MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of people will flock to the fairgrounds in St. Paul Thursday for the first day of the Minnesota State Fair.

“This is the very end of that sprint to the end of a marathon for us,” Minnesota State Fair communications manager Brienna Schuette said.

Fair officials recommend coming in the morning or later at night during the week to avoid big crowds.

“Mornings are just a really neat time to be out here,” Schuette said. “It’s like the fair wakes up, you know. The lights come on, and you can kind of start to smell the grease bubbling, and it’s a magical time to be out here.”

Worried about getting to the fair? Try biking if you are able, or use one of the 33 park and rides around the metro to save time and money.

“It’s free to park your car and then you ride free to the fairgrounds, have your day here, hop back on the bus and they’ll take you back to your car,” Schuette said.

Of course you can’t come to the fair without getting your cheese curds and trying a few rides. If you are looking to cut costs, check the State Fair calendar for discount days, and go to the information booths for Blue Ribbon Bargain Books and Deals, as well as a “Deals, Drawings and Giveaways” guide.

Schutte says you are allowed to bring a cooler with water and food, too.

“You never have to pay full price to come to the fair or experience the fair,” she said.

Click here for more information about WCCO at the Minnesota State Fair, and click here for our booth schedule.

Kate Raddatz

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