It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway), we all crave a chance to gather with family and friends, catch up in 3D, hang out on a patio, tap our toes to live music, raise a glass to brighter days ahead, savor the food we’ve been missing for months, and stroll (not scroll) through specialty Minnesota merchants.
Kickoff to Summer at the Fair sponsored by Paddle North is all that and more – five days of food, brews, music, shopping and family fun at the beautiful and iconic State Fairgrounds – in May!
Proceeds support the Minnesota State Fair. The cancellation of the 2020 fair has meant going without nearly all of our operating revenue for a year. Our fingers are crossed as we plan for the 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together!
Please note: Guests will be required to follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines and procedures in place at the time of the event. Based on current guidelines, face masks will be required except when eating or drinking. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend the event.
Tickets are $12.50 each (fees and tax included); children 4 and under are free with a child ticket. Each ticket is valid for a specific date and timeslot. You will choose your date and timeslot when you purchase tickets. Limit of 6 tickets per customer (including children). There is a limit of 10,000 tickets available for each timeslot, which follows current State of Minnesota event capacity guidance. Tickets will be sold through a lottery process, so all guests who register in advance have an opportunity to be randomly selected to purchase tickets. This event is rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.
1. Lottery registration: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. All who register online by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 6, will be entered into a random drawing for the opportunity to purchase up to 6 tickets (including children). (No priority is given to those who register early.) Registering for the lottery does not guarantee an opportunity to purchase a ticket, and no payment is required at this time. You may register only once; duplicate registrations including name, address, email and phone numbers will be removed.
2. Notification email: At approximately 8 a.m. Monday, May 10, all lottery registrants will receive an email notifying them of their randomly assigned group designation: A, B, C or D. Group designations determine the date you may have the opportunity to purchase tickets.
If you do not receive an email at 8 a.m., please check your spam/junk folder. This is the only notification you will receive with your group assignment, redemption code and ticket link, so keep this email handy, and mark your calendar with your access date.
3. What to do when your designated group gains access to ticket buying: Use the link and redemption code in the email you received Monday morning to access available dates and timeslots. You may purchase up to 6 tickets (including children). Dates/times will become more limited as more people purchase tickets, and there is no guarantee that tickets will be available for later groups. If you do not purchase your tickets by noon the following day your group is granted access, you may still buy available dates/times if any remain, but people from the next group will also have the opportunity to purchase. To buy tickets for more than one date/timeslot (up to the limit of 6 total tickets), complete a separate transaction for each date/timeslot.
4. Sold-out notification: All who register for the lottery will receive an email when the event sells out. This may occur before all groups have the ability to purchase tickets. If tickets still remain at noon on Friday, May 14, sales will be open to anyone.
Questions about your lottery registration: Contact the Minnesota State Fair Ticket Office at email@example.com or 651-288-4467.
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.
2021 Minnesota State Fair Foundation Friends of the Fair members at the Red Ribbon level ($100) and above who join before Wednesday, May 5, at noon, will have the opportunity to purchase tickets on Thursday, May 6, before the lottery process begins. Join online through the Minnesota State Fair Foundation or call 651-288-4325.
Without a fair in 2020, the State Fair needs the support of Friends of the Fair as we plan for 2021. When you donate and become a member, you help support the fair and get great benefits too (such as access to presale tickets for Kickoff to Summer at the Fair)!
We are following the guidance of state and federal health officials to protect all who are attending and participating in Kickoff to Summer at the Fair. Here are the health and safety measures that will be in place during this event, as of May 6, 2021; these are subject to change. We hope this information will help you determine if you are comfortable with the experience being presented before choosing to attend.
Fair food faves and refreshing summer beers!
Spring into summer with live entertainment!
Family Fun Stage at DNR Park
Visitors Plaza Stage
DJ Entertainment at Dan Patch Park
Sponsored by Adagio Djay Entertainment
Ball Park Cafe
Mancini’s al Fresco
A rare chance to ride the slide in May! Tickets are $2.50; cash only. The slide is open weather permitting; if it rains, the slide will reopen when it dries.
Family Fun Zone at DNR Park
Challenge your family and friends to a board game! Stop by the north side of the DNR Building to check out some favorite classics.
For the young ones, we’ll have a selection of games – Giant Connect 4, Giant Jenga and Cookie Monster Cookie Toss – to check out on the south side of the DNR Building. Plus, watch for the Kids Wagon cruising throughout the Family Fun Zone with sidewalk chalk, jacks, coloring sheets and crayons.
If you’d like to bring your own board games to play while you’re at the event, please do!
High-Five Fairborne & Fairchild
Socially distanced, of course! Watch for our beloved furry State Fair mascots – they’re done hibernating and ready to help us spring into summer!
State Fair Trivia
Test your knowledge of State Fair fun facts and win fair tickets! Look for the QR code on the event program and on signs at the fairgrounds. Then, scan and play. One winner will be chosen each timeslot from those who play.
Snap a Kickoff to Summer at the Fair selfie at the #OnlyInMinnesota stop, sponsored by Explore Minnesota, at the Spirit of Minnesota Tribute Bell and at Snoopy sculptures and other spots throughout the event.
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 1!
Unique finds from artisans and merchants!
On Monday, May 31, we will honor those who died while serving our country in the U.S. military.
Check back for updates. When it’s available, view downloadable program and map here, or pick up a copy at the event information booth. Event program sponsored by Humana.
Food, beverages, merchandise and Giant Slide rides are an additional cost.
Please consider bringing a donation for three local nonprofits serving veterans and young people who are accessing services to achieve supportive and sustainable housing.
HomeTown Mobility is accepting reservations for wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters. Reserve online (select “Kickoff to Summer at the Fair” from the list) or call HomeTown Mobility at 877-928-5388 Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (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.
If rented on-site, all equipment is available on a first-come basis with no guarantee of availability. At the Kickoff to Summer event, HomeTown Mobility will be located just inside the entrance gate. Cash or credit accepted. Battery recharging for personal scooters is not available at the HomeTown Mobility site.