CHECK IT OUT: Minn. State Fair brings back the food parade

The Minnesota State Fair will follow up the extremely popular State Fair Food Parade with an encore Fall Food Parade Oct. 1-4 and 8-11. The parade will once again be a drive-thru experience featuring 16 vendors and a chance to get your State Fair food fix while supporting the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

TICKET INFO: Due to the high demand for tickets to the summer Food Parade, Fall Food Parade tickets will be sold through a random electronic lottery process. Those who wish to purchase a ticket must first register for the lottery by noon Thursday Sept. 17.

Use this link to register for tickets to the State Fair Fall Food Parade.

Registrants will be entered into a random drawing for the opportunity to purchase one vehicle ticket to the Fall Food Parade. Registering does not guarantee an opportunity to purchase a ticket, and no payment is required at that time. One registration per person. All who register will receive an email by 8 a.m. Monday Sept. 21, notifying them that they have either been randomly selected for an opportunity to purchase one vehicle ticket, or if they have been placed on the waiting list.

Participating food vendors include: Turkey to Go by MN Turkey Growers, Fresh French Fries, Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Que Viet, Sweets & Treats, Pronto Pups, Tom Thumb Donuts, West Indies Soul Food, Minneapple Pie, Hansen’s Foot Long Hot Dogs & Corn Dogs, Butcher Boys/Pitchfork Sausage, Cheese On-A-Stick and Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade, Giggles’ Campfire Grill, El Sol Mexican Foods, The Hangar, and Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar.

In a nod to October, several vendors are offering new items with a hint of fall flavor, including a brie and cranberry topping option on Turkey-to-Go sandwiches; Polish sausages and sauerkraut at Butcher Boys/Pitchfork Sausage; pumpkin spice funnel cakes and fried Oreos, plus hot apple cider at The Hangar; deep-fried pickles and hot apple cider at Cheese On-A-Stick and Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade; and deep-fried pumpkin and apple pies with cinnamon ice cream at Minneapple Pie, a new vendor added to the Fall Food Parade.

“We’re very happy to present another opportunity for people to enjoy a taste of the fair,” said General Manager Jerry Hammer. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, so it’s even more important that we find ways to connect with what’s familiar and important to us all. Nothing does that quite like the State Fair.”

The event runs Thursdays through Sundays, Oct. 1-4 and 8-11 (arrival times are on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Each vehicle ticket is $20 (plus $5 in fees, sales tax included) and includes entrance for up to five people per standard-size vehicle.

Proceeds support the Minnesota State Fair in a year when the fair lost virtually all of its revenue due to the cancellation of the 2020 Great Minnesota Get-Together. There is a limit of one vehicle ticket per customer. Food purchases are not included in the vehicle ticket price.

Food vendors will be located along a 1.5-mile route through the fairgrounds, and all food service will be conducted at the vehicle window following health and safety protocols. Guests should plan for about a two-hour experience. The Food Parade route will start at the Midway Welcome Lot (sponsored by Allina Health | Aetna) and feature an in-car activity (sponsored by Cal Spas), along with appearances by State Fair mascots Fairborne and Fairchild (sponsored by Faribault Woolen Mill). Additional sponsor support is provided by Humana (dashboard card), Xfinity (map), Star Tribune (menu), Girl Scouts (food stop) and Xcel Energy.

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