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Creative Church offering free State Fair tickets to first-time church visitors

The giveaway offers one free fair ticket per visitor ages 13 and up through Sunday, Aug. 28.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Minnesota State Fair ticket giveaways are common but for this one, you have to go to church.

Located in Fridley and Maple Grove, Creative Church is offering first-time visitors ages 13 and up one free ticket to the fair while they last. The giveaway runs annually from July through the end of August, so there's just one Sunday left to get a ticket.

Connections director Rachel Bailey says attendance is good these days after early pandemic restrictions on in-person worship left many churches uncertain families would return.  

"We run about 1,500 on a Sunday in between our two campuses," Bailey said.

Still, they're trying to fill even more seats by offering "the gift of family time."

"We're honored to give the gift of family time," Bailey said. "The State Fair is always an amazing time to go with your family, eat the best fair foods ever. We think family time is important. Nowadays, less and less time is actually spent together as a family."

They're not alone. The Star Tribune reports several Minnesota churches are offering freebies ranging from BBQs to drive-in movies and axe throwing. But do incentives like these bring people to the pews?

"So far, we've had over 500 new people come to Creative Church for their State Fair ticket," Bailey said. "Last Sunday alone, we had 93 guests come … I think it's a great tool that the world uses, right? Like you get free things all the time from different companies and we don't blink an eye that other agencies would market that way so I think it's a great opportunity for Creative Church to say we're here and we're available for you and your family."

Bailey says most people coming in for free fair tickets recently moved to the area and they do return regularly for service. There are also people who come in from out of town as well as those from nearby churches. Those groups aren't always as quick to come back.

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