2019 MN State Fair Volunteer Positions

The Minnesota State Fair is coming to St. Paul, August 22 - September 2, and YOU can be a part of it!

  • Receive admission tickets to the fair for each day you volunteer with the DNR!
  • Parking and meals will be your responsibility.
  • All volunteers must pass a background check and take the 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:

  • 18 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 their entire assigned 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 per activity.

Friday, August 23, 2019 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 assigned shift.

TO SIGN UP

If interested in volunteering as Smokey Bear, click on one of the following links to create a volunteer profile on MyImpactPage, 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 MyImpactPage, 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 the DNR Wildfire Engine.

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 navigate to the parade route and dress.

Qualifications - Smokey must be:

  • 18 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 2 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.

Fire Prevention Building Host

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. We have found that having two people in the building chatting casually makes the space more welcoming, and the public is more likely to engage in a conversation.

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:

  • 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.
  • Daily Shifts run from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, and 2:00PM to 7:00PM, Aug 22 through Sep 2.

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.


EAB Costume Character

EAB costume

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.


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. Refer all questions related to DNR policies and procedures 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

 

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 at any time.  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 sent in the US mail to you for each day you volunteer.  Remember, you may sign up for more than one 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

exhibitIf you love outdoor recreation and you've ever visited a Minnesota state or regional park or trail, this may be the volunteer gig for you!

In 2008, Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water & Legacy Amendment, which—among other things—provides supplemental funding to our state and regional parks and trails for 25 years.

The Parks and Trails Legacy exhibit is a fun, interactive space where we will engage fairgoers and highlight some of the great things happening in our state and regional parks and trails as a result of Legacy Amendment investments. We'll also encourage people to participate in more outdoor recreation, and to support the Legacy Amendment in the future.

Sit or stand in the DNR Theatre as you:

  • Greet visitors and engage them in upbeat conversation about outdoor recreation.
  • Answer fairgoers' questions or refer them to staff working the Legacy exhibit.
  • Help keep the KidZone or other fun, interactive areas of the room tidy.

Qualified volunteers are:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Friendly and confident to talk to people.
  • Enthusiastic about outdoor recreation, especially at Minnesota state and regional parks or trails.
  • Willing to help us represent the DNR and the Legacy Amendment in a positive way.
  • Physically able to sit or stand for long periods of time in an un-air conditioned building.

Prior awareness of the Legacy Amendment is preferred but not required. You are not expected to answer Legacy-specific questions or to be knowledgeable of the full state and regional park and trail systems.

Time commitment:

We need volunteers for all 12 days of the state fair, with one volunteer per shift.

  • Minimum of one 4-hour shift.
  • Volunteers may sign up for more than one shift.
  • Shift times:

8:45 AM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Training provided:

  • A volunteer reference binder will be available on site with Legacy exhibit information, answers to common questions, and information about state and regional parks and trails.
  • Binder materials can be mailed or emailed upon request, prior to the day of your shift.

TO SIGN UP

  1. Go to the Parks and Trails Legacy Exhibit application.
  2. Create a volunteer profile on MyImpactPage.com
  3. Select your day and 4-hour time slot on the fair schedule
  4. 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 at any time.  This will be your DNR Volunteer profile from now on.
  5. You will receive more information and confirmation of your schedule after this. 
  6. Maps, instructions and an admission ticket sent in the US mail to you for each day you volunteer. 
  7. Volunteers may sign up for multiple shifts, but you are required to be present for your entire shift each time.

For more information, contact Stefanie Stearns, Legacy Project Manager, at 651-259-5576 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.