MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The cost to get in the gates at the Minnesota State Fair is going up by $1.

That means adults will pay $13, and seniors and kids will pay $11. Tickets for children under five remain free.

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Jerry Hammer, the state fair’s general manager, says the increase is necessary for operational purposes.

“Our costs to produce the fair continue to go up quite a bit,” Hammer said.

At the year-round amusement park at the Mall of America, reaction is mixed.

“When you have a family of course, you just expect for everything to go up,” said Andrew Chapin, father of two. “What can you do?”

But Stacy Bednar, a mother of two, wonders when enough is enough.

“Any type of small, incremental amount adds up,” Stacy Bednar said. “We’ve just been noticing that a lot lately.”

But she says they’ll most likely go anyway because her 8-year-old son, Wen, is a big fan.

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“I really like the mini-doughnuts,” Wen Bednar said. “They’re super good.”

Jerry Hammer says costs to support the food and patrons are on the rise. Fire protection is over $1 million, as is sanitation.

And a big new cost will be a new parking lot, which he hopes will alleviate traffic on Como Avenue.

“To produce the fair, it’s quite an expense. It’s going to cost about $40 million for us to produce the fair for next year,” he said. “We need revenue to do that right.”

While they’re doing it by increasing adult tickets to $13, WCCO looked at other state fair prices. Ohio is $10, Iowa is $11 and California is $12.

But the people at the helm insist it costs more to put the “great” in the “Great Minnesota Get-Together.”

“I think people understand,” Hammer said. “I hope they do, anyway, that we’re giving them great value.”

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A way to save is to buy advance tickets, which have also increased by a dollar.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield