While you are enjoying corn dogs and pickles on sticks, be sure to stop by the University of St. Thomas booth in the Education Building at the State Fair and say “hello” to the  UST volunteers.

For the eighth year, they’re giving away purple tote bags, which are becoming collectors’ items as their design changes from year to year. Bags from previous years have been spotted around town and as far away as China.

This year, 5,000 bags will be distributed each day of the fair. A total of 1,250 will be given out at 9 a.m., and 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Besides handing out the giveaways, volunteers visit with potential students, reminisce with alumni and greet other Minnesota State Fair goers; so, whether you come for a bag, to see the replica of St. Thomas’ signature arches, or to chat with one of the smiling volunteers, you are invited to make UST’s booth one of your stops during your visit to the fair.

The Minnesota State Fair runs through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.