By Angela Davis

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota State Fair is now just five weeks away, and we learned about all the new stuff we can see on Wednesday.

We’re not just talking about food and rides, but new construction.

The State Fair spent $11 million on fairground improvement projects for this year’s Great Minnesota Together. It starts on Thursday, Aug. 23.

The new construction includes everything from new restrooms to new food buildings.

“I think everyone comes to the fair for their traditions, but what’s exciting we always bring something new to the fair each year to keep people coming back,” State Fair Spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said.

Construction on the North End of the fairgrounds is transforming it. You’ll find a large, new restroom building.

“This is our sixth new restroom facility in the last 10 years, there’s a ton going on in that North End of the fairgrounds,” Dullinger said.

Getting a bucket of cookies from Sweet Martha’s Cookies could be a shorter walk, as a third location is under construction on the North End. Nearby, a new food building called the Hangar with an aviation theme.

Inside, you can buy beer and burgers, and watch live entertainment. And look for new vendors.

“This year we are adding 35 new merchandise vendors throughout the fairgrounds. Everything from up-cycled goods to new clothing vendors, to new homewares,” Dullinger said.

Another North End addition is a new Pet Pavilion and Outdoor Demonstrations building, where you can see purebred dogs and watch police K-9 demonstrations.

Inside the Creative Activities building is a brand new Cambria Kitchen, where well-known chefs will demonstrate how they make their favorite dishes.

Plus, there are seven new rides.

“One I’m excited for is the haunted castle dark ride. This is a ride where you are completely in the dark. You’re riding around in these cars. It’s still being constructed in Italy so no one has ridden it before,” Dullinger said

There are also two new park and ride locations this year. One is in White Bear Township, and the other is in Arden Hills.

The State Fair staff recommends buying tickets in advance for $11 per person.

Here’s where you can get tickets to the State Fair and Grandstand events.

Here is a look at the Grandstand lineup.

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