May 5, 2021 - News
What you need to know about Minnesota's mini-State Fair
The Giant Slide will be open for a short State Fair preview this month. Photo: Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minnesota State Fair announced a limited Kickoff to Summer for the end of May, giving us a taste of what's to come in late August when the real Great Minnesota Get-Together is back.

What's happening: The May 27-31 mini-fair will allow people to walk around, buy food, listen to music and visit attractions — unlike last year's drive-thru replacement.

What you need to know:

  • Attendance will be capped at 10,000 people, at least for now. For some perspective, the fair's record daily attendance is 245,243, and a typical weekday crowd is around 150,000.
  • Tickets will cost $12.50 apiece, and you'll have to win a lottery to get a chance at a time slot. Register by Thursday night.
  • Face masks will be required, except while seated and eating and drinking.
  • Social distancing is in place. Visitors are expected to keep 6 feet from each other.
  • Here's a full list of food vendors, but to save you some time: Sweet Martha's Cookie Jar, Mouth Trap Cheese Curds and Fresh French Fries will all be there. But no corn on the cob.

The big picture: Gov. Tim Walz has said he expects a "pretty close to normal" State Fair in August, but this preview run will help fill the fair's coffers, as they took a big financial hit last year.

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