The 2022 Minnesota State Fair kicks off Aug. 25 for a 12-day run that concludes on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
Here are a few facts to help you plan your visits to the Great Minnesota Get Together:
Updated Fair hours
These past two years have provided the opportunity to evaluate the fair’s entire operation and determine how best to improve the fair experience for guests, staff, vendors and all who work to present the Great Minnesota Get-Together, according to State Fair news releases. With this in mind, the fairgrounds hours have been updated.
• Fairgrounds admission: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Labor Day
• Online ticket sales Fair time:
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Labor Day
• Gate ticket sales Fair time: Tickets will be sold at the gates during the Fairgrounds admission times.
• Regular admission pricing
• Adults (13-64): $17
• Seniors (65+): $15
• Kids (5-12): $15
• Children (4 and under): Always free.
New attractions and exhibits
The Fair is boasting a plethora of new attractions, exhibits, vendors and programs this year, including:
Blue Ribbon BINGO: BINGO debuts at the Fair with proceeds supporting the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. Located in Ramberg Center, BINGO sessions include five games and last about 30 minutes. BINGO packets of five sheets are $10 each and each sheet contains three cards to play per game. The first session will begin at 9 a.m. daily. Sessions will be held approximately once per hour, with the last session beginning about 8 p.m. (7 p.m. on Labor Day). Check the sign outside Ramberg Center for session start times throughout the day.
Survival: The Exhibition: This immersive wilderness exhibit in the North End Event Center brings together adventure, fun and science while transporting guests of all ages to the world’s most awe-inspiring locales and then asks the question: How can humans survive here? From rainforests to high mountains to rolling oceans, from extreme cold to the temperate forest to our own locales, this exhibit invites the visitors to investigate, collaborate, problem-solve, build and collect their way to becoming the ultimate survival expert. Free with fair admission.
New Mighty Midway rides
Two new rides debut this year.
Iron Dragon Coaster: This spectacular roller coaster has plenty of hairpin turns, fast and sudden drops and lots of airtime.
Music Express: Fly at top speed — forward and backward — through dazzling lights and splashy music.
Eco Experience: new features
At this award-winning exhibit, an array of new features include displays, resources and demonstrations that highlight what one can do to help improve our air, land, water and climate. A few of this year’s highlights include:
Land of the Loon: Protecting Minnesota’s iconic state bird: A roadside attraction for 40 years in the state’s own city of Virginia, the world’s largest floating loon makes a special State Fair visit. The loon is part spectacle (It’s 20 feet tall!) and part serious with talk about how to reduce the threats to the common loon, such as using lead-free tackle, keeping lakes clean and shorelines natural and taking action to reduce climate change.
Cell phone recycling: Recycling electronics waste helps to capture valuable materials. Dispose of your used cell phones and other devices in the Tech Dump box, and Tech Dump will destroy the data, then recycle or refurbish the items.
Reuse and repair: Get helpful how-to ideas from a variety of reuse, rental and repair organizations and businesses located in our communities.
New livestock and agriculture contests
This year will see the addition of several new livestock and agriculture competitions. Those include The Running of the Ducks.
The aptly named runner ducks stand up tall on their webbed feet and run with speed and grace. As one portion of their judging at the State Fair this year, these ducks show off their technique in a large pen in an event the Fair is calling The Running of the Ducks. That will occur at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Poultry Barn.
New merchandise vendors
The State Fair welcomes more than 50 new merchandise vendors selling goods including home and garden decor, gadgets, pet supplies, hobbies, beauty care, foodie fun, home solutions, threads, accessories and more, as well as vendors representing area nonprofits and community organizations. They join nearly 900 previous merchants.
For more information on new attractions, visit: mnstatefair.org/new-this-year/attraction/.
For other Fair information, go to mnstatefair.org.
Information in this article was collected from Minnesota State Fair news releases.