One of the tallest traveling giant Ferris wheels in North America is coming to the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. The Great Big Wheel will carry riders to a height of 156 feet, offering breathtaking views of the State Fairgrounds and the Twin Cities. This is the first time the Great Big Wheel is at the State Fair.

“We’ve been working for years to land a spectacular ride like the Great Big Wheel,” said State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer in a release May 19. “It will be placed at the center of Machinery Hill on the north side of the fairgrounds, giving everyone a whole new perspective of the fair.”

Manufactured in the Netherlands, the Great Big Wheel is equipped with 36 enclosed gondolas each holding six people. A spectacular lighting system features more than one-half million LED lights that can be programmed to display thousands of designs and colors. 12 trailers are required to transport the 200-ton ride. The electrical wiring of the Great Big Wheel extends six miles in length.

The Great Big Wheel will be located on the southwest corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street, across from Family Fair at Baldwin Park and will operate 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily throughout the fair. Tickets are $5 per rider, not including gate admission.

Note: Riders must be a minimum of 42 inches tall if riding without an accompanying adult companion, or 36 inches tall if riding with an accompanying adult companion.
The 2017 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 24 – Labor Day, Sept. 4.


About Barb Teed

Barb has a M.A. in Liberal Studies from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn., a B.A. in Media Studies from New School University, NYC., and Associates of Arts degree in Anthropology from Normandale Community College, Bloomington Minn. I was born in Duluth, Minn.