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2022 Minnesota State Fair: Higher Ticket Prices, Shorter Hours

CBS Minnesota logoCBS Minnesota 1/18/2022 Syndicated Local – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Originally published on Jan. 17, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fairgoers will pay more to spend less time at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year.

Organizers announced Sunday that ticket prices will increase by a dollar for the 2022 fair. That means regular admission will run $17 and tickets for kids and seniors will cost $15. Admission for children under 4 will remain free.

Through Jan. 31, discounted tickets can be purchased for $13 online. On Feb. 1, that early price goes up to $14.

The fair will also open an hour later and close an hour earlier for the first 11 days. From Aug. 25 – Sept. 4, the fair’s hours will be 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Labor Day, the final day of the fair, organizers have lopped off only an hour — it will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. after opening at 6 a.m. last year.

The reason is that the fair says fewer people are there that early, or late at night. It will also give the overnight crew extra hours to get the fairgrounds ready.

“We all had really severe labor shortages this year, and we are anticipating that hopefully it wont continue until late August,” fair general manager Jerry Hammer said, “but we don’t know that.”

The announcements followed the Minnesota State Fair’s annual meeting. In a letter after the meeting, Hammer called the 2021 edition “miraculous,” citing the 1.3 million people who attended last year, despite the ongoing pandemic. That being said, that also represents the lowest attendance rate in 44 years.

Hammer also announced that the Minnesota State Fair actually lost money the last two years — an operating loss of $1.3 million in 2021, after a loss of $16.5 million when it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“We were on track to produce the fair but we had to drop the curtain and slam everything shut,” Hammer said.

​And like everywhere else, there is inflation.

“Our costs go up to produce the fair and have gone up significantly in some areas,” Hammer said.

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