Even though our cynical-yet-hilarious friends at 365 Things to Avoid in The Twin Cities have marked the MN State Fair as a monument of potential avoidance, we’d be remiss not to mention it, as hundreds of thousands of people from all over the U.S., Canada and other countries attend the fair any given year.
Today is the kickoff for the Minnesota State Fair, so we thought we’d give you an overview and mention some things happening tonight and tomorrow. Then for the next few days, we’ll be talking about some more specific things to do at the fair. Sound good?
First off, tonight at the Grandstand, catch the Bodeans with Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Tickets are still available as far as we know. The link to purchase is still live on the website. Check out the full Grandstand listing of shows for other great music and to purchase tickets online.
On the topic of music, the big news for tonight and tomorrow night on the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, is Boyz II Men’s free show. In fact, all shows on this stage are free throughout the Minnesota State Fair. Also catch Neil Dynamite, a Neil Diamond tribute band at Bazaar After Dark, and The Pines at Heritage at Sundown in Heritage Square. For an overview of all the free entertainment at the State Fair, visit this web page.
Since the Minnesota State Fair can be a bit overwhelming, there some great online tools for planning your trip to maximize your experience. Check out the Food Finder for an alphabetical listing of all food vendors. You can click view and a window drops down that gives you an overview of the vendor, what they offer and a map to find them. This is a super convenient and time-saving tool.
Also, if you’re a planner, as in you write stuff down in a planner, give the Fun Finder a try. You can set up a My State Fair schedule right on the website. Just cruise through the alphabetical listing of fun activities and events, and click the box marked My Fair to add them to your schedule. Then just go to the right side of the page and click “View My State Fair” to look at your schedule. Also very handy.
A third tool called Merch Search is set up just like the Food Finder, except it’s focused on finding non-food items that you can purchase from local merchants, like arts, crafts, or other wares.
As far as getting to the State Fair, your best bet is to park & ride or bike to the fair. Shuttles will be available for free at designated free parking lots throughout the area. There are also parking lots off of Larpenteur Avenue.
Regular admission at the gate is $11 for adults and teens 13-64, $9 for seniors, $8 for kids 5-12, and free for kids under 5. There are discount days as well. For instance, today is Thrifty Thursday and ticket prices are $9 for teens and all adults 13 and up, $6 for kids 5-12, and younger kids are still free.
For more information on the Minnesota State Fair, for PDF downloads of schedules, to purchase tickets or for other details, visit www.mnstatefair.org.