Photos: Sheep, jump-roping dogs and fried food? It's State Fair time


Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is interviewed.
1 Local TV stations set up live shots and interview some of the Minnesota State Fair's first arrivals, including Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Thursday. 
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman enters the Minnesota State Fair.
2 St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman enters the Minnesota State Fair shortly after gates open. 
Al Roker of the Today Show judges a llama costume contest
3 Al Roker of the Today Show judges a llama costume contest. 
Sheep hang out in their pens.
4 Sheep hang out in their pens at the fair. 
A cart of rabbits gets pushed into the poultry barn.
5 A cart of rabbits gets pushed into the poultry barn. 
Derek Stehr takes one of his sheep for a walk.
6 Derek Stehr takes one of his sheep for a walk in the early morning of the first day of the fair. When asked if the sheep has a name he said "No, but we can make one up." 
Three-year-old Vinny of All Star Stunt Dogs acts shy on command.
7 Three-year-old Vinny of All Star Stunt Dogs acts shy on command for a group of children. 
Vinny jumps rope.
8 Vinny, a 3-year-old Australian shepherd and border collie mix, jumps rope for an audience. 
A man cruises up Machinery Hill on his electric scooter.
9 A man cruises up Machinery Hill on his electric scooter. 
The Great Big Wheel towers over Machinery Hill
10 The 15-story-tall Great Big Wheel towers over Machinery Hill on the first day of the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday. 
Two women consult a map of the fairgrounds.
11 Two women consult a map of the fairgrounds at the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday. 
Noelle, 2, carries her baby doll around on the first day of the fair
12 Two-year-old Noelle carries her baby doll around on the first day of the fair. 
A fair staffer drives two electric scooters.
13 A fair staffer drives two electric scooters simulataneously. 
Dwuane Opitz dances to Ecuador Manta, a Minnesota-based music group.
14 Dwuane Opitz dances to Ecuador Manta, a Minnesota-based music group, at Cafe Caribe on the first day of the fair. 
Fourteen-month-old Zola uses all 4 of her teeth to eat an ear of corn.
15 Fourteen-month-old Zola uses all four of her teeth to eat an ear of corn outside the Corn Roast stand. 
A fairgoer holds a full bucket of Sweet Martha's cookies.
16 A fairgoer holds a full bucket of Sweet Martha's cookies. 
An ambulance cuts through a thick afternoon crowd on Thursday.
17 An ambulance cuts through a thick afternoon crowd on the first day of the fair.