New stoves needed at Minnesota State Fair’s old dining hall

“We work them hard during the fair and now they’ve reached a point where they’re not really reliable.”

Edgar Linares
August 10, 2018 - 7:49 pm

By Edgar Linares


The Hamline Dining Hall, the oldest food concession stand at the Minnesota State Fair, is celebrating its 121st year, but a little help is needed.

The group who runs the stand has a started a Go Fund Me campaign to try to replace four aging stoves. Volunteers say 2017 was a busy year thanks to a new food item that had lines out the door, but the heavy traffic caused wear and tear on many key kitchen components.

“We work them hard during the fair and now they’ve reached a point where they’re not really reliable,” said Mark Krueger co-chair of the Hamline Church Dining Hall.  “And we can only use the grill tops the ovens themselves are so unreliable, we maybe keep things warm but we don’t cook in them.”

The group had a little money left over from last year’s fair so they decided to replace the dishwasher to continue their tradition of serving each meal on a plate with real silverware.

By Edgar Linares

HDH’s goal is to raise $25,000 to now replace the malfunctioning stoves. Unfortunately, they’ll have to get through this year’s Great Minnesota Get Together before the new stoves can arrive and they’re once again expecting long lines with their new food item.

“Last year, the popular item was Wild Rice Meatballs with Cranberries and Lingonberry sauce, and those really popped,” said Krueger. “This year our breakfast item, we’re serving it at breakfast only, but it’s Bananas Foster French Toast.”

During the twelve days of the fair 250 volunteers, serving approximately 20,000 meals each year, staff the HDH.

All the money raised goes to support Hamline Church’s ministries and support local non-profits. This year’s charitable partner is The Sheridan Story, a Roseville-based organization that works to fight childhood hunger.