FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — The actual, physical, in-person gathering all Minnesotans grow up hearing about has been canceled for months. But the next best thing to the Minnesota State Fair is opening the gates Thursday for the inaugural weekend of the State Fair Food Parade. The special event runs Aug. 20-23, 27-30 and Sept. 3-7.
Tickets to the drive-thru buffet of Fair favorites from 16 vendors have been sold out for weeks. For those lucky enough to have scored one of the coveted passes, Fair officials say a multi-hour experience awaits.
How to plan for a first-of-its-kind experience? State Fair planners have given it a lot of thought.
A map detailing the driving route is available on the State Fair's website, as well as a lengthy frequently asked questions section.
Some takeaways from the Know Before You Go section include:
- Make sure to have your tickets either ready on your phone or printed before you get to the Fairgrounds.
- Bring your own pens! You'll get an ordering menu when you arrive, and you can fill out what you want while you're waiting to drive the parade route. If you have kids with you, they'll need something to write with to play the games along the route.
- Check ahead of time to verify which vendors take cash, and which credit.
- Masks, especially for the driver of the vehicle and the person who will be ordering, are strongly encouraged.
- You'll also want to bring a bib, napkins, towels and whatever else you'll need while eating.
Second Harvest Heartland is accepting food donations at the entry point. Monetary donations can be made out to Second Harvest Heartland.
The Fair's website also encourages guests to follow the official Minnesota State Fair Twitter account (@mnstatefair) for weather updates and traffic information along the parade route.
Make a stop at the KARE 11 booth to play a round of Jeopardy with Alex Trebek!
Heading to the State Fair Food Parade? Be sure to share photos of your experience in the KARE 11 app!
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