It will take another buck for folks to get into the Minnesota State Fair, officials said Wednesday.
Tickets at the gate of the Great Minnesota Get-Together will now cost $13 for adults and $11 for seniors (65 and older) and kids (5-12). Children younger than 5 are still admitted for free.
The $1 increase also applies to tickets bought in advance. Everyone 5 and older who buys a ticket beforehand will now pay $10.
Previous price hikes came in 2011 for gate admissions and in 2009 for advance ticket purchases.
The fair continues to offer various discounted admission days. For further info, visit www.mnstatefair.org/tickets_discounts/admission.html.
A sampling of prices in 2014 for adult at-the-gate admission in other Midwestern states shows: Ohio and Wisconsin $10; Michigan and Missouri $8; Illinois $7, and South Dakota $5.
Country Living magazine’s latest selection of the five best state fairs gave blue ribbons to Minnesota, Iowa, New York, Alaska and Texas. Iowa will charge $11 general admission at the gate; New York $10 and Alaska $13 (Monday-Thursday) and $15 (Friday-Sunday). Texas charged $17 last year and has yet to decide on a 2014 price.
Jerry Hammer, the Minnesota State Fair’s CEO, said Wednesday that while “you can’t argue with anything factually” about Minnesota’s admission among the highest, his fair offers more than those in other states.
“You can go to the rides at Como Park, or you can go to Disneyland,” Hammer said. “We’re not like any of those fairs.”
There’s also a bump coming in the Minnesota State Fair prices for Midway and Kidway rides. See www.mnstatefair.org/entertainment/midway_kidway.html for specifics.
“Our costs continue to go up every year,” Hammer said, pointing to ambitious improvements throughout the grounds and expenses in accommodating the needs of food vendors. “We don’t want to be the Pretty Good Minnesota Get-Together.”
In January, the fair’s board approved a capital improvements budget that includes nearly $14 million for one of the biggest transformations since a flurry of Depression-era projects in the 1930s.
Money for the new West End Market and a transit hub on the old Heritage Square site in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds made up the bulk of the $15.6 million capital improvements and maintenance budget.
The 2014 fair runs from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1, Labor Day.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482