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State fair vendors prepare for opening day Thursday

The Great Minnesota Get-Together goes on from Aug. 25 thru Labor Day, Sept. 5

ST PAUL, Minn. — The sounds of trucks unloading can be heard on the streets inside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. In just four days, music, and the smell of fair food, will fill the air.

"Today is just set up, making sure all the grills works, and prep work just to make sure we are rockin' and rollin'," said Brett Auge, owner of the Peg Restaurant. "My dad started it in 1982, and we are going on our 39th year."

For the past few weeks, he's been preparing for several events leading up to opening day.

"We do open up pre-fair, which is tomorrow, which is for staff and delivery drivers," he said.

Just a few steps away, we ran into volunteer Val Forsythe. 

"It's a fun time," she said. 

Forsythe is putting the finishing touches on a few prize ribbons. "Right now, I'm sorting the ribbons for the farm crops division and certified seed," she said.

As a native Minnesotan and lifelong fair goer, volunteering along with her husband is now a family affair.

"My brother happens to be head of this division. He's superintendent of farm crops," she said. "It's been very busy with the judging, the last few days. My husband and I started last Sunday and it's probably been 10-hour days, most days, lots to do" — with 2 million people expected to walk through the gates of the fair.

"I'm just happy everyone is going to be out. Last year was kind of skeptical and everyone was wondering who is coming, who is not. They're saying 30% more for attendance," said Auge.

Vendors, like Forsythe, are counting down to opening day.

"It's huge for Minnesota. Everyone loves it," she said. "See the big exhibits, eat the good food, and meet friends, and just have a good time."

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