It’s that time of year again—carnival rides, exhibits, and just about anything you can imagine deep fried on a stick. Yes, we’re talking about the Minnesota State Fair that kicks off on Thursday, August 24th and runs through Labor Day, September 4th. With approximately 1.8 million people estimated to attend the Great Minnesota Get-Together, it’s no surprise that things are about to get crowded in Falcon Heights.
Whether you’re looking to plunge into Minnesota culture by visiting agricultural exhibits and buying local goods, hopping on the Great Big Wheel, or sampling goodies from unique food vendors, getting to the fairgrounds can oftentimes be the biggest challenge. With such high attendance numbers, parking is an obvious issue, so we’ve compiled a few tips and suggestions if you’re considering heading to the big event.
If you drive your own vehicle, there are approximately 9,000 parking spots on the fairgrounds, but these fill up quickly. If you’re interested in parking at one of the lots such as Como, Robin, or Camel lots, it’s best to get there early in the day. In addition, there are plenty of houses surrounding the fairgrounds that offer parking on their lawns if you’re looking to do a little extra walking.
Being one of the most popular transportation types for fairgoers, taking a bus can be extremely cost-effective and fun. For less than $10, you can ride round-trip on Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit, and SouthWest Transit on their express bus service. Check out a complete listing of express bus locations and hours of service.
The State Fair offers free shuttles from 33 parking areas near the fairgrounds. The shuttles run from 8 a.m. to midnight, with pickups every 20 minutes. Express buses arrive and depart at the State Fair Transit Hub that’s on the west side of the fairgrounds near West End Market. Check ahead of time, though, as not all lots are open everyday.
Regular Transit Service
If you’re planning on utilizing regular transportation services, Metro Transit routes 960, 84, 61, and 3 serve the fairgrounds directly. The Green Line runs along University Avenue and transfers to Route 84 at Snelling, and this will get fairgoers to the grounds.
If you live close enough, why not get some exercise in before indulging in a bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies or some cheese curds? A leisurely bike ride is a quick and convenient way to get to the Minnesota State Fair. Plus, you won’t have to deal with paying for parking, as free parking is available to bicyclists at Como-Snelling (Gate #6), Hoyt-Snelling (Gate #2), and Randall Ave-Buford (Gate #16).
By keeping these Minnesota State Fair parking tips in mind when heading over to the fairgrounds, you’ll be sure to have a fun and stress-free time.