Erickson

Published on August 24, 2004

It's that time of year again for the State Fair--think corn dogs, deep-fried Twinkies, the Turbo Bungee, everything imaginable on a stick, and wall-to-wall Minnesotans trying to take it all in.

The University of Minnesota has its own stake in the festivities. Stop by the U of M building on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street, where you'll find the "Stadium Experience" exhibit--a stylized mini stadium that pays homage to Gopher football. Check out Gopher memorabilia, sit in the bleachers and watch Gopher sports reels or a video about the U's wish to build a new campus stadium, and take home a free "Bring Gopher Football Home" pennant.

For the sixth consecutive year, the University will celebrate Maroon and Gold Day at the fair. This year it falls on Sunday, August 29 and is sponsored by Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can test how much you know about the University in the "Know Your U" trivia contest on the U of M building stage. Terrific prizes will be up for grabs, including gift certificates for a meal at Famous Dave's. At 2 p.m., cheer on the U's marching band and football team in the parade down Dan Patch Avenue. And at 3 p.m., turn your attention back to the U stage for music by the U's Legendary Barbeque Blues Band.

If you've got a question about the University, go no further. Also new to the U's building is Goldy's Yellow Book Hotline, a working phone booth adorned with a supersized and colorful sculpture of Goldy Gopher. Pick up the phone and ask the Universitys friendly Information Services staff any U-related questions. The hotline is sponsored by Yellow Book.

Another new exhibit, "Only at the U," was developed in tandem with the U's new advertising campaign to help Minnesotans understand what sets the U apart from other colleges in the region.

Every day of the fair--from Thursday, August 26, through Monday, September 6--various schools and colleges at the U will present a lively array of activities and information. In the U of M building, physicians will answer your health questions, and you can check out demonstrations with real human brains, view live and dried insects from the insect zoo, learn the latest on robotic surgery, take an interactive plant biology trivia quiz, and meet the team--including two huskies--who took a six-month dogsled trip through arctic Canada.

Football fans can take advantage of the Golden Gophers Football Feast package, offered only at the fair. For $80, fans get two tickets to the September 4 home opener vs. Toledo, two tickets to the October 2 Big Ten game vs. Penn State, two long-sleeve Gopher football T-shirts, and $25 in gift certificates from Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que.

After visiting the U of M building, head outside to the U's stage for live entertainment. Every day from noon to 4 p.m. there will be a plethora of talent and activities. See newborn animals from the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as Raptor Center birds, take the Minnesota Wildlife Quiz, hear the U's star athletes talk about their love of the sport, or sway to the rhythm and beat of Cuban Rueda dancers. Learn about the latest research at the Academic Health Center, such as minimally invasive surgery, a noninvasive diabetes test, bulimia, and the consequences of mixing prescriptions. And find out if it's possible to think yourself fat...or slim.

On September 1, UMD students and faculty will perform music and theatrical pieces on the stage, and world champion endurance athlete "Rocket" Rod Raymond will talk about achieving optimal health. On September 6, the UMM jazz group Funky Gumbo will toot its horns in a mixture of jazz, pop, and rock classics.

Discounted Minnesota State Fair admission tickets for $7 (regular price is $9) are available at the University of Minnesota Bookstores on the Twin Cities campus in Coffman Union and the St. Paul Student Center. Or you may buy tickets online at the Bookstores' Web site for an extra $1.50 shipping and handling fee.

For other events at the fair, see the Minnesota State Fair Web site.

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