MN State Fair: Free Shows

If you’re looking for extensive State Fair coverage, you can find it here on  Star Tribune, or most logically, the official website.


Personally, I enjoy the MN State Fair, and from what I read, it’s one of the nation’s best.  But let’s face it, most of us will only go one day.  We’ll make the splurge (on both cash and calories) and hopefully GO BIG.


Here is ThriftyHipster’s 2 cents about choosing that ONE DAY TO GO and how to SAVE MONEY.



Free Preview Party

Tuesday, Aug 25th at 11am-1pm | FREE

Where: #StribHQ, 650 3rd Av. S., Mpls. In the public atrium between the Star Tribune Building and Capella Tower.


Got this one off of the Star Tribune’s site.  They are hosting  lunch-time party.  At the event, you can enjoy free samples of new and classic fair foods from vendors including the Birchwood CafeFrench Meadow BakeryFried FruitMinnesnowiiSara’s Tipsy Pies and Sausage Sister & Me.


The Strib is highlighting all the great things they are doing to get over-worked up for the fair by disproportionate levels over you by selling merch and giving away lip balm, but hey, they had me at Free Food Samples.


Avoid the Fair altogether, but get beer+food @ Happy Gnome!

Wednesday, Aug 26th at 8pm | Info

Where: Happy Gnome


Hosting a State Fair Beer Dinner with a brewery from, ironically, Wisconsin.  That critisized, 3 Sheeps Brewing out of Sheboygan does make some damn fine beer. Tonight it will be paired by the Happy Gnome chefs with 3 foods-on-a-stick which are sure to be just as deep fried as anything you’d find just north of 94.

BONUS?  Dedric Clark’s band is down from Duluth to play some soulful Bluegrass music after/during the event (with no cover!)



Decided you gotta go!?!

Then what’s the best day you might ask?  Plan it around the FREE SHOWS and go from there.


My recommendation?


September 4th & 5th hosts Reel Big Fish for you ska fans, but also reggae (Innocent), and the MN Bluegrass Duet Championships

Can’t make those dates? Next best will be the Aug 28th (followed by the 29th), with Belly Dancers, Country Music star Terri Clark, and Charlie Parr.


Parking & Discounts

Everyone knows parking is $20+ for the day. Much better to ride your bike! Lots of bike racks and bike valet available.

If you’re coming from out of town or too lazy (or just a touch scared from biking inebriated with a bunch of folks from Anoka on the road heading back from their debauchery) then you can Park & Ride (free).


Ticket discounts? Plan ahead and buy at Cub Foods for a little discount, but its best to choose the day, then click here for more discount info.