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Aug. 25 – Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022

310 Days 5 Hours 32 Mins

Updates

2021 Minnesota State Fair Updates

The Great Minnesota Get-Together will officially return Aug. 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021! Use this page as a starting point to learn more about this year’s plans. We will update this page as needed.

Other ways to stay in the know:

All information is subject to change. 

Health Guidance

As of Aug. 25, 2021

NOTE: Based on recent guidance by the CDC, we reiterate that you are strongly urged to wear a face covering indoors and in outdoor crowded settings, regardless of vaccination status.

The Minnesota State Fair needs every fair fan to do their part and most of all, do the right thing. The current health situation is not an ideal backdrop for the Great Minnesota Get-Together tradition. We understand that by urging rather than requiring people to follow current guidance, many of our usual fair fans will not be comfortable attending. We ask that those who attend do so because they are willing to follow our health guidance – not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do.

We acknowledge that no event can be completely risk-free, and we’re counting on you to do your part to help us present as safe an event as we can by following this health guidance:

Make an informed decision about attending the fair. Before you visit, make sure you’ve considered your personal health situation and how you can best keep yourself and those close to you safe and healthy. The Minnesota Department of Health advises individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated for COVID-19, immunocompromised individuals and their caregivers to reduce their risk by using layered protections such as avoiding large gatherings and wearing a face mask indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. The comprehensive Minnesota Department of Health webpage on COVID-19 has the latest information on testing, vaccinations, symptoms, what to do if you feel ill, contact tracing, protecting yourself and others, and more.

Get vaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated, thank you! That’s the best thing you can do for yourself and for everyone, especially children under age 12 and others who cannot get vaccinated. It’s widely recognized that the vast majority of all current COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people. While we will not require you to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter the fair, if you’re not vaccinated and plan to attend, we urge you to reconsider a vaccine, both for your safety and the safety of others. If you can’t get one beforehand, our friends at the Minnesota Department of Health, Ramsey County and Homeland Health are offering free vaccines right here in the North End Event Center during the fair; no identification or insurance required.

Wear a face covering. We strongly urge you to wear a mask in the following settings if you are older than age 2 and medically able to wear one:

  • Indoors, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • Outdoors in crowded settings, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • At some independent vendor booths where they require everyone in their booth to wear a mask

We are largely an outdoor event with plenty of eating and drinking. Mandating masks fairgrounds-wide would be extremely difficult for our organization to enforce, so we are urging you to pitch in and do what’s right. Particularly if you go inside, simply put a face covering on for the time you’re shopping or visiting an exhibit. Masks will be required, regardless of vaccine status, if you go to the Care & Assistance and First Aid buildings, Health Fair 11, Eco Experience and the North End Event Center to donate blood or get a vaccine; and to ride a trolley if you’re not vaccinated.

We suggest you bring your own mask with you to the fair, but if you forget yours, we’ll have one for you. Just ask at the gate when you enter, at an information booth or at many building entrances.

Wear a face covering if you take a bus to the fair. Many guests arrive at the fair via Park & Ride buses; Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority or SouthWest Transit Express Buses; shuttles; or other forms of mass transit. Federal regulations require all public transportation passengers to wear masks while they are waiting for and on a bus (those under age 2 or who are medically not able to tolerate a mask are exempt). Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft may have their own mask requirements.

Use these two attendance tools to help you choose when to visit. There is plenty of fair and plenty of fairgrounds to accommodate many guests. Let’s spread out into less busy days and times, and throughout the entire fairgrounds.

  • Consider attending on a weekday instead of a weekend. Some days traditionally have fewer than half as many guests as weekends. Attendance history
  • Use the new “Gopher Gauge” web page. When the fairgrounds are busier, the gauge will show three gophers. When the fairgrounds are more open and less busy, the gauge will show one gopher, and when moderate, it will show two. The gauge will be updated regularly throughout the fair day. (Please note that our Gopher Gauge isn’t based on exact attendance numbers, but rather on what guests are experiencing at the time.)

Social distance. We’ll use this term as a verb – please spread out when you can and wear a mask when you can’t. The State Fairgrounds are huge, and most activities are outdoors where social distancing is much easier. We’ve created more space in some high-traffic areas and added hundreds of benches and tables. There’s also more open space in exhibit buildings this year with fewer livestock and commercial exhibits. If one area of the fair is busy, explore new places. Wherever you go, there’s plenty to eat and do.

Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently. Free hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the fairgrounds, particularly near information booths. Plus, there are hand wash stations in the Food Building and throughout the barns and livestock area, where it’s especially important to wash your hands after visiting the animals.

Stay home if you’re not feeling well or you’ve had close contact with someone who tests positive. Get tested and get well before you visit the fair. If within the 14 days before you attend the fair you have tested positive or presumptively positive for COVID-19, experienced any related symptoms or been in direct contact with or in the immediate vicinity of any person who is confirmed or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms, please stay home.

Get tested after you visit. The Minnesota Department of Health suggests getting tested for COVID-19 three to five days after attending a large event. Minnesota Department of Health Find a Testing Location

Most of all, respect your fellow fair fans. Follow the Golden Rule – we’re all in this together. And please remember that everyone is short-staffed, including at the fair. Please be kind to those who showed up.

Safety & Security

The Minnesota State Fair’s security program includes walk-through metal detectors at all entry gates. Bags, purses, coolers and packages will be subject to search at each of the State Fair’s entrances.

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons and objects that appear to be weapons
  • Fireworks and other explosive and flammable objects
  • Alcoholic beverages and any illegal substance
  • Drones and any remote-controlled toys
  • Bikes, skateboards, skates, hoverboards

Other items may be refused at the discretion of State Fair management or law enforcement.

Public Safety

The State Fair has a comprehensive safety and security plan in place that involves a variety of local, state and federal agencies, which includes the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved a Joint Powers Agreement in July in which the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office will provide law enforcement services for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Having a formalized agreement with the Sheriff’s Office will enhance the existing plan and provide the safety and security needed for the 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together.

In addition to enhanced gate security with metal detectors at entrances, the fair’s public safety program will include upgraded technology and communications systems, first aid and emergency medical services, and community ambassadors.

Tools to Plan Your Day at the Fair

Minnesota State Fair App

Download the brand-new Minnesota State Fair app by typing app.mnstatefair.org into Safari (for iOS) or Chrome (for Android) on your phone. Check out tutorials on how to download.

State Fair Finders

Entertainment

Grandstand

See the full 2021 Grandstand Concert Series lineup sponsored by Sleep Number!

If you already had tickets to a 2020 Grandstand show, it has been rescheduled for 2021 (with the exception of NF). Your concert ticket will be valid for the 2021 date, and you will keep your same seat location. No action is required. Bring your ticket with you and get it scanned at the Grandstand on the night of the show.

Low Cut Connie Cancellation

Low Cut Connie has canceled its appearance scheduled for the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Saturday, Aug. 28. We respect the band’s decision to withdraw from the show. The Current’s Music On-A-Stick will continue with Lake Street Dive and special guest Kiss the Tiger. 

For questions, please contact the Minnesota State Fair ticket office at tickets@mnstatefair.org or 651-288-4427.

Free Entertainment

Check out the 2021 free entertainment lineup! All shows are free with State Fair admission.

Entertainment Changes

As of Aug. 16, 2021

Aug. 26 & 27

  • Sister Sledge is performing at Bandshell Tonight! at 8:30 p.m., replacing DSL Dire Straits Legacy

Aug. 28 & 29

  • Gear Daddies is performing at Bandshell Tonight! at 8:30 p.m., replacing Sister Sledge, which has moved to Aug. 26 & 27
  • Kazual is performing at 1 & 2:30 p.m. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, replacing Next Generation Leahy
  • The Rubber Chicken Variety Show is performing at the Family Fair Stage at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., replacing Mama Lou: American Strong Woman
  • O’Shea Irish Dance is performing at 10 & 11 a.m. and noon at the Cosgrove Stage, replacing Minnesota Tamil Sangam

Aug. 30 & 31

  • Pam Tillis is performing at 3:30 & 4:45 p.m. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, replacing Connie Smith

Sept. 1 & 2

  • Jeff Dayton is performing at 3:30 & 4:45 p.m. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, replacing We Banjo 3

Sept. 3 & 4

  • Sweet Colleens is performing at 1 & 2:30 p.m. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, replacing Screaming Orphans
  • Thomasina and the King’s Quartet is performing at 3:30 & 4:45 p.m. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, replacing Melinda Doolittle

Tickets

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are on sale now! Learn more about the various ways to purchase tickets to the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.

Note: There is not a lottery to purchase tickets, nor is there a daily attendance limit at the 2021 State Fair.

What if I already purchased tickets for the 2020 State Fair or pre-fair discount admission tickets for the 2021 State Fair?

