Heading to the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday? Here are five things to focus on besides grabbing your favorite snack and getting those steps in.
1. Check out “Angry Birds Universe: The Exhibition” in the redeveloped North End of the fairgrounds, which opens Thursday and continues through the 12 days of the fair. The 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall will be home to changing exhibits. First up: Explore science, technology, engineering, art and math through unique, hands-on activities, including building and racing handheld vehicles and using a slingshot to launch an Angry Bird. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. North Event Center.
2. Celebrate the fair’s STEM Day with a performance by the University of Minnesota’s Physics Force team and a demonstration of birds of prey from the Raptor Center. You also can drive robots, explore computer coding and build rockets to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Dan Patch Park.
3. To the delight of big hair everywhere, Belinda Carlisle, the songstress who once headlined the Go-Go’s, performs at the Leinie Lodge. Sip on a Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and “Get Weak” as Carlisle belts out “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” “Mad About You” and other ’80s hits. 8:30 p.m. Thu-Fri. Leinie Lodge.
4. Meet with the Minnesota Dairy Princesses and pose for a photo op. They’ll share their experiences in all things milk. 3 and 5 p.m. Thu. CHS Miracle of Birth Center.
5. Chill for a bit. The fair is a marathon, not a sprint. A day’s worth of curd chewing, milk chugging, selfie-taking and keeping the family together is bound to wear out your shoes — and your cellphone. Head for the Relax & Recharge Station for an open seat, a sip of water, live musical performances and a charge for your cellphone. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Ramberg Music Café.