2018 MN State Fair Volunteer Positions

The Minnesota State Fair is coming to St. Paul, August 23 - September 3, and YOU can be a part of it!

  • Receive admission tickets to the fair for each day you volunteer with the DNR!
  • Volunteer at least one day for 4 hours.
  • Parking and meals will be your responsibility.
  • All volunteers must pass a background check and take a safety quiz

Follow the web link cited at the end of each position to sign up or contact the person listed for more information.


Smokey Bear and his Voice

Smokey Bear and friendFor 4 hours each day of the fair, you can play the costumed character Smokey Bear! Smokey poses for pictures with people and walks among the crowds in the DNR Park twice each day for one-hour intervals. You will spend two hours total in the suit, with breaks every 15 minutes to cool off for a few minutes. You will spend the rest of the time getting in and out of the costume or resting.

Smokey must be:

  • 17 years of age or older
  • at least 5' 7" or taller
  • have a chest or waist no larger than 46" to be able to fit in the costume
  • able to withstand heat

Wearing the costume can get extremely hot, so if heat bothers you, this is not the job for you!  A cooling vest with ice packs, water and a shower are provided. Since you’ll get sweaty every time you go out, you should bring 2 changes of clothing with you.

Not into wearing a Smokey suit? 
How about being his Voice?  Smokey can’t speak, so someone else must act as his Voice.

Smokey’s Voice must be:

  • 14 years of age or older
  • friendly and confident to talk to people
  • physically capable of carrying a bag of giveaway items to fairgoers
  • able to lead Smokey around the DNR Park
  • able to help Smokey get in and out of his costume

Volunteers must be present on the grounds for the entire 4-hour shift. Please note that if you volunteer to be Smokey here, you cannot also volunteer to be in the parade on the same day.

All volunteers are limited to a maximum of 2 days.

Friday, August 24, 2018 is the Governor’s Fire Prevention Day and is different from all other days at the fair. 

Two sets of Smokeys and Voices are needed on this day for appearances every other hour from 10 AM - 4 PM. 

  • The A shift:
    • Begins at 9:30AM and runs until 3:30PM
    • appears on the grounds at 10 AM, 12 noon, AND 2 PM
  • The B shift:
    • Begins at 10:30AM and runs until 4:30 PM
    • appears on the grounds at 11 AM, 1 PM AND 3 PM

Volunteers must be present on the grounds for their entire 6-hour shift.

TO SIGN UP

If interested in volunteering as Smokey Bear, click on one of the following links to create a volunteer profile on MyVolunteerPage, complete an application and select your day on the fair schedule:

If interested in volunteering as Smokey’s Voice, click on one of the following links to create a volunteer profile on MyVolunteerPage, complete an application and select your day on the fair schedule:

Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.

You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this.  Maps, instructions, and admission ticket(s) will be mailed to you for each day you volunteer. 

Remember, all volunteers are limited to no more than 2 days.

Please note, if friends accompany you to the fair they MUST be signed up as DNR Volunteers in order to help you as either Smokey or the Voice.

Contact Jeff Jackson, Forester, Grand Rapids at 218- 328-8909 or email [email protected] , or Melissa Powers at 218-328-8913 or email [email protected]  for more information on how to play Smokey or his Voice during the fair.

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

Smokey Bear in the State Fair Daily Parade

Smokey Bear in fair parade

Smokey Bear rides in the daily parade at the State Fair on top of a float. 

Please note that this is a separate duty from that of the DNR Grounds Smokey. If you volunteer to be Smokey here, you cannot also volunteer to be Smokey on the DNR Grounds on the same day.

  • The parade starts at 2 PM and lasts about an hour
  • There is no opportunity for rest during the hour-long parade - Smokey must remain in the suit for the duration.  
  • Arrive at least 40 minutes early to dress and navigate to the parade route.

Qualifications - Smokey must be:

  • 17 years of age or older
  • at least 5' 7" or taller
  • have a chest or waist no larger than 46" to be able to fit in the costume
  • lively and animated, but does not speak
  • able to withstand heat
    • The costume can get very hot so bring a change of clothes (shorts and t-shirts), sweatbands for your wrists, along with a bandana scarf for your head. 
    • There is a cooling vest with ice packs to wear under the suit.  
    • A shower is available so bring your own towel and soap to use it..

 Time Commitment:

  • We request that you bring someone along to help you in and out of the costume.
    • An additional ticket will be provided for your helper.
    • If you are unable to bring a helper, a DNR employee will be able to assist you with the costume.
  • Report to the DNR Building first followed by the parade staging area and remain with the DNR parade vehicle(s) through the duration of your assigned shift.
  • Daily shift runs from 1:20 PM through 3:40 PM.
    • This includes 40 minutes before and after the parade to navigate to/from the parade staging area and get into/out of the Smokey costume.
  • All parade volunteers are limited to a maximum of 4 days.

