FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Even though the gates won't open on the 2014 Minnesota State Fair for 10 months, organizers are remaking an iconic building into something new.
On Wednesday Fair officials announced that the former Heritage Square building will be bulldozed for a $15 million dollar project that will be known as the "West End Market."
The new market will include:
- An updated State Fair History & Heritage Center to showcase treasured fair artifacts
- An expanded free entertainment stage and seating area
- Dozens of artisans and specialty merchant locations, some featuring live demonstrations
- Several new food and beverage establishments
- New men's, women's and family restrooms
- A new adjacent entrance gate and transit hub for busses.
The new complex will open for the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.
"West End Market will be a brand-new State Fair neighborhood that everyone will really enjoy,"
said Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer. "You'll find lots of your old favorites from Heritage Square along with new food, new exhibits, a new history center and a great new entertainment facility."
Hammer says the plans for West End Market are very similar to what the fair did with the new and improved
International Bazaar, which was constructed in 2008.
The previous Heritage Square exhibit area was originally built in 1964 as the Young America Center for teens. Created as a temporary structure, it was intended to last no more than five or 10 years. It became Heritage Square in 1975 as part of a program to commemorate the United States Bicentennial in 1976.
The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting
nearly 1.8 million visitors annually.
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