Your tickets will be valid for the 2021 fair. No action is required. Bring your ticket with you and get it scanned at the gate any one day of the 2021 Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 26-Sept. 6.

Is it safe to buy tickets from a source other than the Minnesota State Fair, Etix, or an outlet authorized to sell State Fair tickets?

Admission tickets, Grandstand tickets and ride & game tickets should ONLY be purchased from authorized ticket locations. During the fair, this includes State Fair ticket booths right at the fairgrounds entrance gates, ticket booths inside the fairgrounds and at etix.com via mnstatefair.org.

As with any event ticket, you run the risk that tickets purchased from an unauthorized third party will be counterfeit or invalid when trying to be scanned or used. If your tickets are not valid, you will not be permitted to enter or use the tickets, and the State Fair will not refund or reimburse guests for invalid or fraudulent tickets.

Learn more about where to purchase tickets.

Exhibits & Attractions

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is back, but this year’s fair may look a little different from what we’re used to. Some changes are due to pandemic-related issues and operational challenges, and others will help us improve your visit to the fair. We’re working hard alongside agriculturists, educators, entertainers, attraction providers, vendors, suppliers and others to give you the best fair experience. Here is a sampling of the changes in 2021:

  • 3rd Lair SkatePark, EquiMania!™, Festival of Nations Demonstration Stage, Giant Sing Along, Go Karts, the Great Big Sandbox, Laser Encore’s Laser Hitz Show and the River Raft Ride will not be at the 2021 State Fair.
  • The increasingly popular Llama-Alpaca Costume Contest is moving to the Warner Coliseum and will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1. More seating for fans to enjoy the fun!
  • The longest-running entertainer at the State Fair – Sean Emery, who performed each day of the fair since 1991 – has retired. We’ll miss you, Sean!
  • The CHS Miracle of Birth Center will showcase dozens of newborn farm animals in place of live births.
  • Dan Patch Park will be open green and gathering space on four days when Minnesota Cooks™ Day, Read & Ride Day, Hubbard Broadcasting Day and AARP Day have traditionally been featured at the park.
  • Adventure Park with the extreme thrill rides will have a new home south of Judson Avenue between the CHS Miracle of Birth Center and the Dairy Building.
  • The DNR Building will be closed in 2021. Activities at DNR Park, including the fish pond, raptor demonstrations, and performances on the Outdoor Volunteer Stage are still planned for this year.
  • On Labor Day – Kids Day – the Grandstand show featuring Darci Lynne: My Lips Are Sealed (Except When They’re Not) with special guest Okee Dokee Brothers takes the stage at 4 p.m. Fireworks Spectacular will be at 9 p.m.
  • Check out the new attractions for 2021!

Transportation

Please note: Face coverings are required on all buses. Uber, Lyft and taxis are also great options. Learn more on the transportation and on-site parking pages.

Hours

On Labor Day, Sept. 6, the fairgrounds, ticket booths and most exhibit buildings and attractions will close 1 hour earlier than in past years. See a full list of hours.

Other schedule changes:

  • The Horse Barn will close early Aug. 26-30 for draft horse competition preparation. In addition, the Horse Barn will be closed all day on Aug. 31 due to sanitization for horse departure and arrival. See all Horse Barn hours.

Employment & Volunteers

The Minnesota State Fair is now hiring for fair-time staff!

Volunteering at the Fair

We welcome volunteers at the 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Together! These essential folks are what make many of our exhibits memorable and engaging. No expertise required – just a willingness to help your fellow fair fans make the most of their day! Most shifts are two to three hours, and we’ll show you what to do. Sign up solo or with a group! Each volunteer receives a FREE admission ticket to the fair!

Support the Fair

The Minnesota State Fair has not received state government funding since 1949. The cancellation of the 2020 fair resulted in a $16 million loss after going a year without nearly all of our operating revenue. Your support is needed now more than ever. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that preserves and improves the historic Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and supports State Fair agricultural, scientific and educational programs. To learn more about the Foundation, its impact and how to contribute, visit msffoundation.org.

Competition

Non-Livestock Competitions

Learn more

Livestock & Horse Competitions

Learn more

2021 Milk Run 5K Race

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Minnesota State Fair, the Milk Run was not held, and registered 2020 Milk Run runners were able to defer their registration to 2021. At this time, there are no spots available for the 2021 Milk Run.

Need More Information?

If your questions haven’t been answered here, check out our Frequently Asked Questions pages or visit our Contact Us page.

All information subject to change.