Spread throughout the metro are billboards advertising “The Great Minnesota Get-Together” in languages other than English. The sign translates in Somali as “Waa Kulankii Minnesota Wayn” and in Spanish as “La Gran Fiesta De Minnesota.” Fair planners see this as a way to break the stereotypes of a typical Minnesota fair-goer.
“The State Fair belongs to everyone in Minnesota,” says Brienna Schuette, the Fair’s Marketing and Communications Manager. “We wanted to reach out to new immigrants, make them feel welcome and introduce them to this state tradition,” as well as “re-welcome the long-time members of those communities.” For Schuette, “these groups are a part of the state’s fabric and culture, which is exactly what the fair celebrates.”
These billboards provide an opportunity to discuss how international and multicultural the State Fair is, beyond things like billboards and the “International Bazaar” entertainment stage.
We want to hear from you. If you’re a member of those groups who doesn’t normally fit the fair’s demographic, do you still feel welcome at one of the biggest gatherings of the year in Minnesota? If not, what else could be done to make you feel more welcome? Or is the fair doing a good job to make all Minnesotans feel welcome?
Post your thoughts in the comments below or email Justin Schell at firstname.lastname@example.org