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Then & Now - State Fair Day

How to better foster unexpected connections across generations than at a fun, beloved, well-attended State Fair! Here in Minnesota, USA, the "Great Minnesota Get-Together", each year, offers just such opportunities for generations to share and connect with each other; and each state has its own State Fair.

Photo of Julie Briden
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

The "Then & Now" State Fair Day would bring Seniors and Youth together for a fun day at a very popular, beloved community event with opportunities for cross generational dialogue, sharing of experiences, which can foster unexpected connections, interests, and mutual understanding across generations.

Our State Fair already has a Seniors' Day but we would like to expand on that idea to foster connections across the generations.  We propose a "Then & Now"  State Fair Day.  What might that look like?  First, a little history on the State Fair.  The Fair has many offerings from competitions in the areas of livestock, creative arts, farm products and school projects; to exhibitors, free performances and fee performances at the Grandstand, and of course, food concessions with the very popular - "Food on a Stick".  The Fair's original focus was to promote agriculture in the state, which is still very important but has expanded to offer fair goers lots of choices.  So, we have a very well-attended, popular community event that has evolved over its 155 year history.

Ideas on how this will work:
  1. A Senior brings a Youth to the Fair for a reduced or free ticket (or vice versa)
  2. The Marketing and Media Relations Departments will promote the day; posters, displays, pamphlets, pictures will all share photos and info on "Then & Now".
  3. All buildings, exhibits, concessions, rides will build on the theme of "Then & Now".
Opportunities that could foster dialogue, reminiscing, fun, mutual respect and understanding for the Senior/Youth Fair Goers.
  • The Fair selects a Dairy Queen and her Court, each year, and a likeness of them is carved out of butter in the Dairy Barn.  Have past queens and princesses there and pictures to show.
  • Battle of Senior/Youth Bands
  • Share Grandstand Performances they have attended
  • Share items/pictures/awards submitted to the livestock, creative arts, farm and school projects
  • Past and Present performers in the free venues
  • Share favorite concessions (Food-on-a-Stick), rides, exhibits
  • Parade, at the end of the day, which includes Seniors and Youth, and shares the Fair "Then & Now"   

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

How could we cause a ripple effect to other State Fairs.

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great thinking Julie – and we love that you've employed some intergenerational thinking with your daughter, Amanda for this! :^) Loving some of the activities you've suggested here – and that you've considered an incentive by way of the reduced entry price.

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Photo of Julie Briden
Team

Thank you, Meena! Always good to hear from you and what you like about the idea.