What You Need to Know About the 2016 Minnesota State Fair

Fairgoers enter the Minnesota State Fairgrounds early Thursday. Photo: KSTP/Thomas Palanuk
Fairgoers enter the Minnesota State Fairgrounds early Thursday.

August 26, 2016 11:45 AM

The Minnesota State Fair's 2016 run opened Monday with plenty of food, music and animals on the program through Labor Day.

Before visiting the fair, check out this list of everything you need to know for a fun visit.



General Admission tickets for the 2016 state fair are the following prices:

  • Adults (13-64): $13
  • Seniors (65+): $11
  • Kids (5-12): $11
  • Children (Under 5): Free


About 7,800 parking spots are available on the fairgrounds for $13 per day, cash only. Park and Ride Lots are also available which include free parking with free bus service to and from the fair at 33 different locations near the fairgrounds. Find more about parking opportunities here.


Use this interactive map to find your way around the fair or look for paper maps located around the fairgrounds.

Be sure to visit KSTP while you’re at the fair. You can watch a live newscast or just stop by and say hello. Our building is located at the corner of Chambers and Carnes by Carousel Park.

Grandstand Shows and Tributes

If you’re planning on attending a Grandstand concert, you also need to purchase an admission ticket to the fair. Grandstand entrances open one hour before performance time. Firework shows follow each evening’s Grandstand show, between 10 and 11 p.m.

This year’s lineup includes several artists including Don Henley, the Dixie Chicks, Weezer and a The Minnesota Show with Garrison Keillor. A complete lineup can be found here.

The Minnesota State Fair is planning a tribute to the late Prince including musical tributes on all stages at the fair, a Prince Party at the Carousel Park and purple lights. More information can be found here.

More than 900 free shows are planned for the fair at various free stages throughout the fairground.  Learn more about the performances here.


The state fair announced a list of 32 new food items for visitors to try, adding to the list of almost 500 different foods in 300 concession stands. Check out the latest foods added to this year’s fair here.

Get a behind-the-scenes look on how Martha Rossini Olson of Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar produces over 2,000 cookies a minute at the fair.

In addition desserts, the Minnesota State Fair is also known for its sweet corn. Learn about where the corn comes from here.

Competitions and Livestock

The Minnesota State Fair awards the best the state has to offer in livestock, farm products, creative arts, school projects and more.

In the 4-H Livestock competition, children can show multiple animals, including beef and dairy cattle, dairy and meat goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, swine and llamas. Check out how families prepare for the competition here.

Other competitions include the giant pumpkin contest, where farmers grow pumpkins up to almost 1,500 pounds. There’s also a contest for the prettiest pumpkins. Learn how farmers across the state grow these award-winning pumpkins here.

The Midway

The Mighty Midway is open 10 a.m. to midnight and offers dozens of rides like Adult Bumper Boats, the Zipper, Gondola Ferris Wheel and Super Nova Roller Coaster. Mighty Midway rides generally require four to six tickets.

The Kidway includes smaller rides for children, including the Puppy Express, Wacky Shack Fun House, Merry-Go-Round and Dino-Go-Round. Kidway rides usually require four or five tickets.

Tickets sell for $1 per ticket, $25 for a 30-ticket sheet and $40 for a 54-ticket sheet.


This year’s fair will include dozens of new exhibits and vendors, including yoga get-together, hen house, the 4-H Meat Grilling Contest and the Recipe Card Roundup. Learn more about the new exhibits here.


Ellie Herman

Copyright 2016 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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