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Minnesota State Fair is Aug. 21-Sept. 1

Entertainment at the 2008 Minnesota State Fair includes over 100 acts at eight free venues, and a lineup of top stars at the Toyota Grandstand Concert Series.

The Great Minnesota Get-Together also features over 450 food choices, along with hundreds of the nation's best agricultural, educational and commercial exhibits and attractions. The 2008 State Fair runs Thursday, Aug. 21 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Entrance gate hours for the 2008 State Fair are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (gates close at 9 p.m. on Labor Day). The fairgrounds are open until midnight (10 p.m. on Labor Day). Regular admission to the fair is $11 for adults (13-64), $9 for seniors (65 & over) and $8 for kids (5-12). Children (under 5) are always admitted free. Pre-fair discount admission tickets are available through Aug. 20 for $8 and are valid for any age, any day of the fair.

Discount Mighty Midway and Kidway ride & game tickets are also available pre-fair at $10 for a sheet of 20 tickets. During the fair, ride & game tickets will be 75 cents each, $20 per sheet of 30 tickets or $30 per sheet of 50 tickets.

New features at the 2008 State Fair include the new International Bazaar, John F. Kennedy Presidential Exhibit, State Fair Chautauqua, AFL-CIO's green building, Minnesota Wine Country's Meet the Minnesota Winemakers; and a special history exhibit brought to you by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

After more than 37 years, the temporary structure built in 1970 as the Mexican Village (most recently the International Bazaar) was razed following the 2007 State Fair. With over 14,000 additional square feet, the new International Bazaar will open for the 2008 State Fair and feature two new free entertainment stages, new restrooms, new food concessions and a patio area complete with colorful cabana umbrellas.

New food concessions in the Bazaar include: West Indies Soul (relocated from the Food Building); Holy Land Deli, which specializes in Middle Eastern fare; The Panda Palace, which serves up traditional Chinese cuisine; and Island Noodles, which offers varieties of wok-fried soba noodle dishes.

Also, Taste of The Midtown Global Market will feature four different vendors and food types throughout the 12 days of the fair. The new Bazaar features two entertainment stages. Dance, instrument and craft demonstrations are showcased daily on the all-new Festival of Nations Stage.

The new free entertainment stage (sponsored by Summit Brewing Co.) features performances by Native Pride Dancers, Big Surf and Dex and Anna The Hypno-Chick among others.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Exhibit features over 300 artifacts related to the 35th President of the United States. The museum-like exhibit offers information and insight into both the public and private aspects of the president's life through video, photographs, music, hands-on activities and items personally owned by John F. Kennedy. The exhibit also includes an exact replica of the blue 1961 Lincoln limousine that was built specifically for JFK and used throughout his presidency. The experience focuses on Kennedy's many achievements and gives guests a new look at the famous president's life. The exhibit is free with State Fair admission.

Fair guests are invited to experience the "Carnegie Hall of Tent Shows" and celebrate Minnesota's 150th birthday with State Fair Chautauqua's "Old Minnesota: Song of the North Star." The show brings to life the ambitions and accomplishments of Minnesota's Native inhabitants, European settlers and their descendants through story, song and large-screen vintage visuals. Four free shows are presented every day of the fair. State Fair Chautauqua is sponsored by AgStar, Travelers, Miller Brewing, Big Top Chautauqua and the State Sesquicentennial Commission supported by a grant from the Bush Foundation.