CHECK IT OUT: State Fair adds a summer kickoff event in May


The Minnesota State Fair is pleased to announce “Kickoff to Summer at the Fair” sponsored by Paddle North happening May 27-31. This walk-around event is five days of food, brews, live music, shopping and family fun at the iconic Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Tickets are $12.50 each (fees and tax included); children 4 and under are free with a child ticket. Each ticket is valid for a specific date and timeslot. The capacity for each timeslot is 10,000 people, which is within the State of Minnesota’s current guidelines. Tickets will be sold through a lottery process, so all guests who register have an opportunity to be randomly selected to purchase tickets (limit of 6 tickets per customer, including children).

The event runs for five days with a total of seven timeslots:

  • Thursday, May 27, 4-9 p.m.
  • Friday, May 28, 4-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 29, 4-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 30, 4-9 p.m.
  • Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A lottery process will be used to randomly select people for an opportunity to purchase tickets. Lottery registration is open through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 6. Kickoff to Summer at the Fair will follow current health and safety guidelines. Here's a link to the ticket lottery registration.

More details:

Kickoff to Summer at the Fair will feature food and beverage offerings for purchase, an eclectic entertainment lineup, patios and socially distanced seating, the Giant Slide*, the Minnesota State Fair Community Gives Together collection of items for local nonprofits supporting veterans and youth, board games, kids activities, State Fair mascot appearances, photo ops, specialty shopping*, a Memorial Day commemoration, and more. (*Additional cost)

Here's a link to a menu of the eats. Participating food vendors include:

  • Al’s Subs & Malt Shop
  • Andy’s Grille,
  • Ball Park Cafe
  • Bayou Bob’s
  • Big Fat Bacon
  • Blue Moon Dine-In Theater
  • Café Caribe
  • Coasters
  • Dino’s Gyros
  • El Sol Mexican Foods
  • Fresh French Fries
  • Hansen’s Foot Long Hot Dogs & Corn Dogs
  • Hildebrand Concessions
  • Mancini’s al Fresco
  • Minnesnowii Shave Ice
  • Mouth Trap Cheese Curds
  • The Perfect Pickle
  • Produce Exchange
  • Pronto Pups
  • Que Viet Concessions
  • Sweets & Treats
  • Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar
  • Tiny Tim Donuts
  • West Indies Soul Food

Participating artisans and merchants include:

  • Angry Minnow Vintage and Crowned Crow
  • Crystal Visions
  • Gentleman Forager
  • GoodThings
  • Hagen and Oats
  • Minnesota Rusco
  • Paddle North
  • Paul’s Porch Pots
  • Sota Clothing
  • Star Tribune
  • State FairWear and Gold Country
  • Whatnot Boutique

Live music will be available throughout the event at various food vendor locations, the Family Fun Stage at DNR Park, Visitors Plaza Stage and a DJ at Dan Patch Park. Here's a link to a list of entertainment planned.