If you have talked to ANY Minnesotian about what you need to do while in Minnesota, you will most likely be encouraged to come sometime at the end of August for the Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota State Fair is basically Christmas in August for someone like me who can’t GET ENOUGH. I go 2 to 3 times every year with different combinations of people and I mostly go for the food and fellowship. I love the hustle and bustle and greatly look forward to this every year! I have gone at least once for every year I have been alive and will continue to go. This year I finally was able to have my AZ family experience their first time at the fair in only 9 hours and close to 20k steps later. So I thought if they had to go without me what would I tell them for their FIRST experience. I thought I could help you to from someone who goes annually.
For anyone who is planning on going for the first time here are a couple of tips before your first visit to the Great Minnesota Get Together.
1) Get Your Tickets Early At Cub
Admission ticket prices just got up to 15 dollars at the gate, which isn’t highway robbery but don’t pay more than you need to. To help you save for all the delicious things you will be eating, Cub Grocery Store offers Admission tickets for a $2 off up until the week before the opening day. If you are going with your whole family or friends save a couple of bucks and treat your team to a bucket of Mouth Trap Cheese Curds. You can also purchase the coupon book here for 5 dollars. Although you never use all of them, you can get a couple of coupons that will save you more than 5 bucks. So you have to ask yourself it is worth it. A couple of coupons we love annually are the Pop Coupon, If you are into Rides they have a 5 or 10 off ride ticket sheets, $1 off cotton Candy, and $5 to $10 dollars off Minnesota Stair Fair Merch.
There won’t be coupons for the new foods that year so be warned.
2) Use The Envelope System
Using the Envelope system is taking out a little bit of money at a time and storing it in an envelope that you will use the day of! This is something my husband and I do and it works great! The Minnesota State Fair is really a shared experience of eating all the foods you have been dreaming about since the last fair for the regulars. An average food item ranges from $8 to $12 an Item which can add up very quickly. So if you are able to save up in advance this method will look the best on your bank account when the time comes to get your hands dirty in the most delicious way possible. (with Sticky Pink Cotton Candy). Not big into food? Other things to save for would be rides for this kids or merch from all the booths in the Grandstands.
3) Download the Minnesota State Fair App
The Minnesota State Fair is the BEST State Fair in the whole of the United States. I am not just making this up. Much research has revealed this to be true (Google it) Technology has come into play in the best way and you can now download the Minnesota State Fair app right to your smart device. It has cataloged all food available that year and a map of where to find the food with details descriptions. It also has Merchants and Attractions. The app is better than nothing but still can improve. A big change I wish they would add is have a google maps kind of thing where it will lead you directly there on the app. Maybe it will happen in future but for not here it is!
4) Only Way To Try A Lot Is To Share The Lot
All the portions of food are for adult humans. Even for the most trained eater you will only make it to 2 to 3 items if you are eating everything by yourself and make it to about noon on day one. I really see the only way to try a lot of different foods at the Minnesota State Fair is to be prepared to share the food you are buying with your group! It is basically a day of samplers and by the end of the day you can check off all of your foods and events with a satisfied belly.
5) Bring Your Walking Shoes and Friends
Every year this was a family event. So my dad would pack us all in the car/van and drop us off while he spent the next 30 minutes looking for parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. Now, Marcus and I park and bike in to help save on pre-walking before you hit the gates. You can expect for a full day at the Great Minnesota Get Together to be anywhere from 15k to 20k (or more) on steps. If you do not bring the right shoes you will be kicking yourself mentally later as it will kill your feet. Trust me this will save you a whole day of icing your feet if you just wear the right foot wear! ( I wear my Bzees and have no regrets the next day! Others just do tennis shoes) I have always thought of the Minnesota State Fair as a group thing. It is so much fun to spend a couple of dollars and explore all the booths and buildings with your best friends and people you love. It is a great date for just you and your partner. I am a wedding Photographer and this location is HIGH on my engagement/couple session list.
SO If you and your significant other are trying something new or going for your annual fried pickle fix let me know and we can set up a time to enjoy the Minnesota State Fair TOGETHER!