Are you ready to ride the Ferris wheel, eat a Pronto Pup and drink all the fresh, cold milk you can handle? The Minnesota State Fair is in full swing, and here's everything you need to know about the food, music and fun you can experience with thousands of other Minnesotans.
The Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 25- Sept. 5, and the fairgrounds are open from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. every day except Labor Day, when the gates close at 7 p.m.
The first thing you'll need on your trip to the fair is a ticket, of course. If you're planning ahead and buying a ticket online, you can have it delivered to you either through text or email. There is a limit of 12 tickets per customer.
If you'd rather have an actual paper ticket, they can be purchased in a few different ways. While supplies last, you can purchase tickets at Cub Foods stores or at several other locations in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
A single day adult admission costs $14.00, and children 5-years-old and younger are free.
Now that you've got your ticket in hand, how are you going to get to the fairgrounds? There are several local travel options, including Metro Transit, a free park and ride, and limited parking lot space.
If you're coming to St. Paul from Minnetonka, Bloomington or Cottage Grove, there's an Express Bus Service available.
The south metro, including Burnsville, Eagan and Shakopee also have an Express Bus Service provided by the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. Roundtrip fare is $5 when buying online and $6 cash at the time of boarding. Children younger than 4-year-old ride for free.
Southwest metro residents will have access to an Express Bus Service available on Aug. 25-28 and Sept. 1-4 for people living in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Chaska. SouthWest Transit provides this service at a cost of $6 per rider. Children 5-years-old and younger can ride for free, plus there are discounts for seniors and military members on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1.
The Minnesota State Fair offers Park and Ride services to 29 locations in Roseville, St. Paul, Arden Hills and surrounding communities. Buses run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (9 p.m. on Labor Day) at most locations with pickup times depending on traffic and crowds.
You can follow the official Minnesota State Fair Twitter account (@mnstatefair) to find updates on Park and Ride lot updates.
If you plan to take an Uber or Lyft to the fairgrounds, there are two designated pick-up and drop-off points. One location is at the northeast end of the fairgrounds near Snelling and Hoyt Avenues near North End Gate #2, and the other is in the parking lot south of Como Avenue, across from Gate #7 and the Dairy Building.
Follow the direction signage in these areas.
Parking lots are available at the fair, but organizers warn that parking is first-come, first-serve, and lots fill up quickly every day.
Lots are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (9 p.m. on Labor Day), and cost $17. You can pay in either cash or with a credit/debit card. To get to the area of the fairgrounds parking lots, use the address:
1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108
Check here for a map of the fairgrounds.
The official Twitter account for the fair will post updates on parking lots using the hashtag #MSFParking.
Now that you're finally stepping through the main gate, it's time to find a snack. There are all of the classics available, like a Pronto Pup, Sweet Martha's Cookies and so much more.
If you're ready to try something new this year, the fair always brings the freshest food to the table. You can try arepas, hummus bowls, Indian-style ice cream or any of the 38 other new offerings for 2022.
Once you've cleaned your plate, you'll need something to wash down all that deep-fried goodness. Not only will all of your old favorites be on tap, the fair is bringing in 46 new ways to wet your whistle. Ready to try a Fair Mullet IPA, MN Honey Chamomile Mead, or the non-alcoholic All Day A-Fair? You can find these vendors scattered throughout the fairgrounds.
If you're looking for a specific treat and you're not exactly 100% where to find it among the more than 200 fair vendors, you can check out the fair's Food Finder here.
PHOTOS: 2022 Minnesota State Fair
So you've taken the edge off the hunger and thirst built up on your voyage to Minnesota State Fair. Ready to do a little shopping? You'll find local artists, unique creations and something for everyone.
There are stands set up throughout the grounds. The Creative Activities Annex offers specialty foods like maple syrup, lefse and pastas, plus cooking and baking gadgets, toys and books for kids and home décor.
Sports fans can find everything they're looking for to support their favorite teams at FAN Central. If you aren't quite sure what you're looking for, stop by the Merchandise Mart for everything from art to cleaning supplies to clothing and toys for the kids.
There are nearly 700 vendors at the fair this summer. If you need some help locating your favorite seller or items, you can use the fair's Shop Finder tool to track them down.
Don't forget to ride the rides, visit the educational exhibits and catch a show while you're in town!
The Agriculture Horticulture Center houses everything from the crop art competition, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and lots of classes about gardening, native insects and more.
The CHS Miracle of Birth Center is another popular state fair stop. If you want to see baby animals while learning more about the veterinary sciences, this is the building you do not want to miss. The Birth Center is staffed by FFA volunteers and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, and the fair says its one of their most popular free attractions.
It's one of the biggest draws for many people, and the reason they come out to the fair: the music at the Grandstand and free stages.
The fair kicks off on Thursday night with headliner Alice In Chains and Breaking Benjamin with special guests Bush and The L.I.F.E. Project at the Grandstand, starting at 5:30 p.m.
New this year, the KARE 11 Barn is hosting a free music stage, with performers scheduled almost every day of the State Fair. The showcase starts at 2 p.m. Thursday with local favorite Nur-D.
You can learn more about all the performers scheduled at the KARE 11 Barn here.
Watch more from the Minnesota State Fair
Watch the latest coverage of the 2022 Great Minnesota Get-Together from KARE 11 in our YouTube playlist: