State fair looking to expand on north end of grounds

It may be a couple of years away, but Minnesota State Fair general manager Jerry Hammer recently revealed preliminary plans for a new entertainment venue on the north end of the fairgrounds.

At the annual meeting in January? of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, the fair’s governing body, Hammer gave a sneak peek of the expansion, which may include new attractions like an interactive Future of Agriculture exhibit hall and a hall for traveling exhibits. An outdoor amphitheater for performing arts is also a possibility, although it will likely not be as expansive, or expensive, as the highly successful West End Market’s venue.

The Hoyt Avenue entrance is often less congested than the main entrance on Snelling Avenue or the south entrance off Como Avenue. Hammer says the new attractions shouldn’t change that.

“The facility on the north end should have very little effect on traffic flow of the fairgrounds,” he said in an email to the Bugle. “During the fair, the gate is busy until the north parking lots fill, then slows down to people who either park in the neighborhood or who take a Snelling Avenue bus. The new facility won’t change any of that.”

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