Crop artist David Steinlicht of Canada won the blue ribbon for his seed portrayal of late musician Prince.

Steinlicht’s art, located in the Agriculture Horticulture building, was a popular place for fairgoers to visit to kick off their Minnesota State Fair Unite in Purple Day Aug. 26. Groans were heard from the crowds viewing Prince’s seed likeness as lights were shut off, signaling the close of day for the Fair and for Prince Day.

Crop artists list the plants they select for their work. Steinlicht cleverly added Prince’s former symbol name to list the seeds he used: Prince’s hair was made from black beans, sunglasses from wild rice and white millet, his face from amaranth, bottom lip from red millet, poppy seeds for Prince’s mustache, and millet for background.

Unite in Prince sets new attendance record

Steinlicht’s crop art wasn’t the only attraction for the record setting day two of the Fair. 141,023 fairgoers arrived, many coming for the State Fair’s tribute to Minnesota native Prince.

Vendors and employees participated in everything from purple t-shirts to purple lighting to the grand finale of fireworks. The GenerationNOW Dance Party with DJ Dudley D, Prince’s personal tour DJ, hosted a Prince dance party in Carousel Park and was the place to be seen.


(Above: DJ Dudley D’s staff monitoring the stage set) Photos by Barb Teed


(Above: many fairgoers donned Prince-themed clothes)

State Fair vendors honor Prince

Vendors throughout the Fair honored Prince and enjoyed the fun. Mike Miller, owner of Cal Spas of Minnesota, said he decided to join “tens of thousands of people honoring their two icons-Prince and the Minnesota State Fair.” Cal Spas put up purple flags, purple table cloths and purple lighting in hot tubs.


(Above: Mike Miller, left, and Jason Karnes, owners of Cal Spas, were one of many State Fair vendors honoring Prince Aug. 26)

Spin-A-Painting offered bottles of purple paint for fairgoers to create Prince spin art.


(Above: Elliot, of Spin-A-Painting, introduces Prince Purple paint for spinning artists)

Many amusement rides were lit up in purple and played Prince tunes.


(Above: The Magic Maze, on the Midway, lights up in purple)


(Above: the Tilt-A-Whirl, in the Kidway, lit up in purple)

The first 5,000 fairgoers after 5 p.m. were given commemorative Unite in Purple buttons and Unite in Purple glow bracelets at the State Fair entrance gates.


(Above: free Unite in Purple buttons went fast)


(Above: a State Fair employee happily gives away commemorative glow bracelets)


(Above: Unite in Purple helped break day two State Fair attendance records)


(Above: Elvis would have approved of Prince Day at the State Fair; topiary by Ricardo Edelstein and finished by State Fair staff using moss and plants, located near the Minnesota State Patrol building)

The Minnesota State Fair runs Aug.25-Sept. 5.


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.