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Rainbow Bench Dedication

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Every state, with the exception of Connecticut and Rhode Island, has a state fair, so what makes the Minnesota state fair so special? For starters, it runs for twelve days, from late August through Labor Day, and attracts about two million people annually. Dubbed the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” the state fair has been attracting people who love farm animals, midway thrill rides and every kind of food on a stick since 1859. But corn dogs aren’t unique to the Gopher state so what keeps people coming back year after year?

Die-hard fairgoers like Kaydee Koch would tell you that more than anything the Minnesota state fair is an experience felt in the heart. Kaydee loved the fair and it was an event that made her bucket list year after year. Last year, in 2021, she visited the fair for her final time and, despite learning that her cancer had returned a week earlier, she savored every drop of joy the fair offered from live music and rides to her favorite foods, on a stick of course.

This year, when Kaydee’s parents and her youngest brother Ryan returned to the fair, heartbroken to do so without Kaydee, they were surprised with a rainbow bench in Kaydee’s honor. Extended family and friends purchased a yellow bench that now bears her name, near the Kidway off Cooper St, to honor Kaydee and her outrageously sunny outlook on life. Despite a four year grueling battle with bone cancer, Kaydee continually taught us all that each day is a gift and that you can always choose to look on the bright side.

Rainbow benches are organized by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, the group responsible for the upkeep of the fairgrounds and its buildings. There are over 1,200 benches around the fairgrounds and each bench purchased is a tax-deductible donation to the foundation.

Now fairgoers, friends and family can take a respite each year from the excitement, hustle and bustle when they sit on Kaydee’s bench and read her story. Our hope is that anyone who finds themselves on Kaydee’s bench will be inspired by her courage, perseverance and love of life. You can see the local media coverage and read about the bench dedication here.


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