Minnesota State Fair limits smoking to just 18 locations

Published 10:30 am Friday, July 26, 2013

FALCON HEIGHTS — Smoking will be a little trickier at this year’s Minnesota State Fair.

A new rule limits smoking to 18 stations set up around the fairgrounds. Smokers will no longer be allowed to light up while walking down Dan Patch Avenue.

The fair’s governing board approved the new rule in January. It will be enforced when this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 2.

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The decision came after years of seeing how other fairs handle smoking, State Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette said.

The Minnesota State Fair already banned smoking in all buildings on the Fairgrounds as well as in entertainment venue seating areas such as the band shell and Grandstand. But until now, smoking was allowed in most public areas.

A few of the designated smoking areas will be on Machinery Hill while four will be in and outside the Grandstand. The rest will be sprinkled throughout public areas.

The 18 sites will have signs and a bench or two, but smokers won’t be fenced or roped off, Schuette said.

“It’s very discreet, in that there’s not going to be a lot of attention called to it,” she said.

Smoking still will be allowed in the fair’s on-site campground and in parking lots next to the fairgrounds. A grocery store on the fairgrounds still will carry cigarettes.

Fair police will remind visitors smoking willy-nilly on the fairgrounds that there are now designated areas, Schuette said.

“They’ll be dotted all throughout the fairgrounds so you wouldn’t have to go too far to smoke,” she said.