Aug. 24 – Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2023
78 Days 2 Hours 26 Mins
All information is subject to change.
We are looking forward to the 2023 Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 24 to Sept. 4! Check back for more information in the coming months. In the meantime, check out these other ways to stay in the know:
May 27, 2023: Today – Saturday, May 27 – Kickoff to Summer at the Fair is SOLD-OUT! If you have already purchased tickets for Saturday, please join us. At this time, tickets for tomorrow, Sunday, May 28, are still available. Learn more.
May 16, 2023: The 2023 Minnesota State Fair free stage entertainment lineup is available now! Learn more about the 100+ acts coming to The Great Minnesota Get-Together this year.
April 6, 2023: Tickets for our 2023 Kickoff to Summer at the Fair event are now on sale! Don’t miss out on this unique slice-of-the-fair event. Learn more about entertainment, food & brews, shopping vendors and more on our Kickoff to Summer at the Fair page.
Feb. 27, 2023: Renee Alexander, longtime Minnesota State Fair deputy general manager, will be the new CEO of the Minnesota State Fair. The State Fair’s board of managers conducted a search over the past several months and announced today that Alexander will take over for retiring CEO Jerry Hammer. Alexander has more than 20 years of experience with the Great Minnesota Get-Together, including 13 years as deputy general manager, playing a key role on the State Fair’s senior management team.
Alexander originally worked in entertainment and marketing at the Minnesota State Fair from 1989 through 1994 and returned to the Great Minnesota Get-Together in 2005. She currently oversees all of the fair’s entertainment programs, including booking and producing Grandstand events, and has won multiple entertainment industry awards. She also leads the State Fair’s educational programming, marketing and communications, media relations, web and publications, archives and ticketing departments. As an integral member of State Fair leadership, she’s involved in every facet of the State Fair’s vast operation. Her successes on many levels have earned her a high profile
locally and nationally in the world of fairs, festivals, entertainment and event management.
“This is a large role to fill, and we’re confident that Renee is a qualified and proven leader,” said State Fair Board President Joe Scapanski. “The Great Minnesota Get-Together is world-famous for its tradition of excellence. We’re looking forward to Renee’s vision of maintaining that tradition and building on the State Fair’s amazing legacy.”
“My commitment to the Minnesota State Fair extends well beyond this merely being a job,” Alexander said. “I love this institution and all that it stands for – a showcase of the very best of our state, a place where amazing memories are created and where ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together’ is more than a slogan; it drives at our mission. I believe my work in this industry and my unique experience will serve us well as I take on the tremendous responsibility of leading this incredible organization.”
“Renee is perfect for the job,” said Hammer. “She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the State Fair’s powerful impact here in Minnesota and beyond. She knows what it takes to keep the shine on our state treasure.”
Alexander is a former board chair of the International Entertainment Buyers Association, an active participant with the International Association of Fairs and Expositions and is a graduate of the Leadership Music and Leadership St. Paul programs. She earned a degree in business communications from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and has called Minnesota home since childhood.
Alexander will assume her new duties later this spring when Hammer steps down after 53 years with the State Fair; he’s currently in his 27th year as CEO.
Feb. 9, 2023: The first show of the 2023 Grandstand Concert Series, sponsored by Sleep Number, has been announced! Learn more about this year’s lineup.
Feb. 8, 2023: The 2023 commemorative artist has been announced! Minneapolis crop artist Liz Schreiber has been selected to create the Official 2023 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art. Her original interpretation of the Great Minnesota Get-Together will be unveiled at the State Fairgrounds in June. Visit our commemorative art page to learn more about the artist.
Feb. 6, 2023: Hiring for seasonal positions is now open! View our employment page to explore openings for the summer of 2023.
Jan. 25, 2023: The third annual Kickoff to Summer at the Fair will return May 25-28, 2023! The ever-popular Milk Run 5K Race, presented by By the Yard, will take place Saturday, May 27 at 9 a.m.
Jan. 15, 2023: Now through Jan. 31, purchase your 2023 Pre-Fair Discount Gate Admission Tickets at the 2022 price of $14! Beginning Feb. 1, the price will be $15. Learn more.
Nov. 21, 2022: Jerry Hammer, long-time CEO of the Minnesota State Fair, will retire from his position in the spring of 2023. Hammer’s State Fair career spans 53 years including the last 26 as CEO. He is the longest-serving chief executive in the 169-year-old institution’s history. The Great Minnesota Get-Together is one of the world’s largest and best-attended events, with this year’s fair attracting visitors from all 50 U.S. states plus 38 nations around the world.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve this amazing place for so long,” Hammer said. “What a great gift it is when your life’s work is bringing people together to celebrate the very best of each other. This is way more than an agricultural fair. It’s a uniquely Minnesota-style celebration of our humanity.”
During Hammer’s tenure as CEO, the State Fair has seen significant growth in attendance, programming and revenue with a Super Bowl-sized annual economic impact in the Twin Cities of $300 million, plus more unmeasured impact across the state.
Also during his tenure, the 322-acre State Fairgrounds have undergone nearly $180 million in major improvements and upgrades including renovation of historic facilities, significant new construction and large expansion of fairgrounds landscape, amenities and infrastructure – all with no public funding. Much of the work was accomplished through the State Fair’s bonding authority along with the Minnesota State Fair Foundation – both launched during Hammer’s first years as CEO.
Hammer said that he is most proud of the fair’s professional staff, and their high level of expertise. “They make everything go,” said Hammer. “Think about the magnitude of this event, and the many disciplines and multiple layers of coordination required to make it all happen. They do it brilliantly. The fair is in exceptionally strong hands.”
The State Fair’s board of managers is initiating a search process to name Hammer’s successor. Hammer will stay on as CEO into the spring to help with the leadership transition.
Hammer has spent all his working life at the State Fair, starting in 1970 at the fair’s greenhouse as a 15-year-old high school student. He joined the full-time staff in 1977 and served in a variety of positions in events, media, marketing, public relations and senior management before being appointed CEO in 1997.
Hammer is past chairman of the International Association of Fairs & Expositions, and Mid-West Fairs Association, and is the recipient of a variety of professional and community awards including the IAFE’s Hall of Fame.
Hammer and Debby, his wife, have both lived their entire lives in St. Paul’s Como Park neighborhood, in the shadow of the State Fairgrounds. Their two grown children, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and five grandchildren are all confirmed fair junkies.
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