Winter's weight brings down roof at State Fair Cattle Barn


Weather Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR) 

Mar 13, 2019


Snow and heavy rain brought down a section of the State Fair's Cattle Barn roof Tuesday night, the latest casualty of a record-setting winter in the Twin Cities.


Fair officials said they believe snow slid from a higher point on the roof and the weight proved too much for a south-facing section of the roof along Como Avenue and near the fair's coliseum. The collapse is believed to have happened shortly after 6 p.m.


There were no animals or people inside at the time, and no one was hurt, although the wreckage landed on a handful of food trailers parked inside the barn for the off-season. The barn is used during nonfair times: it typically hosts some of the activities for the Minnesota Horse Expo, scheduled for the last weekend in April this year.


"During the winter months, livestock are not present on the fairgrounds, and the Cattle Barn is used for storage," fair officials said in a statement issued after the collapse. "Damage to the items in storage will be assessed in the coming days. The rest of the building remains structurally sound."


The collapse appeared to affect a 40- or 50-foot section of the barn's roof, part of its brick exterior and some windows, which lay in pile of rubble beside the building.


St. Paul fire crews responded to the incident, although there was no fire. By 9 p.m. construction trucks and a State Fair police squad car were stationed outside the building.


The 117,000-square-foot barn was built in 1920, and is one of the oldest buildings on the grounds.


The damage is one of a handful of similar incidents across the state...


more, including links, video, audio [3:58 min.]



Steele County Fair Barn Roof Collapses Under Heavy Snow


Roy Koenig, KDHL Radio (MN) 

March 13, 2019


The roof on one of the cattle barns on the Steele County Fairgrounds collapsed early Wednesday from the weight of the snow that had accumulated on it. The roof fell in between about 5:30 and 7 am according to fair manager Scott Kozelka. The building is about 60 years old.


Kozelka said that he checks the grounds on a regular basis. He could tell when he drove toward in Wednesday morning something was wrong. There are a couple of cars and boats stored inside but doesn't believe there will be significant damage to them. He told KRFO radio that it was too early to tell how this will affect the Steele County Fair in August, "153 days away," he said Wednesday afternoon. He had just been on the phone with the insurance company.


No one was injured.


Back in January of 2010, a roof collapsed due to snow on a different cattle barn. That led to the construction of the Radel Pavilion. The barn that collapsed this week is just west of there. There is another old cattle barn next to the one that went down, but that one seems stable he said.


Kozelka said it is not a good time for something like this to happen but says the fair staff is a great team and they will pull things together.


In other news, a cattle barn at the state fairgrounds collapsed...