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It'll cost you a dollar more to get into the Minnesota State Fair this year

And the fairgrounds are getting a bunch of improvements.
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It's going to cost you a little bit more to get through the gates at the Minnesota State Fair this year.

That's because the price of admission is going up by one dollar, fair officials announced Sunday. Tickets will now be $14 for adults and $11 for seniors and kids ages 5-12. Children under 5-years-old will still be admitted for free, and advance discount tickets for all ages will be $11.

The increase is due to rising costs in fair production, guest services, and facilities upkeep, State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said in the release.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, because the money will also be used to revamp the fairgrounds. Officials say over $8 million in improvements will be made prior to the 2017 Great Minnesota Get-Together, which runs from Aug. 24 through Labor Day, Sept. 4.

The improvements

According to the release, the State Fair’s board of managers has approved $4.6 million in capital work and $3.4 million in maintenance projects for the coming year.

Projects include a new elevator at the west side of the grandstand, big updates to the swine barn, a couple new information booths, a new performance space outside the education building, renovations inside the creative activities building, and a bunch of other upkeep projects across the fairgrounds. More than $3 million will go towards improvements to the fair's utilities and transportation infrastructure.

There's also going to be a new shopping and dining destination called "The Veranda" inside part of the upper grandstand.

Officials say that all of the projects will be funded through State Fair operating revenue and grants from the State Fair Foundation. The fair does not receive any government aid.

Other announcements

Fred Pittroff, the creator, owner and operator of the Giant Slide, has been inducted into the Minnesota State Fair Hall of Fame, which officials say is the fair's highest honor.

"For 49 years, Pittroff’s Giant Slide has been a State Fair icon, creating lifelong memories for generations of families. Pittroff’s lifetime in the amusement industry has had a profound influence not only in Minnesota, but at fairs and festivals around the world," the release states.

Founded in 1966, the State Fair Hall of Fame "recognizes individuals whose outstanding service has had a lasting impact on the Great Minnesota Get-Together."

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