To Sign Up:
To sign up go to the Smokey Bear Parade Application to sign up as a DNR volunteer and then view available shifts. 

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

EAB Costume Character

EAB costume

EAB Costume Character
Wear this FUN COLORFUL COSTUME as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) as you:

  • roam the DNR grounds at the State Fair from 12 – 1 PM and 2 – 3 PM
  • greet visitors
  • hand out EAB related materials (such as tattoos and firewood brochures)
  • pose for pictures with fairgoers! 

The purpose of the EAB costume is to engage the public on invasive species issues and encourage them to visit the invasive species exhibits inside the DNR Building at the State Fair.
The Emerald Ash Borer costume:

  • is a size small/medium
  • best fits people who are between 5 to 6 ft. in height
  • will fit up to a size 11 women’s or 9 ½ men’s shoe

Arrive by 11:30 AM to sign in and put on the costume.  The EAB costume character will appear on the DNR grounds daily from 12 – 1 PM and again from 2 – 3 PM.  Brief breaks for water and to cool down are permitted every 15 minutes or as needed while wearing the costume.

TO SIGN UP:
EAB costumeTo sign up for one day (11:30 AM – 3:30 PM) during the fair, go to the EAB Costume Character Application to sign up as a DNR volunteer and then view available shifts. 

State Fair Safety Training:

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

For more information, contact Laura Van Riper, Terrestrial Invasive Species Program Coordinator, St. Paul at 651-259-5090 or email [email protected].  Confirmation, written instructions, maps and tickets will be provided prior to your shift.

 


Promote Fire Prevention at the State Fair

State fair fire prevention building

Assist the public and answer general questions about fire prevention, suppression, and the Firewise Program in Minnesota (a program that addresses how to protect your property from wildfires) by volunteering to work in the MN DNR Fire Prevention Building near the Fire Tower.

Volunteers will:

  • Answer fire/Firewise related questions with the help of a FAQ document.
  • Hand out Firewise/fire prevention trinkets and information to fairgoers.
  • Answer fairgoers' questions or refer them to the DNR Information Booth on the front side of the DNR Building at the fair. DNR staff there can answer questions.

Qualifications – The Prevention Building volunteer must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Friendly and confident to talk to people
  • Physically capable of standing or sitting for long periods of time in/near the Prevention building
  • Capable of answering Fire-related questions, or finding answers on a printed FAQ sheet.

Time Commitment:

  • Volunteers must be present for their entire shift.
  • A member of the DNR Prevention staff will be available to spell the volunteer for short breaks
  • All volunteers are limited to a maximum of 2 days.

SHIFTS AVAILABLE ARE:

  • Friday, August 24: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Saturday, August 25: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Sunday, August 26: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Friday, August 31: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Saturday, September 1: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Sunday, September 2: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM
  • Monday, September 3: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM OR 2:00 PM to 7:00PM

Maps, instructions and an admission ticket will be mailed to you for each day you volunteer.

TO SIGN UP:
Go to the Fire Prevention Building Application to sign up as a DNR Volunteer and then view available shifts.

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair.
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

Contact Jeff Jackson, Forester, Grand Rapids at 218- 328-8909, email [email protected] or Melissa Powers at 218-328-8913, email [email protected] for more information.


Wildlife Wing Interpreter

red foxProvide natural resource interpretation to the public in the Wildlife Wing of the DNR building at the Minnesota State Fair. 

Sit or stand in the wing as you:

  • Provide information to fairgoers on the mounted animals
  • Answer questions and provide general directions at the fair
  • Represent the DNR in a positive fashion

Qualified volunteers must be:

  • Interested in animals and able to communicate with the public verbally
  • Physically able to work in a non-air conditioned area

Master Naturalist certification or a natural resources related degree is preferred. You are not expected to be knowledgeable in all areas concerning the DNR. All questions related to DNR policies and procedures are to be referred to DNR staff located outside the State Fair DNR building.  Avoid expressing personal opinions.

Time Commitment:

  • At least one 3-hour shift during the MN State Fair
  • Volunteers may sign up for more than one shift.

Training:

  • Training is not provided because all animal mounts are set up immediately before the fair opens, but an animal list is available. 
  • Binder/field guides with animal information will be provided for reference at the site.

