Freeloader Minnesota State Fair: Cheap and free things to do

Rodeos, Pert' Near Sandstone, bunnies are at the State Fair this year
Today marks the start of the Minnesota State Fair, a great get-together featuring foods on a stick, enormous animals, award-winning fruits and veggies, carnies running Mighty Midway rides, and free concerts. The fair is an event that is notorious for eating wallets, but if you plan carefully you can have lots of fun for less, have things to take home, and could even win big prizes.

The following is a list of some of the cheap or free things to do, including $1 food items, and what booths to hit up to enter contests with big wins ($10,000! LCD TVs!). Looking for free stuff? We've also got the best of the free items as well, such as sunglasses, backpacks, and playing cards.

Come take a look at our list.

See also:
MN State Fair gluten-free food guide


Are you planning on buying things and sampling from a lot of different vendors? You should consider spending $5 on a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book. They're filled with freebies, discounts, and other special deals that will quickly add up if you've got a lot on your itinerary. You can buy them at the State FairWear Gift Shops and State Fair Foundation Souvenir Kiosks. You can check out all of the coupons inside here.
Free stuff:

Andersen Corp.
(Cosgrove Street, between Wright & Dan Patch Avenues)

Tote bags, pennants.

Auto City Glass
(Underwood Street)

Bracelets, keychains.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
(Randall Ave. & Cosgrove St.)

Bracelets, T-Shirts, pails and shovels, hand sanitizer (which may come in use at the fair), sunglasses, collapsible water bottles, backpacks.

Custom Remodelers Inc.
(Home Improvement Bldg., center aisle)

Beads, toy fairies, rings, car toys, tiaras.

Gander Mountain
(Cooper St. & Randall Ave., south of the North Woods)

Animal headbands.

Irish on Grand
(International Bazaar)

Calendar magnets.

Jim Hansel Editions
(Lower Grandstand)

Signed art cards.

(Nelson Street)

Sunglasses, beer koozies, playing cards, hot/cold packs.

MN Health Fairs
(Crossroads Building)

Hearing aid batteries, ear plugs.

Regents of the U of M - University Relations College of Pharmacy
(Crossroads Building)

Backpacks, temporary tattoos, fans, pill boxes, highlighters, lip balm, crayons, children's activity books, more.
Rock N Roll Jewelry
(Lower Grandstand)

Guitar picks.

(Wright Avenue)

Tooth brushes and toothpaste.
Star Tribune
(North side of Carnes Avenues, between Chambers & Nelson)

Plastic bags, lip balm.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
Stuff that costs $1 or less:

All the Milk You Can Drink
(Midwest Dairy Assn. of MN, Dairy Bldg., Underwood St. and Judson Ave. or Judson Ave. between Clough & Nelson Streets)

All-you-can-drink milk (choose between white or chocolate).

Cream Puffs
(Southwest corner of Dan Patch Ave. & Liggett St.)

Caffeinate yourself with an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Dairy Goodness Bar
(Dairy Bldg., southeast corner)

Order up milk (white, chocolate, strawberry), yogurt cups (strawberry, peach, blueberry), and cheese sticks (cheddar, mozzarella, pepperjack, or co-jack) for $1 each.

MN Cultivated Wild Rice
(Dairy Building)

Quick cooking wild rice.

Peacock Feathers
(India Imports, International Bazaar)

Ride the feather trend with affordable feathers.

Tysk Concessions
(Randall Avenue, between Cooper and Underwood)

Sno cones, caramel apples, cotton candy.

Ultimate Confections
(Grandstand, lower level)

Chocolate-covered marshmallows, licorice, pretzels, and wafers.

ZRS Fosils and Gifts
(Grandstand, lower level)

Fossil and tumbled stones.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
Cool things to enter to win:

Buick GMC
(Cooper Street)

Win a Breezy Point Resort vacation.

Craftmaster's Remodeling
(Home Improvement Building)

Win a home improvement project worth $10,000.

Custom Remodelers, Inc.
(Home Improvement Building)

Win new siding or windows for your home.

Direct TV
(Wright Street)

Win a 58" LED TV.

Dubios Design - ABC Seamless
(Cosgrove St.)

New siding plus $10,000.

ESPN 1500 AM Twin Cities
(Chambers Street)

Win a freakin' jacuzzi.

Great Day Improvement - Patio Enclosures
(Home Improvement Building)

Win an iPad.

Hamline University, Center for Global Environmental Education
(Cosgrove Street and Randall Avenue)

Win an iPad.

Up next: Entertainment and animals

Location Info


Minnesota State Fairgrounds

1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help
Jen Kamrath
Jen Kamrath

Dustin Maday- Pert Near Sandstone and Blue Oyster Cult are playing on Saturday if you care at all :)

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

I was just simply stating that those are 2 words those 2 groups enjoy hearing... That's all! I understand what marketing is and how it works, but I decided to take a different avenue....

Anne Minnie Assaultah
Anne Minnie Assaultah

umm... or maybe giving away free stuff gets people to the booth.... it has nothing to do with political affiliation... it's called MARKETING!

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

2 things liberals and democrats love to see - Free and freeloader!

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