By Lisa Meadows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Instead of last year’s food parade, this year the Minnesota State Fairgrounds will have a walk-around event dubbed the “Kickoff To Summer At The Fair.”

Right now, the fairgrounds are filled with people getting their COVID-19 vaccine. But in a few weeks, it will be full of fair fans, according to Minnesota State Fair spokesperson Danielle Dullinger.

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“It’s just a slice of the fair but at a smaller capacity, so we will have about 10,000 people per time slot, seven time slots,” Dullinger said.

This will replace the food parade that was held last year, which is welcome news to folks like Izzy Appert.

“It wasn’t really interesting just driving through because I love walking around,” Appert said.

(credit: CBS)

It will be held over Memorial Day weekend, from May 27 to May 31.

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“We’re going to have 24 vendors,” Dullinger said. “Some favorites include Sweet Martha’s [Cookie Jar] obviously will be here, Deep Fried Pickles are back, Pronto Pups.”
It’s not just a five-day food event. They will also have drinks, live music, and shopping.

Everyone will be required to follow health and safety guidelines, including wearing a mask.

“You do have to be wearing that mask until you are seated, and then you can take off your mask,” Dullinger said.

The current vaccination clinic will still be ongoing, but will be on the other side of the fairgrounds — leaving this area free for the family fun that was sorely missed last year.

“We’re very excited to be able to tide people over, give them a way to gather in person, get some fair food, see some entertainment, get together safely,” Dullinger said.

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Tickets cost $12.50 a person. Kids 4 and under are free. You will have to sign up for a chance to purchase tickets, which will be done lottery style. Click here for more information.

Lisa Meadows