Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Room With a View

Want one of the best views the Fair has to offer? Want it free? You'll want to check out the DNR's fire tower exhibit. I haven't had a chance to visit this place yet -- it was closed to the public for all of my youth, and in years since I have been at the fair with a young child in tow (children under six are not allowed up) -- but by all accounts this sounds like it's worth a visit. Approximately 300 people are allowed up daily, 25 at a time, and enjoy panoramic views of the Fair in all its glory. Assuming this year's rules are the same as years past, visitors must be physically able to walk up 84 steps, must leave their food and drink outside (the DNR thinks its tough to climb the stairs while holding a pronto pup in one hand and a souvenir cup of soda in the other), and need to be flexible about the time of their ascent: assigned time tickets are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a bit of context, the DNR's fire tower was built in 1966 specifically for the purpose of being a State Fair educational exhibit. It was closed to the public in 1978 due to safety concerns, but reopened in 2006 following an extensive renovation.

If you want the fire tower experience without the steps or the tickets, the DNR will once again be offering its popular fire tower webcam during the run of the Fair.

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