The Minnesota State Fair is back in 2021 and they just announced their schedule of incredible performers and shows you can see for free later this summer.

We all missed the State Fair last year

Perhaps the one thing we all Minnesotans collectively missed in 2020-- aside from being able to go to bars, restaurants and being able to get together with family and friends for most of the year-- was the Minnesota State Fair. Heck, previous to last year when the pandemic put the kibosh on it, the State Fair had only been canceled five other times in its entire existence-- a run that started back in 1859.

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But this year's State Fair is back-- and loaded with free entertainment

But, it's back again this year, and the Great Minnesota Get (Back) Together has just released its line-up of acts, performances and shows that are all free (once you pay to get into the Fair, that is.) The line-up this year features over 900 shows, and over 100 different acts throughout the Fair's run, which is August 26th through Labor Day, September 6th this year.

Places like the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, the Schell Stage at the Schilling Amphitheatre, Cosgrove Stage, Family Fair Stage, International Bazaar Stage, Ramberg Music Cafe Stage and the North Woods Stage ALL have free performances again this year.

Some well-known names are playing for free at the State Fair this year

And while many of those stages feature local or regional favorites, some of those stages have some pretty big names. Sister Sledge, DSL Dire Straits Legacy, Ezra Ray Hart, The Legendary Wailers, and the Roots and Boots show with Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Colin Raye are some of the performers that caught my eye.

There's also the up-and-coming Nashville-based band, King Calaway, who opened for Garth Brooks during his Friday night performance at US Bank Stadium two years ago. They're poised to be a big country act, kind of like when the then-unknown band, Old Dominion, played the Leinie Lodge Bandshell back in 2015.

And it's not just musical acts either

Plus, there are other performances from the All-Star Stunt Dogs Splash Show and Timberworks Lumberjack Show on the North Woods Stage, as well as the daily parade, karaoke, magic shows and the Thank A Farmer Magic Show on the Christensen Farms Stage too. Click HERE to check out the entire list of free entertainment at this year's Minnesota State Fair.

And if you're looking for something to do to enjoy summer before the State Fair starts, you can't beat any of Minnesota's beautiful state parks and recreation areas. Keep scrolling to check out our list of the most-visited state parks to see if there's one you'd like to visit.

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Most Visited State Parks In Minnesota: Is Your Favorite in the List?

Minnesota has 66 beautiful state parks. The parks have an average of 9,700,000 visitors each year. Interestingly enough, nearly 19% of park visitors come from other states and countries, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Now, my favorite State Park is Jay Cooke in Carlton, MN, but it did not break into the top 5.