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Feature

Goldy Gopher

Visit the University of Minnesota's state fair Web site for a complete list of the many programs and activities the University is offering at the "Great Minnesota Get Together."

U at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

By Pauline Oo

From eNews, August 18, 2005

Did you know that women could take any course they wanted at the U in 1851, even when they couldn't vote? Or did you know that Goldy Gopher is actually based on a chipmunk? If you answered yes to either of these questions, fabulous prizes and 15 minutes of fame might be in your future.

On Sunday, August 28, the University will once again present the popular "Know Your U" trivia game at the Minnesota State Fair. The annual Maroon and Gold Day tradition pits volunteers from the crowd against one another in an onstage battle to discover who knows more about the U. In years past, game hosts have tried to stymie contestants with questions ranging from the common (who is the current University president?) to the bizarre (Which U president had the smallest feet?).

"Edutainment" or education and entertainment have been among the goals of Maroon and Gold Day, as well as the other 11 days the U spends at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, which will run from Thursday, August 25, to Monday, September 5 this year. With more than one and a half million visitors annually, the Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the United States. In 2004, more than 1.6 million people passed through its gates.

Hide from the sun

If you're looking for a shady place to relax, head to Carousel Park, located just south of the Grandstand. Students from the U's School of Architecture and Landscape architecture have designed an innovative seating and sunshade structure. It will be officially donated to the State Fair at 9 a.m. on opening day August 25.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the many ways the U works to keep Minnesotans abreast of what's going on at their state's only public research university.

Besides the outdoor stage acts and presentations, fairgoers can usually find plenty to ooh and ahh about inside the U of M building, located at the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street. This year, in addition to collegiate exhibits, there'll be the new Stadium Advocacy Wall, an interactive kiosk and display of memorabilia and sports highlights; the "Only at the U" exhibit, which features color photos and at-a-glance factoids about things that make the University unique; and Goldy's Yellow Book Hotline, a one-of-a-kind phone booth that gives visitors direct access to University Information Services--a fun and quick way to get any U-related question answered.

Gopher football

If you're a football fan, make sure you stop at the University's athletics booth for the special Golden Gophers Football Feast package--only offered during the State Fair. For $60, you'll get two tickets to the Gopher football opener against Colorado State on Saturday, September 10; two T-shirts; and $20 in Famous Dave's gift certificates.

Fairgoers can also learn about the latest U research activities or find out more about what the U has to offer them as consumers in seven other locations across the fairgrounds. For example, landscape designers and flower breeders with the U of M Extension Service will give gardening tips at the Horticulture Building, U students and veterinarians will do live surgeries in the Pet Center, and representatives from the College of Veterinary Medicine's Equine Center will be on hand to talk about the resources at the new facility in the Horse Barn.

For a complete list of U-related activities and exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair, see the U at the State Fair. Once there, you can also buy $7 discounted admission tickets (the regular price is $9 for adults) and download a copy of the new Gopher's Guide to the Minnesota State Fair, which highlights all the locations where the U is represented on the fairgrounds. Other state fair stories: Of blowflies and blown alibis: How biology can put a criminal behind bars U sets up shop at the Minnesota State Fair Maroon-and-Gold-on-a-stick Day Help for Hot Flashes

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