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Aug. 25 – Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022

88 Days 21 Hours 50 Mins

Kickoff to Summer

After a wildly successful debut in 2021, Kickoff to Summer at the Fair sponsored by Paddle North returns May 26-30, 2022!

Enjoy a slice of the fair! Get together with family and friends, savor State Fair food favorites, raise a glass to a bright summer ahead, tap your toes to live music, enjoy activities and attractions for the whole family, shop specialty Minnesota merchants, and so much more! This is the ultimate way to kick back and relax at the iconic State Fairgrounds! Plus, there’s free parking!

To make this an extra-special experience, attendance is limited to 15,000 people for each timeslot.

  • Thursday, May 26, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 27, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 28, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 29, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please note: No refunds or exchanges on tickets. Ticket holder agrees to comply with all Minnesota State Fair policies and protocols (including health, safety and security) in place at the time of the 2022 Kickoff to Summer event, and acknowledges that policies and protocols may be updated between time of ticket purchase and the event, as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves and the State Fair finalizes its 2022 Kickoff to Summer plans. Check out our website for the most updated information. If the 2022 Kickoff to Summer event is canceled, Etix will automatically issue a refund to the credit card used to purchase the tickets. This event is rain or shine. If you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, please do not attend the event.

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Tickets are $12.50 each online (fees and tax included) and $15.50 each at the gate (credit/debit only; fees and tax included). Save $3 when you buy in advance online! Children 4 and under are free and do not require a ticket. Each ticket is valid for a specific day and timeslot. You will choose your day and timeslot when you purchase tickets. There is a limit of 15,000 tickets available for each timeslot. This event is rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.

How to Purchase Tickets:

Tickets for available timeslots are available online now.

Buy Tickets

Questions about tickets: Contact the Minnesota State Fair Ticket Office at or 651-288-4467.

Note that tickets for this event are limited for each timeslot, and some timeslots may sell out. Tickets originally went on sale Feb. 22-27 through a lottery process with a presale for Minnesota State Fair Foundation Friends of the Fair. All guests who registered in advance for the lottery or have a qualifying 2022 Friend of the Fair membership had an opportunity to purchase tickets prior to the general public.

Is it safe to buy tickets from a source other than Etix?

Unfortunately, as with any event ticket, you run the risk that a ticket bought from an unauthorized third party will not be valid when we scan it at the entrance. If your ticket is not valid, you will not be permitted to enter.

Kickoff Happenings

Food & Brews

Fair food faves and refreshing summer beers! Here’s the list of vendors to date. Visit our Menu & Vendor Offerings page and view our downloadable program and detailed event map for additional details.

  • Al’s Subs & Malt Shop
  • Andy’s Grille
  • Baba’s
  • Ball Park Cafe
  • Bayou Bob’s
  • Big Fat Bacon
  • Blue Moon Dine-In Theater
  • Café Caribe
  • Cheese-on-a-Stick and Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
  • Coasters
  • Dino’s Gyros
  • Duke’s Poutine
  • El Sol Mexican Foods
  • French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
  • Fresh French Fries
  • Hansen’s Foot Long Hot Dogs & Corn Dogs (2 locations)
  • Hildebrand Concessions (2 locations)
  • Mancini’s al Fresco
  • Minnesnowii Shave Ice
  • Mouth Trap Cheese Curds
  • The Perfect Pickle
  • Produce Exchange
  • Pronto Pups (2 locations)
  • Que Viet Concessions
  • RC’s BBQ
  • Summer Lakes Beverage
  • Sweets & Treats
  • Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar
  • Tiny Tim Donuts
  • Tot Boss
  • West Indies Soul Food

Music & Entertainment

Spring into summer with live entertainment and plenty of fun activities! View our downloadable program and detailed event map for additional details.

Three Stages of Free Entertainment!

  • Visitors Plaza Stage (VP): At Dan Patch Ave. & Underwood St.
  • Family Fun Stage (FF) sponsored by Cal Spas: At DNR Park
  • Christensen Farms Stage (CF): On Judson Ave. near CHS Miracle of Birth Center

Thursday, May 26, 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Friday, May 27, 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 28, 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 Sunday, May 29, 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Monday, May 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ASL Interpretation

ASL interpretation is available for performances upon request with 14 days advance notice. Please contact  or 651-288-4448 for information.

