MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Fair’s oldest food concession is dialing back its menu in a big way this year.
Hamline Church Dining Hall, which is in its 124th year at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, announced Monday that it will only serve ice cream via window service, and its dining room will be closed “out of an abundance of caution.”
Teresa Renneke is on the committee that helped make the decision.
“It is a very big bummer,” Renneke said. “We went back and forth. We really had a hard time. It was really tough. Most of our base is volunteers and a lot of our volunteers are older, so they were all very concerned about COVID.”
Officials say the dining hall typically serves about 20,000 meals a year, with some profits going to a charitable organization. The nonprofit Emma Norton will be the recipient again this year.
The fair will also be without the Minnesota Council on Disability, which won’t be attending for safety reasons, according to council executive director David Dively.
“It’s probably the biggest community interaction that we get all year,” Dively said. “That’s one of the big ways we interact with legislators.”
Dozens of vendors and exhibitors won’t return this year due to the fair’s decision to not enforce any COVID-19-related mandates, such as masking or proof of vaccination.
Fair officials also announced Monday that refunds will be available for Grandstand concert ticket holders up to 24 hours before a show. The news came hours after the band Low Cut Connie said it will no longer perform at Saturday’s “The Current’s Music On-A-Stick” show due to the fair’s lack of safety measures.
More On WCCO.com:
- Sources: Wolves Fired Basketball Ops Lead Gersson Rosas For Creating Toxic Culture, ‘Inappropriate Relationship’
- ‘What Are The Odds?’: Mountain Biker’s Life Saved By Off-Duty Doctor On Minnesota Trail
- Calling North Mpls. A ‘War Zone,’ 26 Residents Send Open Letter To Gov. Requesting State Troopers Or Nat’l Guard
- Spit On Cops And Get Charged In Hennepin County? Depends On Whether You Avoid Their Faces