FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Minnesotans who love to attend the annual State Fair, but hate to spend a lot of money doing it, are finding ways to save this month. Much of the thrifty methodology involves planning ahead.
"Admission tickets, ride and game tickets and 'Blue Ribbon Bargain Books' are all available at a discount before the fair (August 26-September 6) at Cub Foods locations or at our box office right here on the fairgrounds (at the Como Avenue Loop Gate, just east of the Warner Coliseum) ," said Marketing and Communications Manager Brienna Schuette. The pre-fair discounts are only available until August 25th.
Regular adult admission is $11. The pre-Fair tickets are $9 for adults. Tickets for children 5 and older are $8 on fair days and $6 on kids days. Children under 5 are free.
Once inside the FairGrounds, there are other ways to curtail the hit on the visitor's budget. The popular Grandstand shows are not included in the "Bargain Book" discounts. However, a visitor willing to wait until on the grounds can save the ticket-broker fees by purchasing seats at the Grandstand ticket booth. That saves fees which can be several dollars, but also means the fair-goer takes the chance of not being able to get the seat/seats they want or not being able to get in at all.
There is also the option of skipping the Grandstand shows altogether in favor of the numerous free performances, particularly at the "Leinie Lodge" stage near the Space Tower. "'Boyz to Men' is coming, 'The Last Trailers', 'The Family Stone' will be there, 'Trampled by Turtles' and 'Rosanne Cash'. So, a number of really great artists (will be there) for free," explained Schuette.
Timing, according to Schuette, can mean everything. "Last Chance Day is on Labor Day. So, a lot of our vendors will be trying to be clearing out their merchandise or food products on the Fairgrounds. They will offer special 'close out' deals, as well," said Schuette.
"On select days, we have all day specials on the Mighty Midway, Kidway, games and concessions. Basically, what they do is that rides cost fewer tickets. So, you can have more fun for less money," said Schuette. As with other deals, Fair-goers are urged to check the Fair website for updated information on bargain days for admission and special pricing.
Of course, one of the great free things to do at the Great Minnesota Get-together is a visit to the KARE Barn. It's located on Nelson Street, near Judson Avenue.
Also, be sure to check out the Metromix State Fair guide.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)