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Stop by the Family Fun Zone for special kids activities provided by Ramsey County 4-H and TPT.

DJ Entertainment

Dance, sing and tap your toes to summertime tunes sponsored by Adagio Djay Entertainment.

#OnlyinMN Photo Op

Stop by this iconic symbol of all that makes our state great, take a photo, and use the hashtag on social media (or just save the snapshot as a memory of your visit to the State Fairgrounds)! Sponsored by Explore Minnesota.

Trivia Mafia

Put your thinking caps on and play live trivia challenges led by the folks of Trivia Mafia, known for their popular games at local pubs, breweries and special events. Yes, there are prizes! Trivia Mafia is located in the Grandstand, lower level. Each session is approximately 45 minutes. It’s free to play!

Giant Slide

A chance to ride the slide in May! Tickets are $3; cash only. The slide is open weather permitting; if it rains, the slide will reopen when it dries.

Yard Games & Board Games

From beanbag toss to giant chess to Jenga and all sorts of board games, we’ll have a wide assortment of things to try with your friends and family! Yard games are in Dan Patch Park. Check out board games in the Trivia Mafia area in the Grandstand, lower level. Free to play!

High-Five Fairborne & Fairchild

Watch for our beloved furry State Fair mascots – they’re done hibernating and ready to help us spring into summer!

Learn about working at the best fair around!

Our employees make the Great Minnesota Get-Together even greater! To find out more about all the summer and fair-time opportunities that are available, stop by the State Fair employment tent (see map) or visit our employment page.

Save on your Friend of the Fair membership!

 The Minnesota State Fair Foundation kicks off its 20th summer by offering a special membership price exclusively for Kickoff to Summer guests. Sign up to become a Green Ribbon Friend of the Fair for just $20 (regularly $25). Friends of the Fair donations help fund a wide range of fair projects, AND our Friends get some fair-time benefits too. Stop by one of the Friends of the Fair carts located near the info booths (see map) and sign up when you’re at Kickoff to Summer!

Win Door Prizes!
Sponsored by Minnesota Rusco

Winners from each timeslot will be randomly drawn from all who purchased Kickoff to Summer at the Fair tickets through Etix and opted in to enter. Winners of fabulous prizes will be notified the week of June 6!

Specialty Shopping

Unique finds from artisans and merchants! Here’s the list of shops so far. Visit our Menu & Vendor Offerings page and view our view our downloadable program and detailed event map for additional details.

  • Angry Minnow Vintage and Crowned Crow
  • Crystal Vision
  • Glitter Glamper
  • GoodThings
  • Hagen and Oats
  • Homespun Gifts & Decor
  • Humana
  • Leaf Filter
  • Minnesota Rusco
  • Must be Ruff
  • Paddle North
  • Paul’s Porch Pots
  • Pleasureland RV
  • Renewal By Andersen
  • Sota Clothing
  • Star Tribune
  • State FairWear
  • Whatnot Boutique

Memorial Day Commemoration

On Monday, May 30, we will honor those who died while serving our country in the U.S. military.

  • Flag raising at the West End Gate Plaza: 10 a.m.
  • 204th Army Band performances: 10:30-11:15 a.m., noon-12:45 p.m., 1:45-2:30 p.m. at the Family Fun Stage sponsored by Cal Spas at DNR Park
  • Playing of “Taps” and National Moment of Remembrance at the West End Gate Plaza: 3 p.m.

Join in the Minnesota State Fair Community Gives Together

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’re honored to highlight three local nonprofits at Kickoff to Summer. These organizations support veterans, first responders, frontline medical staff and others, along with their families. If you’re attending the Kickoff event, consider bringing a donation or making a financial contribution on-site.

  • Believet Canine
  • Invisible Wounds Project
  • Mangus Veterans Foundation

To find out what each organization needs, or if you’d like to give online, visit Minnesota State Fair Community Gives Together on our website.

Event Program

Check out the downloadable program and detailed event map, or pick up a copy at an information booth at the fairgrounds. The Kickoff to Summer event program is sponsored by Humana.

Food, beverages, merchandise and Giant Slide rides are an additional cost.

