Ready to forget the wind chill for a minute and look toward sunnier, sweatier days?
Are you ever in luck.
After announcing a $14 million expansion last September, the Minnesota State Fair revealed its in-depth plans in a press release this weekend. All together, improvements to the 322-acre fairgrounds will actually total $20 million.
Of that chunk of dough, the biggest portion—$16 million—will fund a new exhibit complex at the North End of the fairgrounds: "a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall that will be the fair-time home to annually changing museum-quality exhibits."
Another $3.4 million will go to less glitzy—but still important, as having working toilets on a 95-degree day tends to matter—maintenance projects. Specifically: upgrades to the Swine Barn and the exercise ring in the livestock area, improvements in the restrooms in Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum, and the lighting and fire suppression system in the DNR Building, along with all kinds of miscellaneous sewer/street and sidewalk/landscape projects.
Some of the cost will be passed on to attendees: Adult gate admission (ages 13-64) will rise to $15 in 2019, while kids (5-12) and seniors (65+) will be charged $13. That's a $1 bump in each category except kiddos 4 and under, who still get in for free.
The price tag makes this the fair's largest project since the West End Market debuted in 2014, according to MPR. And the State Fair, the release reminds, is entirely self-funded and receives no government aid whatsoever—a damn good thing this year, especially.
This year's fair runs August 22 through September 2, and those new prices don't go into effect until February 1... you can still get discount tickets online now, if you're really looking forward to sunnier days.