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After 5 Years, State Fair Finally Free Of Construction Woes

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(credit: CBS) Kate Raddatz
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – With four days to go before the Minnesota State Fair, it’s a mad dash for vendors.

Karen Rutana, owner of Rutana Concessions, has been busy with all the final details.

“Getting all of my staff ready, and getting all the tickets together – those types of things,” Rutana said.

Steve Grans, the State Fair’s transportation manager, says venders are trying to beat the clock.

“This is their last Saturday and Sunday before we open on Thursday, so everybody is going as fast as they can to take care of all the last-minute prep,” Grans said.

But the lack of construction around the fair grounds is certainly making it easier for them.

“This year it’s going to be much, much easier,” Rutana said.

It’s the first time in five years that fair goers won’t have to deal with light rail construction near the grounds.

“I refer to it as a circle. Anything inside 694/494, with the exception of maybe Highway 36 construction, is fine,” Grans said.

Tim “Giggles” Weiss, owner of Giggles Campfire Grill, says he’s sure it will be an easier trip for fair fans.

“People won’t be frustrated. I think people had that frustration last year of the light rail,” Weiss said. “But you know what? It’s going to be a good thing all the way around.”

Weiss is spending the weekend finishing up a brand-new pavilion for his restaurant, and he’s hoping easier access to the fair will get more people to see it.

“The most stoked I’ve been for a fair in about five or six years,” he said.

So even with all the construction around the Twin Cities, they’ll be ready – rain or shine.

“Absolutely, no doubt in my mind,” Rutana said.

Fair officials want to remind people that even though it will be easier around the fair to get around, MnDOT does still have a lot of road closures.

They encourage people to use their busing services and also the bike corals around the fairgrounds. Click here for more information.

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