State Fair: Admission hike and new exhibit complex for 2019

courtesy of Minnesota State Fair The fair’s new $16 million North End exhibit hall is currently under construction and will feature “museum-quality exhibits” during the fair.

file photo The 2019 Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights will feature a new North End neighborhood complete with a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall, along with a gate admission increase of $1 for all fairgoers.

The Minnesota State Fair announced Jan. 20 it was building a new $16 million exhibit hall on the North End of the fairgrounds and that it was increasing the price of admission by $1 for this year’s fair.

The announcement came following meetings running Jan. 18-20 of the fair’s board of managers, according to a press release.

The 12,000-square-foot exhibit complex is billed as the centerpiece of the new North End neighborhood of the fairgrounds, and will feature “museum-quality exhibits” during the fair, the press release says. 

The North End will also include features that showcase the state’s innovations in agriculture, industry and the arts, along with some “uniquely Minnesota attractions, food and commercial exhibits.”

Regular ticket prices for all fair-goers are increasing by $1, according to the release. Adults aged 13 to 64 will pay $15. Seniors 65 and older, and children ages 5 to 12, will pay $13 at the gate; kids 4 years and younger are free.

The fair last raised its ticket prices ahead of the 2017 event. According to the release, fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said the admission increase is in order to keep up with rising costs in “fair production, facilities upkeep, public safety, and other services such as the free Park & Ride system.”

Fair tickets for $11 are available through Feb. 1 at All-ages tickets at the discounted rate of $12 will be on sale through Aug. 21.

The fair put in place tighter security standards at its gates ahead of the 2016 event. The press release points out the fair is “financially self-supporting and receives no government aid of any kind.” Projects such as the North End construction are funded through operating revenue and grants from the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

The fair is also spending $3.4 million on maintenance and improvement projects throughout the 322-acre fairgrounds.

The Minnesota State Fair is held annually in Falcon Heights. This year it runs Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Last year’s fair was the highest-attended ever, with more than 2 million people showing up during its 12-day run. Falcon Heights’ non-fair-time population is around 5,500 people.

The fair also set its single-day attendance record in 2018. On Saturday, Sept. 1, 270,426 people got together for the Great Minnesota Get-Together.


—Mike Munzenrider

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