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Monday, January 16, 2017

Minnesota State Fair Board Approves $8 Million in Capital Improvements for 2017, ticket prices up

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.  – The Minnesota State Fairgrounds will get $8 million in improvements prior to the 2017 Great Minnesota Get-Together. The Minnesota State Fair’s board of managers on Sunday approved $4.6 million in capital work and $3.4 million in maintenance projects for the coming year.

Included is a new elevator at the west side of the historic Grandstand, major upgrades to the Swine Barn, two new information booths, new performance space outside the Education Building, renovations to the interior of the Creative Activities Building, scores of miscellaneous upkeep projects across the fairgrounds and more than $3 million in improvements to the State Fair’s utilities and transportation infrastructure. Additionally for 2017, a portion of the interior retail space in the Upper Grandstand will be transformed into “The Veranda,” a new shopping and dining destination.

All projects are funded through State Fair operating revenue and grants from the State Fair Foundation. The fair is financially self-supporting and receives no government aid of any kind.
The State Fair board met as part of the annual joint conventions of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, Minnesota Federation of County Fairs and Midwest Showmen’s Association Jan. 12-15 at the Double Tree Hotel in Bloomington.

The State Fair board also approved admission prices for the 2017 fair, Aug. 24 through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Admission for adults 13-64 will be $14; children 5-12 and seniors 65 and over will be admitted for $11; kids under 5 are admitted free. Advance discount tickets for all ages are $11. The approved admission fees represent a $1 increase in each category and will take effect Feb. 1. State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer cited rising costs in fair production, guest services and facilities upkeep for the increase.

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