Our beloved State Fair will look a little different when we are reunited once again in a little more than a month. On Thursday, fair officials released the new makeover, which includes a new transit hub as well as the nearby West End Marketplace.
The makeover was a $15 million project that expanded the fair by 22 acres.
“It is the biggest change to the Fair landscape since FDR was president,” State Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette told The Pioneer Press.
The new transit hub will take in about one-third of the Fair’s 1.8 million visitors, more than any other entrance. It is designed to be an entrance exclusively for bus riders, taking in 80% of buses. In the past, about 40% of Fair visitors arrived by bus. With the new entrance, that number is expected to increase this year. The buses using this hub will enter via the University of Minnesota elevated transitway, reducing traffic on Snelling and Como Avenues.
The West End Marketplace, the other piece of the makeover, was designed to celebrate the spirit of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. It will hold a museum, the Schilling Amphitheater, several small vendors and two new restaurants. One of these restaurants is Lulu’s Public House, which will hold the first rooftop patio at the Fair. Lulu’s will also feature some of the Fair’s new food items including the Breakfast Juicy Lulu and the Deep-Fried Lobster On-A-Stick.
With free music, a variety of vendors and new restaurants, the West End Marketplace will draw State Fair goers to its new area, and give them an easier way to get there.
Photo via: 5 Eyewitness News