Story published: September 14, 2020

This year marks the first Minnesota State Fair that Izzy O’Rourke has ever had to miss in her 17 years. Had the fair not been canceled, this would have been the twelfth year the teenager from Wells, Minn., would have shown lambs there during the state 4-H showcases.

The state’s 66,000 young people who are involved in 4-H still got a chance to show their year-end projects, however; the showcases just took place online. Some counties still held in-person livestock showcases, but with modifications due to the coronavirus. One Greater Minnesota Reporter Kaomi Goetz visited O’Rourke in Faribault County to find out more about this unusual year for the state’s county fairs, and for 4-H youth and mentors.

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While the Great Minnesota Get-Together was canceled in 2020, Minnesota State Fair staff and others have settled on some creative solutions for keeping some essence of the attraction alive. Take the recent Food Parade, for example. One writer shares her experience eating all the fried deliciousness in the backseat of a car.

Wondering where you can get your State Fair food fix this fall? One Greater Minnesota Reporter Kaomi Goetz visited with some food vendors to find out what they’re doing with the State Fair’s gates shuts.

Are you missing the sights and sounds of the State Fair? TPT Photographer Matt Mead wandered the 2019 Minnesota State Fair with his camera. Take a look at his photos of baby lambs, butter sculptures, and more from last year’s Great Get-Together.