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MN State Fair's hip new North End: Insta ops, Angry Birds, #corn

Angry Birds, sentient corn, and Unique Gifts & Home Decor are all coming to the North End.

Angry Birds, sentient corn, and Unique Gifts & Home Decor are all coming to the North End. Minnesota State Fair

The new North End at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds seeks to be a hip, trendy hot spot you’ll want to explore.

For the fair, that means showcasing Angry Birds, a super popular mobile phone game that has propelled itself into a movie franchise, a TV cartoon series, and, now, an art exhibition.

“Angry Birds Universe: The Exhibition” will be a mix of educational and silly fun, including a massive slingshot where people can fling giant birds (this seems like a missed opportunity for a ride, right?), a zipline where people can try to swoop down and knock shit over (there we go), plus actual nature and science installations that will teach kids (and let’s be real, grownups) about egg sizes, wing span, and the mechanics of flight.

The North End won’t just be dedicated to the phone app, however. It will also be a destination for folks looking for photo ops for the ’gram, as six-foot-tall sculptures, created by local artist Adam Turman, of legendary Minnesota characters will be installed. Strike a pose with Babe the Blue Ox, Paul Bunyan, Turman’s “Hotdish” Girl, and Fairchild, the fair’s iconic rodent mascot.

Other additions to this new hip area include a giant, 24-foot-tall cornstalk-shaped art installation, which will spout off fun facts about farming and the fair via LED lights. You can also tweet at this creation; use #mnstatefair and your post might show up on the ’stalk.

Vendors in the area will include Handsome Cycles, the Minnesota Distillers Guild, and Summer Lakes Beverage.

The Minnesota State Fair also announced other new, non-North End-related happenings coming to the fair this year. That includes a daylong celebration of indigenous food at Dan Patch Park, an educational goat station, new environmental exhibitions, and new merch honoring the 50th anniversary of the Giant Slide.

As always, the list of additions to the State Fair this year is huge. You can get the complete guide here.