The Minnesota State fair is well underway, but there's still plenty of time to check out the food, shows, exhibits and rides before it all wraps up next Monday, Labor Day.

In the past one of my favorite things to do was wander through the midway and see what exciting rides the Minnesota State Fair had to offer. Each year brought a few new thrill rides to experience. This year the Great Big Wheel is sure to catch your eye. It's the second-tallest structure on the grounds, at 156 feet high or about the same as 15 stories tall, it comes in at close to half the height of the Space Tower, which is the tallest but not considered a thrill ride.

According to the Minnesota State Fair website, the ride was manufactured in the Netherlands, has 36 gondolas and is one of the tallest traveling Ferris wheels in North America. Each gondola can hold six passengers. At night it's lit up by more than a half-million LED lights that can be programmed to display thousands of designs and colors.

The first adult sized ride I ever went as a child was the Ferris wheel at the Rice County Fair. It scared the crap out of me but I wanted to go on it again right after my Dad and I got off the ride. Although the Ferris wheel has morphed into more of an enclosed ride over the years, it was the same first grown up sized ride for my kids and I took my grandkids on it too. I can't imagine how much my grandchildren would love to ride the Great Big Wheel, oh, and me too.

Open for rides from 9AM to 11PM, it only costs $5 per rider and they have to be at least 42 inches tall if they're unaccompanied by an adult or 36 inches tall if riding with adult.

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