TO SIGN UP

If interested in volunteering to be a Wildlife Wing Interpreter, click on the following link to complete an application, create a volunteer profile on MyVolunteerPage, and select your day and 3-hour time slot on the fair schedule: :  http://bttr.im/v0tin  

Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.

You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this.  Maps, instructions and an admission ticket will be mailed to you for each day you volunteer.  Remember, all volunteers may sign up for more than 1 shift.

For more information, contact Wendy Lee, Division of Wildlife at 651-322-4643 or email [email protected].  Written instructions will be provided prior to your shift.

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

Parks and Trails Legacy Exhibit

clean water land & legacy amendment 10th anniversary and logoTen years ago, voters approved providing supplemental funding to state and regional parks and trails, clean water, outdoors and arts under the Clean Water & Legacy Amendment (www.legacy.mn.gov/ )

Help fairgoers learn what projects have been accomplished in the parks and trails portion of this.

The exhibit’s purpose is to:

  • CELEBRATE the passage of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment ten years ago;
  • EDUCATE about a few of the great regional and state parks and trails investments made since then;
  • LISTEN to public perspectives on future directions.
  • And to have FUN!!!

state fair boothWhen you volunteer at the Legacy exhibit located inside the DNR State Fair Building, you will:

  • Learn about the Parks and Trails Legacy story, as told through exhibit materials and training.
  • Guide people through a fun game where they prioritize how they would spend Legacy money.
  • Monitor the giant chalk board to ensure there is no inappropriate answers, take photos of the public’s answers for data collection and wipe it clean when needed.
  • Help keep the kid zone (dream park coloring area) tidy and help inspire creativity when needed.
  • Watch over and keep clean, the fun, interactive section, of the Legacy room.
  • Answer questions from the public about exhibit elements and point them to additional sources of information.

Qualifications Desired:

  • Enthusiasm and ability to engage the general state fair visiting public in a friendly, respectful, and patient manner.
  • Interest in and basic familiarity with Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment, especially the Parks and Trails component. (Expansive knowledge of the 10-year Legacy celebrations OR of the Legacy Amendment is not required.)
  • Willingness to promote all Legacy-eligible outdoor recreation activities.
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to a broad range of outdoor recreation, especially at Minnesota state and regional parks and trails.

Time Commitment at the State Fair:

  • Volunteers are needed for all 12 days of the state fair.
  • Minimum of one full shift of 4 hours.
  • Each day of the fair there are three 4-hour shifts to choose from.
  • 1-2 staff will be working with you

Shift Times:
8:45 AM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

On-site Training Provided:

  • Monday, August 20th
  • 10:00 am-12 Noon
  • DNR State Fair Building, 1740 Carnes Ave, St Paul, MN.
  • Materials can also be mailed out for those who cannot attend the training session.

TO SIGN UP
To sign up for one day during the fair, go to the Parks and Trails Legacy Exhibit applicationto create a volunteer profile as a DNR volunteer and then view available shifts. 
Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.

You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this.  Maps, instructions and an admission ticket will be mailed to you for each day you volunteer.  Remember, all volunteers may sign up for only 1 shift.

For more information, contact Paul Purman, Legacy Program Consultant at 651-259-5643 or email [email protected] 

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

Fish Pond Talks

people looking at fishpondDo you enjoy sharing your knowledge of Minnesota fish with people? Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group? Then, you’re just who we’re looking for!
We always have a lot of fun doing the Fish Pond talks out at the Fair and we’d love to have you join us in the fun. Step up to the mike and share your expertise and enthusiasm for fish!

What are Fish Pond Talks?

  • 15-minute informal, fun presentations for the fairgoers that gather around the DNR fish pond 
  • The talks are to identify some of the more prominent fish and to share some fun facts about some of the 40 – 50 species of Minnesota Fish on display in the pond.

people looking at fishpondHow do I give a Talk?

  • Training and materials will be provided by experienced staff before your first shift to ensure you’re well prepared
  • Introduce yourself and the DNR’s fishing and aquatic education program (the MinnAqua Program) and welcome everyone to the DNR Fish Pond
  • Engage the crowd for 15 minutes
  • Share some information about the fish in the pond that the folks would probably want to know more about
  • Share some fun fish facts about Minnesota Fish and our lakes, rivers and streams in MN
  • Make the talks your own!
  • Linger for a bit after your talks to share fish stories and answer questions folks might have!
  • Refer folks to the DNR Fisheries and Conservation Officers staffing the DNR’s Information Booth if they have questions you can’t answer.

