5 tips and tricks to get the most out of the Minnesota State Fair

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Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Sate Fair

Over a million Minnesotans flock to the Minnesota State Fair every year. And most of us know the important facts: Where you can find the gooiest cheese curds, the best route to Sweet Martha’s and Milk Booth, and especially where you to pick up the free swag. If you’d like to move up to next level State Fair expert here are 5 tips and tricks to make your experience at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” a bit more stress-free.

Find My Friends App

Last year set a new attendance record at the Fair with 1,997,320 people total coming out for the fun and with a record 242,759 people in attendance on the last Sunday of the Fair. That is a lot of people. It’s easy to be overwhelmed navigating through the swarms of people trying not to knock into one another in the sweltering summer heat. It’s also easy to lose your group in this crowd or if you split up it can be difficult to meet back up.

This is where you use the Find My Friends App for iPhone users so you’ll know exactly where your friends are and can find them easily. If some of you are Android users you can use the app Glympse or use your Google account to share your location. Now, no matter where you wander off to, you’ll always be able to find your people.  

Bring Sandwich Bags

You will, of course, be eating plenty of food at the Fair. And, because many of us aren’t able to get out to the Fair for more than one day, we have to plan ahead to get the most out of the fair food experience. This is where the sandwich bag shines. For foods you could take home and snack on later, like Sweet Martha’s or mini donuts, you can baggie up extras in the sandwich bags and enjoy other foods at the Fair that are harder to transport or that you want to enjoy right away.  

Hop on the Skyride

Sure, it’s not the fastest or flashiest ride, but the Skyride is great on multiple levels. If you’re tired or need to travel to the other end of the Fair, the gondola-style Skyride will take you from east to west or west to east traveling above the Fairgrounds avoiding the crowds and giving you a moment to relax and sit back to enjoy your turkey leg and fried pickles. Best of all, the Skyride is the prime spot for people-watching. You’ll get the bird’s eye view of rides, the Fairgrounds, and all the lovely Minnesotans below.

Sweet Martha’s Cookies (at home)

Who doesn’t love a fresh, warm cookie straight out of the oven? Sweet Martha’s certainly cornered the cookie market at the State Fair and as delicious as those cookies are, it can be cumbersome to carry around that cookie bucket all day. Well now you can enjoy Sweet Martha’s Cookies all year round and in the comfort of your pajamas. You can find Sweet Martha’s cookie dough in most grocery store freezer sections and unlike at the Fair, you can choose from five different flavors: Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chunk, Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, Gourmet Chocolate Chunk, and Original Chocolate Chip.

Snag a Free Bag

One of the best parts of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is all the free swag you collect. This is why I make a beeline for the University of Minnesota booth on Dan Patch Ave. While their supplies last, the U of M booth hands out free drawstring backpacks that I can easily throw in all my other free stuff I accumulate at the Fair.

By trying out one or all of these Fair hacks you’ll be more than ready to tackle the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

Read next: The 2018 Minnesota State Fair unveils 27 new specialty brews and beverages you have to try