I remember having my uncle take me and my brother and sister to the Minnesota State Fair every year in the 1970s.  We'd start at Machinery Hill where we'd climb on the big combine wheels, then he'd find us a free hand-held fan before it would get too hot out.  He never took us down the midway, but he'd always get us Tom Thumb Donuts.

Here's some  things you might not have known about the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

- The first Minnesota State Fair took place in 1859 in what is now downtown Minneapolis. In the 1870s, Minneapolis and St. Paul held competing fairs.  The Minnesota State Fair was also held in Rochester, Owatonna and WInona.

- Dan Patch Avenue on the Fairgrounds is named after the

(Getty Images)

famous Minnesota pacer-horse.  Dan Patch broke world speed records at least 14 times in the early 1900s, finally setting the world's record for the fastest mile by a harness horse during a time trial in 1906, a record that stood unmatched for 32 years. Dan Patch won every race he ran in from 1900 to 1909 when he was retired.

-Did you know the Minnesota State Fair is the largest in the U.S.A. by average daily attendance?  It's the second-largest fair in America for total attendance, but that's only because the Texas State Fair is twice as long.

Sorry cowboy, but that's cheatin'.