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Grandstand acts too pricey? State Fair unveils 900 free stage shows

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Worried that the price of a Grandstand ticket will pinch your Pronto Pup budget?

Well, don't shed any tears over it.

Old-timers Blood, Sweat & Tears are part of the musical lineup at the free stages during the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. The Fair raised the curtain Tuesday on the list of acts that will perform at venues including the Leinie Lodge Bandshell, the Bazaar, and an amphitheater at the new West End Market.

The Bandshell is where Blood, Sweat & Tears will be joined on the first two nights of the fair by Bo Bice. reminds us that Bice is the rocker who was runner up to Carrie Underwood on American Idol less than a decade ago.

That stage will host other acts including Scott Stapp, formerly of Creed; Buckwheat Zydeco; Dr. Dog; Tonic Sol-fa; Marcia Ball; and the 34th Infantry Division's "Red Bull" Band (right), which more commonly performs at National Guard events.

Performers at the stage in the International Bazaar will range from GB Leighton and Sonny Knight & the Lakers to the Jim Busta Polka Band and Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca.

The West End Market is a new addition to the fair this year, occupying the former home of Heritage Square. The Pioneer Press says the $15 million development includes the Schilling Amphitheater, which will offer an expanded stage and seating area compared to its predecessor.

Acts including Chastity Brown, Cash'd Out, and the Rockin' Pinecones will play there. It's also the place to find the state fiddle contest and the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar and Duet Championships.

The grandstand lineup includes Kid Rock and Linkin Park, whose shows were announced in March. The rest of the schedule was released in April.

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