Amelia Santaniello – WCCO TV
The Minnesota State Fair opens in 178 days, but before it does, one of the Fair icons needs some help. The Grandstand marquis needs new bulbs in its letters and numbers, and you can help buy them.
“Traditionally the marquis is lit about a month before the opening of the State Fair,” said Ana Heath with the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.
So how are the giant marquis characters seen so well at night? There are about 100 light bulbs for each letter or number — 5200 bulbs for the whole sign.
So as the Grandstand begins its second century, its time for all those bulbs to go green.
“In order to give it a face lift for its 100th birthday, we’re raising money to replace the standard light bulbs in the Grandstand marquis with high efficiency LED bulbs,” said Heath
When the Grandstand was built in 1909, there were no lights on the marquis. The sign was illuminated some time in the 1960s, and the old-style bulbs each use 11 watts of power.
The new Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs use only one watt of power each. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation is hoping people will help with the $20 cost of each new bulb.
“Someone purchased the S and the F in the State Fair to commemorate their time out here, so I think people are really excited about the opportunity to contribute something tangible to the state fairgrounds,” Heath said.
If you’d like to contribute to buy a letter or even just one bulb, just click on the link below.
Minnesota State Fair Foundation