How to get to the Minnesota State Fair

As I write it’s just 24 hours and counting till the gates open at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.  Be still my heart.  Though more about the Fair precedes and will follow this post the pressing issue of the day is getting there – especially getting there without squandering money better spent on bacon-on-stick, a kufta kabob or the Turbo Bungy.

Behold the bus:

  • Check out the State Fair Express service – nonstop to and from the Fair from Express parking lots 8:00 a.m. to Midnight. Closer P&R lots are free.  Far flung lots ($5) operate throughout the metro area and the burbs (some operated by MVTA and SouthWest Transit).  Park ($5)  Hop on the bus, hop off at the Fairgrounds gate and look with pity on hot and hapless families stuck in traffic.  Insider’s tip:  Go to the MTC State Fair site – enter your address and the omniscient system will show you the parking lots closest to you.
  • Regular bus routes are another option — Route 960, a State Fair special, runs frequently from Nicollet Mall. – Route 84 goes North-South on Snelling while Route 3 runs East-West on Como.

Bike or cycle:

  • There are three free secured bike parking areas on the fairgrounds – Check Gate #6 (Como and Snelling), Gate #2 (Hoyt and Snelling and Gate #15 near the West Dan Patch Transitway Gate.  Open 6 a.m. to Midnight.
  • Cyclists may also park, lock and ride the bus free from some of the Park & Ride sites.
  • Motorcyclists can pay $5 to park 6:00 a.m.-midnight for $5 at the secure lot near Gage #7 in Como.

No bicycles or motorcycles may be operated on the fairgrounds during the Fair.

Accessible parking:

A parking lot for people with disabilities and their companions, including wheelchair-accessible transportation to and from the Fair, is located at 1039 DeCourcy Circle, East of Snelling off Energy Park Drive. The bus stop for the wheelchair-accessible Park & Ride is at  Como Loop Gate #9.  Lots more information about accessibility to all of the State Fair on the state fair site, email accessibility@mnstatefair.org, call 651 288 4400 or TTY 651 642 2372.

When in doubt, check it out:

The Minnesota State Fair and Metro Transit websites are treasure troves that will answer just about any question a Fair-goer can pose.   Everything you ever wanted to know about the Great Minnesota Get-Together – schedules, times, fees, competitions, entertainment and food you’ve never imagined is  online or call 651 288 4400. A great resource is Metro Transit’s TripPlanner service – online or call 612 333 3733 (TTY 612 341 0140).

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