2018 Minnesota State Fair - Impact on University Traffic and Parking

The Minnesota State Fair begins Thursday, August 23 and runs through Monday, September 3. 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 review suggested parking alternatives in your area. 

Parking & Transportation Services and the University of Minnesota Police Department thank you for your patience and cooperation during the 2018 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.

For questions or concerns:
University parking issues: parking@umn.edu or 612-626-PARK
University traffic control: police@umn.edu or 612-624-COPS (2677)
State Fair issues: msfpd@mnstatefair.org or 651-288-4500
Immediate emergency: call 911


St. Paul Campus

State Fair Gates - see State Fair map

Buford and Randall Avenue entrance - open to pedestrians
Commonwealth and Dan Patch gate - closed to vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles

Biking Information

  • Bikes are not allowed on the transitway between Como and Commonwealth Avenue during the State Fair.
  • Bicyclists should get off the transitway at Energy Park Drive and use Raymond/Cleveland Avenues to access the St. Paul campus.

Contract Parking

  • Hangtag reciprocal parking on the St. Paul campus will NOT be available during the State Fair.
  • Keycard reciprocal parking will be greatly limited for Gortner Avenue Ramp on a space available basis (space is not guaranteed).
  • Reciprocal parking in Lot C66 at Como and 29th Avenues will NOT be available during the State Fair.
  • If you need assistance with contract parking, please email parking@umn.edu by Friday, August 17.

Public Parking
NEW this year, Lots SC169 and SC109 will have weekend public parking for fair-goers (payment taken at intersection of Buford Avenue and Buford Circle).  Contract parking (Lots SC169 and SC109) and Bailey Hall access will be maintained at all times.

Lot S101 public parkers!  You will need your U Card to receive the lower University rate offered Monday through Friday until 9 a.m. (on weekends and Labor Day, all parkers must pay the event rate all day).

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

Lot S101 (Commonwealth and Cleveland Avenues)
In effect weekdays, Thursday, Aug. 23 - Friday, August 31:
- $4.00 daily parking before 9 a.m. Mon-Fri with a University ID 
- $15.00 event rate parking for everyone after 9 a.m.
Weekends/Labor Day rate for everyone is $15.00

Contract space will remain available at all times

Lot S104 (Buford & Randall Avenues)
In effect weekdays, weekends, & Labor Day, Thursday, August 23 - Friday, August 31: 
- $15.00 event parking for 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, August 23 - Monday, Sept. 3:
- $15.00 event parking all day
- Ramp contract space will remain available
 at all times
- Keycard reciprocal parking will be greatly limited for Gortner Avenue Ramp on a space available basis (space is not guaranteed).

Lot SC153 (Commonwealth Avenue)
After 4:30 pm weekdays, August 23 - 31 and all day on weekends and Labor Day
- $15.00 event parking for the general public
- Contract space will remain available
 at all times


Minneapolis Campus

Going to the Fair? Public Parking - (see campus map)
Beginning Thursday, August 23 at 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4 (NOT on August 30 due to Gopher football), some campus parking lots will be reserved for State Fair patrons only, including Maroon Lot, Lot 37, Ski-U-Mah Lot, Minnesota Lot and Victory Lot. Evening and weekend state fair parking will also be available in the 4th Street Ramp, Gateway Lot, Gold Lot and Lot C58.

Going to the U? Public Parking
Here are some daytime parking alternatives for the U community (but not August 30):

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)
$3.00 per hour ($12 maximum)
Note: after 4 p.m. weekdays, all-day weekends, & all-day Labor Day
, all public space is for State Fair use 

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

Lot C66 Contract Parking
Hangtag reciprocal parking in Lot C66 at Como and 29th Avenues will NOT be available August 23 - September 3. Lot C-66 contract patrons will be re-located.

GO GOPHERS! On Thursday, August 30, 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).


Shuttle Buses

State Fair (see map)
From August 23 through September 3 (but NOT on Thursday, August 30), 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:

Normal Service

Thursday, August 23 - Friday, August 24
7 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes

Saturday, August 25-Sunday, August 26
no service

Expanded Service, due to Welcome Week

Monday, August 27
7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., every 15 minutes

Tuesday, August 28
7 a.m. - 12:30 a.m., every 15 minutes

Wednesday, August 29
7 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes

Thursday, August 30
7 a.m. - 3 p.m., every 15 minutes
3 p.m. - 5 p.m., every 5 minutes
5 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., every 15 minutes

Friday, August 31
7 - 10 a.m., every 15 minutes
10 a.m. - 6 p.m., every 5 minutes
6 p.m.- 1 a.m., every 15 minutes

Saturday, September 1:
8 a.m. - 10 p.m., every 15 minutes

Sunday, September 2:
9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., every 20 minutes
12 p.m. - 6 p.m., every 15 minutes
6 p.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

Labor Day Monday, September 3
9 a.m. - midnight, every 20 minutes

The University Avenue Circulator will run Wednesday, August 29 through Friday, August 31 from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. every 15 minutes. It will not run Saturday, September 1 through Monday, September 3.

The East Bank Circulator will run Wednesday, August 29 through Friday, August 31 from 6 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every 10-20 minutes. It will not run Saturday, September 1 through Monday, September 3.


"MILK RUN" Information

The MN State Fair will hold the annual "Milk Run," sponsored by the Gopher Dairy Club, on Sunday, August 26 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.