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2014 Minnesota State Fair - Impact on University Traffic and Parking

The Minnesota State Fair begins Thursday, August 21 and runs through Monday, September 1. During this time, traffic will increase and parking may be tight. Consider alternate commuting options (carpool, bus, bike or walk).

If you need to drive to campus, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the suggested parking alternatives in your area. BE SURE TO CARRY YOUR U CARD. You will need it to receive the lower University rate offered Monday through Friday until 9 a.m. at Lot S101 on the St. Paul campus (on weekends and Labor Day, all parkers must pay the event rate).

Parking and Transportation Services and the University of Minnesota Police Department thank you for your patience and cooperation during the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. Our goal is to allow faculty, students, staff and visitors open access to campus while still providing a safe environment for the University community.

If you have questions or concerns regarding parking, please contact Parking and Transportation Services.
Phone: 612-626-PARK

If you have questions or concerns about University access traffic control for the State Fair, please e-mail Lt. David Wilske, University of Minnesota Police Department, at

If you have any problems or emergencies during the State Fair dates, please contact the Minnesota State Fair Chief of Police Art Blakey at 612-328-1106 or

Thank you,
Ross Allanson, Director
Parking and Transportation Services

St. Paul Campus

State Fair Gates

NEW THIS YEAR! If you are walking to the fair from your campus office, the only way to access the fair on foot is at the Buford and Randall Avenue entrance. The Commonwealth/Dan Patch gate will be CLOSED for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles (this is different from previous years).

The State Fair requires bike lane restrictions along Como Avenue. Bikes are not allowed on the transitway between Como and Commonwealth Avenue during the State Fair.

For access and general information about the Minnesota State Fair, please visit

Contract Parking

Public Parking
Several parking alternatives have been arranged for faculty, staff and students.

Lot S101 (Commonwealth and Cleveland Avenues)
In effect weekdays, Thursday, Aug. 21-Friday, Aug. 29:
- $4.00 daily parking with a University ID before 9 a.m.
- $10.00 event parking for everyone after 9 a.m.
- Weekends/Labor Day rate is $10.00

- Contract space will remain available at all times

Lot S104 (Buford & Randall Avenues)
In effectweekdays, weekends, & Labor Day, Thursday, August 27 - Friday, September 4:
- $10.00 event parking for general public parking
NOTE: The only access into the fairgrounds is through the Buford and Randall Avenue entrance.

Gortner Avenue Ramp (Gortner and Fitch Avenues)
In effect weekdays, weekends, & Labor Day, Thursday, Aug. 21-Monday, Sept. 1:
- $10.00 event parking all day
- Contract space will remain available
at all times

Lot SC153 (Commonwealth Avenue)
After 4:30 pm weekdays, August 21-September 1 and all day on weekends and Labor Day
- $10.00 event parking for the general public
- Contract space will remain available
at all times

Minneapolis Campus

Lot C66 Contract Parking
Hangtag reciprocal parking in Lot C66 at Como and 29th Avenues will NOT be available during the State Fair. Contract patrons will be re-located.

Going to the Fair? Public Parking - (see map) -- NOT ON THURSDAY, AUG 28
Beginning Thursday, August 21 at 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2, Maroon Lot, Lot 37, Ski-U-Mah Lot, Minnesota Lot and part of Victory Lot will be reserved for State Fair patrons only. Evening and weekend state fair parking will also be available in the 4th Street Ramp, Gateway Lot, Gold Lot and Lot C58.

GO GOPHERS! On Thursday, August 28, the U of M Gophers will play in TCF Bank Stadium. All University parking facilities will be in event mode for most of the day (NO free State Fair shuttle from East Bank to the St. Paul fairgrounds or parking for State Fair attendees on the East Bank campus on this day --other metro Park and Ride locations will be available for fair-goers).

Going to the U? Public Parking

Here are some daytime parking alternatives for the U community (but not August 28 -- see paragraph above):

Victory Lot
$2.50 daily carpool parking before 9 a.m.
(State Fair uses the lot all day)

Oak Street Ramp (Ontario and Delaware Streets)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
$3.00 per hour between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($12 maximum)

4th Street Ramp (4th Street and 18th Avenue)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m.
$3.00 per hour between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. ($12 maximum)
Note: public space for State Fair use after 4 p.m., weekends, & Labor Day

East River Road Garage (385 East River Road)
$6.00 off-peak parking before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
$3.00 per hour before 5 p.m. ($12 maximum)

Shuttle Buses

State Fair (see map)
From August 21 through September 1 (but NOT on Thursday, August 28), many 45-foot motorcoaches, provided by Lorenz and other companies, will shuttle riders from various parking locations on the East Bank to the State Fair. The buses will run continuously from 8 a.m. to midnight. Find complete information on State Fair buses online.

Campus Shuttles
The Campus Connector shuttle will continue to transport riders from East and West Bank to the St. Paul, leaving the Transitway at Energy Park Drive and following Cleveland Avenue to the St. Paul campus (see map of route and stops).

As a reminder - the bus stop at the transitway and Commonwealth and the stop at Buford and Gortner are BOTH CLOSED for the fair.

The schedule is as follows:

Monday, August 25
7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., every 15 minutes

Tuesday, August 26
7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., every 15 minutes

Wednesday, August 27
7 a.m. - midnight, every 15 minutes

Thursday, August 28:
7 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes

Friday, August 29:
7 - 8:30 a.m., every 15 minutes
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., every 5 minutes
5:30 p.m.- 2 a.m., every 15 minutes

Saturday, August 30:
8 a.m. - 10 p.m., every 15 minutes
10 p.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

Sunday, August 31:
9:30 - 11 a.m., every 20 minutes
11 a.m. - 4 p.m., every 15 minutes
4 p.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

Labor Day Monday, September 1:
9:30 a.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

East Bank Circulators will run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. every 15 minutes. The last bus leaves Jones Hall at 5 p.m.

"MILK RUN" Information

The MN State Fair will hold the annual "Milk Run," sponsored by the Gopher Dairy Club, on Sunday, August 24, at 7:45 a.m. Short traffic delays may occur as the race winds through the St. Paul campus. If you have any questions, please check the State Fair Website.