Qualifications Needed:

  • Comfortable with public speaking in informal settings with large groups.
  • Some experience with interpretation, environmental education, education, or public speaking and giving presentations are all helpful.
  • Knowledge of Minnesota Fish, Fish Identification, Fish habits and habitat, and aquatic ecology (training and interpretive information will be provided)
  • Some knowledge of fishing in Minnesota
  • Some knowledge of DNR Fisheries Management work
  • Ability to lift and set up or take down and secure the speakers and PA system (training will be provided)
  • Some experience with fish identification, aquatic ecology, and fishing in Minnesota.
  • Having fun at the State Fair!

Training provided:

  • Information cards to prepare you for your fish pond talks:
  • MN Fish Identification
  • Fun Minnesota Fish Facts
  • Minnesota’s aquatic and fisheries resources and management background
  • An in-person training session before the Fair, if needed
  • How to set up and use the PA system
  • Safety training in heat related illness and State Fair logistics

Reimbursement:

  • Inquire about meals and mileage reimbursement.
  • Admission tickets will be provided for each day you volunteer.

The Fish Pond Talk Schedule:
Fish Pond talks begin at 9:45 AM each day, starting 15 minutes before the hour and last 15 minutes, ending at the hour mark. Talks are repeated each hour until the last talk of the day at 6:45 PM.

This year we are scheduling two staff/volunteer shifts for each day of the State Fair:

  • First Shift:    9:15 AM – 3:15 PM    (Six talks)

First shift staff arrives by 9:15 AM and sets up PA equipment and speakers at the Fish Pond before their first talk which starts at 9:45 AM.
9:45 - 10 AM
10:45 – 11 AM
11:45 - 12 Noon
12:45 - 1 PM
1:45 – 2 PM
2:45 - 3 PM

  • Second Shift: 1:30 PM – 7:30 PM   (Six talks)

Second shift staff finishes their last talk at 7 PM, answers any questions people might have after the last talk and then takes down and secures PA equipment for the night.
1:45 – 2 PM
2:45 – 3 PM
3:45 – 4 PM
4:45 – 5 PM
5:45 – 6 PM
6:45 – 7 PM

NOTE: First and Second Shift overlap for the 1:45 PM talk and the 2:45 PM talk.

  • This allows for transitions and to ease new presenters into their first Fish Pond talks in the afternoon
  • These two mid-day talks can be divvied up however the two workers choose - or to train in or coach a new Fish Talk person coming for the second shift.
  • If someone is not doing the talks, or training in a new second shift person during the overlapping transition time, they should do roving interpretation around the pond during the transition talks.

If you haven’t helped us out with Fish Pond Talks before, please sign up to work a Second Shift spot on your first day so an experienced “lead person” can help you get started for your day.

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

TO SIGN UP
To select your day(s) and shift during the fair, go to the Fish Pond Talk applicationto create a volunteer profile as a DNR volunteer. 
Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.

You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this.  Maps, instructions and an admission ticket will be mailed to you for each day you volunteer. 
Sign up for one or more days!

For more information, contact Michelle Kelly, Education Specialist, MinnAqua Program, Fish and Wildlife Outreach Section, St Paul at 651-259-5751 or email [email protected]


Public Lands Day Volunteer

minnesota public lands owned by you managed by dnrMinnesotans value their state lands and affirmed their support with the passage of the 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The DNR manages these public lands on behalf of our citizens and continually strives to improve the state’s land portfolio through strategic purchases, sales and exchanges. We do this to ensure the state’s public land base meets the recreation, conservation and economic needs into the future.

Help us spread the word on Public Lands Day at the State Fair!
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Shifts:  10 AM – 1:30 PM   OR   1:30 – 5:00 PM (3.5 hours)
2 volunteers are needed for each shift

Sit or stand at the entrance of the DNR Building as you:

  • Hand out information cards to fairgoers
  • Refer questions to the DNR Information Booth
  • Provide general directions at the fair (location of buildings in DNR Park, closest restrooms, etc.)
  • Represent the DNR in a positive fashion

Qualified volunteers must be:

  • Friendly and able to communicate with the public verbally
  • Physically able to work in a non-air conditioned area
  • Able to pass a criminal background check

State Fair Safety Training

  • All volunteers must complete an online safety training quiz to be eligible to work at the Minnesota State Fair. 
  • Please go to the DNR State Fair Safety Training page for instructions.

TO SIGN UP
To select your day(s) and shift during the fair, go to the Public Lands Day applicationto create a volunteer profile as a DNR volunteer. 
Make note of the username and password you create for this site so you can go back to update your profile and apply for other DNR volunteer opportunities.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.

You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this.  Maps, instructions and an admission ticket will be mailed to you. Sign up with a friend!

For more information, contact Renee Hartwig, Volunteer Programs, St. Paul at 651-259-5249 or email [email protected]