The Minnesota State Fair’s board of managers recently affirmed that the Great Minnesota Get-Together will return, running Aug. 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6. It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
BARN HOURS POSTED: Livestock barn hours are posted on the state fair’s website for the 2021 fair — a good sign that in-barn events are in planning stages. One popular event inside the Dairy Barn is the educational “Moo Booth.” Dave Weinand, with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, routinely works there, along with hundreds of volunteers.
The health and safety of everyone is the state fair’s top priority, and the fair continues to follow and monitor current guidance from federal and state health officials. Restrictions regarding large gatherings have recently eased, so at this time, the state fair does not anticipate daily attendance limits.
Further, masks will not be required for fair guests but they are strongly encouraged for those not fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination will not be required for guests, staff or vendors. Cleaning and sanitization measures will adhere to federal and state guidelines. For additional information on the fair’s current health and safety protocols, visit mnstatefair.org/updates.
“Planning has been ongoing throughout the pandemic, so it still feels really good to say that the Great Minnesota ‘Get-Back-Together’ is actually happening,” says Jerry Hammer, general manager. “We’re working hard to ensure a healthy and safe environment, so if you’re ready to get together later this summer, the fair will be here and ready to welcome you back.”
Worldwide, the pandemic was particularly hard on fairs, festivals and their allied industries including agriculturists, educators, entertainers, attraction providers, vendors, suppliers and others involved in fair production.
“Recovery from the past year will take some time for many of our partners, so this year’s fair may look a little different from what we’re used to,” Hammer says. “We will do our very best to give you the full-on Minnesota State Fair experience.”
Pre-fair discount admission tickets, on sale through Aug. 25 for all ages, are $13. Admission at the gate for adults ages 13 to 64 is $16; kids 5 to 12 and seniors 65-plus will be admitted for $14; children ages 4 and under are always admitted free. Pre-fair tickets are on sale online at mnstatefair.org/tickets/admission-tickets. Note that gate admission tickets purchased for the canceled 2020 fair, as well as tickets already purchased for 2021, are valid for this year’s fair.
FOOD CHOICES: The Minnesota State Fair is known for its wide variety of food and beverage choices. One popular location for featuring local foods is the Minnesota Farmers Union food booth.
As always, discounted admission will also be available on select days during the fair, including Opening Day, Seniors Days, Kids Days and Military Appreciation Day. For full details on discount days, visit mnstatefair.org/deals-and-discounts.
In other business, Hammer updated the board of managers on the state fair’s comprehensive public safety program for the 2021 fair. The public safety program will include enhanced gate security with metal detectors at entrances, upgraded technology and communications systems, liaisons with federal and regional law enforcement agencies, first aid and emergency medical services, and community ambassadors. For up-to-date safety and security information throughout the summer, visit mnstatefair.org/updates.
Additional announcements regarding the 2021 Minnesota State Fair, including the free entertainment lineup, new foods, the full Grandstand lineup and more will be released in the coming weeks.