MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Great Minnesota Get-Together was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but just because that’s the way the cookie crumbled this year doesn’t mean you can’t still get cookies.

State fair food lovers will still be able to get their fix of cheese curds, Pronto Pups and Sweet Martha’s cookies.

Fair officials announced Wednesday that a “food parade” will run through the fairgrounds next month, allowing visitors to buy beloved foods while staying socially distanced in their cars.

“There is no true Minnesota State Fair in 2020. Unfortunately, we had to cancel in May, but we knew it was the only decision we could make. So now we are figuring it out,” spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said.

Sixteen vendors will be featured in the parade. These include Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, Mouth Trap Cheese Curds, Tom Thumb Donuts, and other favorites. (Click here for a full list of vendors, menus and prices).

The parade is scheduled to run in three multiday stretches, starting Aug. 20. The exact dates are Aug. 20-23, Aug. 27-30, and Sept. 3-7. Tickets must be purchased online. They run $20 per vehicle and are limited. Tickets go on sale July 31.

Along with the fair foods, the 1.5-mile parade route will also feature entertainment, trivia contests and activities. Parade-goers should expect a “multi-hour experience.”

Proceeds from the parade will go toward operations and next year’s fair, officials say, noting that this year’s cancellation has left the fair without most of its revenue.

“The fair counts on the fair for our revenue. We count on about 95% of that revenue from the fair in order to operate the rest of the year,” Dullinger said. “So this is a way to support the Minnesota State Fair along with 16 of its vendors.”

Que Viet is one of those vendors. They’ll have their eggrolls on a stick and five-point wontons.

“I think it’s a new way of doing it around what we have. There’s only so much we can do. And the fact that they are giving us the option is better than nothing at all,” one fair fan said.

The 2020 Minnesota State Fair was canceled in May. The last time the fair was canceled was in 1945, during the polio pandemic.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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