Ask most Minnesotans, and there is little doubt that our State Fair is the absolute best in the land (Iowa and Texas? Seriously...).
And each year, organizers of the Great Minnesota Get-Together step back to compile a list that honors the best of the best. On Thursday, they officially recognized 13 of the fair's nearly 1,000 commercial exhibitors, food and beverage vendors and attractions who stand out in the crowd as winners of the Minnesota State Fair 2022 Best Awards.
Winners share a number of common denominators: They provide exceptional and efficient customer service, have knowledgeable staff members that are also courteous and professional, put forth an "amazing" visual presentation and positive image, plus offer great value and a premium quality product or service.
Here are the 2022 Best Award winners in alphabetical order.
Ball Park Cafe – Taste a wide selection of craft beers, gourmet burgers, garlic fries and more. (Located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues)
Break-A-Bottle Game by Thornberry Concessions - This game is located at Mighty Midway.
Fiore Trees - This garden features several hand-forged metal flower-basket trees inspired by Italian artistry. (Located at the West End Plaza)
Hansen’s Amusement Foods - You'll find foot-long corn dogs, chicken strips, salads, a variety of breakfast items and assorted beverages and more. (Located on the north side of Judson Avenue between Stevens and Liggett streets, outside the Horse Barn)
KMOJ Radio - KMOJ’s vision is to provide communities of color with information and education through the vehicle of mass communication. (Located on Clough Street between Carnes and Judson avenues)
Minneapple Pie - Source of the fair's official new food Minneapple Blueberry Pie and other deep-fried pies, plus apple lemonade. (Located on the south side of Judson Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets)
Puzzle Twist - A vendor that sells a variety of special-edition puzzles, including Minnesota-themed puzzles, plus a State Fair puzzle, puzzle accessories and more. (Located in the center aisle of the Merchandise Mart)
Rick’s Pizza by R&J Concessions – A new food vendor whose Pickle Pizza is wowing fair crowds. They also offer more traditional varieties of pizza and assorted beverages. (Located on the west side of Cosgrove Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues)
Root’d - Accent furniture, home and garden décor, accessories and more. (Located in the Veranda on the upper level of the Grandstand)
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community - Showcases educational information on the Sioux community’s history, culture, language and values, as well as the ways they give back to the larger community. (Located in the Education Building)
Soul Bowl - This new food vendor sells the Official New Food Soulsicle, plus Donut Peach Cobbler and Queen B Lemonade. (Located in the Food Building, east wall)
Techno Power - This ride is located at Mighty Midway.
Tilt-A-Whirl - This ride is located at Kidway.
All 13 winners were recognized at 10 a.m. Thursday in a special ceremony inside the International Bazaar.
For more on the 2022 Best Award winners, check out the Minnesota State Fair website.
Watch more from the Minnesota State Fair
Watch the latest coverage of the 2022 Great Minnesota Get-Together from KARE 11 in our YouTube playlist: