Tyler Fitzer, of Sedalia, directs parking during the 2018 Missouri State Fair. During the first Saturday of the 2018 fair, an estimated 13,000 cars were parked throughout the fairgrounds, according to Parking and Admissions Supervisor Danette Pollitt. 

It all begins today. As thousands and thousands of individuals make their way to the Missouri State Fairgrounds each day Aug. 8-18, one area they should not have to worry about is parking and admissions, according to Missouri State Fair Parking and Admissions Superintendent Danette Pollitt.

With 11 lots and a staff of 230, Pollitt wants to ensure admission and parking will be worry-free if attendees follow some basic guidelines.

“The parking crew consists mainly of young people and it’s their first job experience,” Pollitt said. “It’s usually hot, dirty, and sometimes wet but they do a great job.

“All the Parking and Admissions Supervisors take great care of our employees and fair visitors, she added. “I take great pride in each of them.

Pollitt wants guests to the fair to realize parking employees have a system for the manner in which drivers are asked to park. While there is no set number of spaces because of the variation in vehicle size, the process is less time consuming and frustrating if attendees follow the directions they are given. 

All vehicles must be removed by 6 a.m. the next morning or they will be towed at the owner’s expense, according to Pollitt. 

Single-day general parking is free. A limited number of Public VIP parking spaces are available for $5 per day. Funds are donated to the Missouri State Fair Foundation.

Regular gate admission for 2019 Missouri State Fair remains unchanged from last year:

• Single Day Adult: $10

• Seniors (age 60 and over): $7

• Youth (ages 6-12): $2

• Kids (age 5 and under): free

Pollitt reminded Grandstand ticket holders those ticket prices do not include admission to the fair.

Throughout the fair, a number of special promotions have been planned for fairgoers. These cannot be combined with other promotions or coupons, according to Pollitt. They do offer affordable options for many.

There are two special admission prices Aug. 12-15. Visitors can take advantage of the lunch bunch special which allows free admission from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests need to purchase a special lunch bunch gate admission ticket at the Centennial entrance after 11 a.m. The ticket needs to be returned by 2 p.m. to receive their full admission refund.

During the same four days Monday to Thursday, admission is $5 for adults after 5 p.m.   

On $2 Tuesday, Aug. 13 fairgoers can help make a difference in the fight to end food insecurity throughout the state. As part of the Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Day admission is $2 for adults and seniors with the donation of two cans of food. Regular admission prices are in effect with no donations.  

In previous years teams have constructed can food sculptures in the Agriculture Building. This year Pollitt received the go-ahead to bring the competition to the admission gates.

“The workers at the booths work so hard each day but especially on the first weekend,” Pollitt explained. “We thought it would be something fun for them to do.

“We will have judges go around to each booth around 4 p.m. and pick the best display,” she added. “We have some pretty competitive workers so it should be fun to see what they come up with. We’re hoping this will start a new tradition at the fair.”

Food collected will be donated to Feeding Missouri. The day also features $2 discounts at most carnival rides and $2 specials at select concessions and vendors.  

The fair is offering free gate admission Sunday, Aug. 11 on Military Appreciation Day for active and retired members of the military, law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs-paramedics with appropriate ID and $1 gate admission for immediate family members (spouse and dependent children). Senior Appreciation Day features a $2 coupon on the front page of the Wednesday, Aug. 4 Democrat, and there are special family value days throughout the fair.

For more information on admission discounts, visit mostatefair.com.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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