Know Before You Go

Kickoff to Summer at the Fair is here! Still need tickets? Buy in advance online and save $3. Below is the information you need to know before you go:

  • Tickets: Tickets must be printed with the barcode visible, or they may be scanned off your mobile device via the link included in your purchase confirmation email. This email with your tickets was sent from Etix shortly after you completed your online purchase. If you need your confirmation email resent, please contact Etix at 1-800-514-3849.
  • Your timeslot: Check your ticket and arrive on the day and anytime during the timeslot you purchased. All guests must leave the event at the end of their timeslot. Only those with tickets for the designated timeslot will be admitted during that time.
  • Entrances: New this year – there will be two public entrances: At Snelling and Hoyt avenues, north of the water tower (parking available in the Robin Lot off Randall Avenue); and at Como Avenue just east of the Coliseum (with a large amount of parking available in the lots south of Como). Whether arriving by car, Uber or Lyft, taxi, bike, bus or on foot, all guests will need to make their way to one of these gates to enter the event. Free parking! (Parking & Entrance Map.)
  • Health & safety: At the present time, for this outdoor event, we do not anticipate requiring masks, proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 tests. Ticket holders agree to comply with all Minnesota State Fair policies and protocols (including health, safety and security) in place at the time of the 2022 Kickoff to Summer event, and acknowledge that policies and protocols may be updated between time of ticket purchase and the event, as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves and the State Fair finalizes its 2022 Kickoff to Summer plans. Check back for the most updated information.
    The Minnesota State Fair’s security program includes walk-through metal detectors at entry gates. Bags, purses, coolers and packages will be subject to search at each of the event entrances. Prohibited items include:

      • Weapons or objects that appear to be weapons
      • Fireworks or other explosive and flammable objects
      • Alcoholic beverages or any illegal substance
      • Drones or any remote-controlled toys
      • Bikes, skateboards, skates, hoverboards
      • Outside food and drink with the exception of sealed plastic water bottles or an empty reusable water bottle
      • Other items may be refused at the discretion of State Fair management or law enforcement.
  • Rain or shine! In the case of inclement weather, please bring umbrellas, ponchos or other rain gear.
  • What to bring: Your ticket; board games if you’d like; cash and credit card if you plan to buy food or merch or ride the Giant Slide; and donation items for Community Gives Together collection. Plus, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to take home fair food to share or save for later, so bring an empty cooler, storage containers and maybe even some foil or plastic wrap!
  • Entertainment and happenings: See the downloadable event program, sponsored by Humana. Printed copies will also be available at the on-site information booth.
  • Pets: Fido and friends will need to stay at home. Service dogs that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability are permitted.
  • Designated smoking areas: For the comfort and safety of all, two designated smoking areas are available. Smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes and vape pens) is permitted only in these areas. See the detailed event map.
  • Wi-Fi: Event hotspot sponsored by DragNFly Wireless. Check out the location in our detailed event map.
  • Cash or credit: For a list of which food vendors accept cash and/or credit, please check out the menus. Merchandise vendors accept cash or credit. The Giant Slide accepts cash only. ATMs are available on-site. Check out the detailed event map.
  • Lost & found: The on-site information booth will house lost & found during the event. Questions: 651-288-4555;
  • Souvenir drink bottles: Vendors are not able to refill State Fair souvenir drink bottles at this event.

Electric Mobility Scooters, Strollers, Wagons and Wheelchairs

HomeTown Mobility is accepting reservations for wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters. Reserve online (select “Kickoff to Summer on the MNSF grounds” from the list) or call HomeTown Mobility at 712-938-2029 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time. (Note: Reservations made by phone are subject to a $5 call-in fee.) Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Cancellation must be made 48 hours in advance to receive a refund, less a $5 cancellation fee per rental unit. A valid driver’s license or state ID is required when picking up your rental.


  • Electric mobility scooter: $65
  • Wheelchair: $25
  • Double stroller: $25
  • Single stroller or wagon: $20

If rented on-site (without a reservation), all equipment is available on a first-come basis with no guarantee of availability.

At the Kickoff event, HomeTown Mobility will have two locations (see Parking & Entrance Map), one inside Gate 16 on the north, and one inside Gate 10 on the south by Como Avenue. Cash or credit accepted. Battery charging for personal scooters is not available at the HomeTown Mobility site.


All information subject to change.