Make The Most Out Of Your Minn. State Fair Experience

FALCON HEIGHTS (WCCO) — The opening day of the Minnesota State Fair is also known as Thrifty Thursday, and no one knows how to better stretch a buck than Isabel Burke’s Olde Tyme taffy. The tradition started 90 years ago at the fair.

“His prices were 3 cents and a dime,” said current owner Bill OZ, who took over the business in the 1970s with prices that seem like a steal by today’s standards. “When I joined the operation in the 1970s, a bag was 50 cents and a box was a dollar.”

So, today he continues the tradition of discounts on opening day with Thrifty Thursday, in the State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain Book and beyond.

On opening day, “any customer can get a bucket for $2 off,” said OZ, but says he offers promotions throughout the 12 days.

Many of his customers will also save by getting in the gates with advance tickets.

Kevin Ward grabbed his at Cub Foods Wednesday night, the last night of the $3 discount on the adult ticket price of $12.

“It’s nice to get the discount, but I don’t think of it as being that expensive for what you get to experience,” said Ward.

“We always get a last-minute rush,” said State Fair Marketing and Communications Manager Brienna Schuette, who says other ways to save are plenty including two kids discount days on August 29 and September 5, two senior days on August 29 and September 1, a day to save with your library card on Read and Ride Day on August 31, and more.

“Also new this year, we have a military appreciation day on Tuesday the 30th,” said Schuette. “It’s the first time we have ever done this — if you are an active, or retired U.S. military service member you can show a document at the gate.”

Getting to the fair doesn’t have to cost you, with 34 free park and rides around the metro area, said Schuette. With only 9,000 parking spaces on the grounds, you can also fare for yourself on the side streets.

On the corner of Fair and Asbury, Nick Frandup and Tanya Nielson says most of the homeowners near Snelling will turn their front yards into pay lots, charging similar prices as the fairgrounds, around $12 a day.

“There will be spots available. Just look for people with signs, (they) should be walking around with parking signs,” said Frandup.

And if you really want to land that prime parking, definitely come in the morning, says Schuette. The early bird gets the best deal, and can avoid crowds on weekdays and late evenings.

One more tip: everyone loves a freebie. Schuette says if you go to the info booths at the fair, you can get a guide to deals, drawings and giveaways.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Sally B says:

    In the 55 years I have lived in MN, I have never gone to the State Fair….never really understood what he big deal is. If people want to spend money, why are they not donating it to good causes such as food shelves, homeless shelters, and for others who are in dire need. While people are off celebrating and having a happy time, there are others who are on the street suffering, and families who are worried about where their next meal will be coming from.

  2. I HAVE A SUGGESTION says:

    WELL SALLY MAYBE YOU COULD SUGGEST A DONATION STATION BE SET UP AT THE FAIR AND PEOPLE COULD DONATE TO A FOOD SHELF, TO HELPING MILITARY FAMILIES, ETC. IF EACH FAIR GOER ELIMINATED JUST ONE TREAT THE DAY THEY ATTENDED THE FAIR AND DONATED THAT MONEY IT WOULD HELP A LOT OF PEOPLE. SO, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE……………..YOU CAN GET WORKING ON IT RIGHT NOW SO IT COULD BE A REALITY BY NEXT YEARS STATE FAIR. THEN THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE CAN STILL HAVE FUN AT THE FAIR BUT ALSO BE ENCOURAGED TO MAKE A DONATION TOWARD THOSE WHO HAVE LESS AND EVERYONE WOULD FEEL BETTER. I KNOW I WOULD BE WILLING TO DONATE IF I KNEW THAT THE MONEY WOULD IN FACT GO TO HELP SOMEONE IN NEED!!

  3. Reiko S says:

    Sally, don’t assume that people who attend the State Fair don’t donate to charities, food shelves, etc. Many vendors at the Fair also depend on consumers to make a living. I like the suggestion of a donation station at the Fair. Do something positive rather than complain.
    People have the right to spend their hard earned money any way they wish…don’t pass judgement on others.

    1. Ben Pen says:

      I am with Sally on this one….If every person who goes to the state instead donated the admission cost to charity – that would go a long way in helping others around the state….better than stuffing yourselves with unhealthy food….

  4. rj says:

    Sally, pull your head out of your a$$.

    1. Ken Riko says:

      No need to be rude rj……

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