No State (Fair) shutdown

fairphoto.jpgRamsey County District Court judge Kathleen Gearin is scheduled to open hearings tomorrow on what should and shouldn’t be kept running in the event of a state shutdown.

One thing she probably won’t have to worry about? The Great Minnesota Get Together.

“We’re not supported by the state in any way,” says Jerry Hammer, the fair’s general manager.

That said, the fair may rely on some state-funded services to get it up and going. It isn’t clear what inspectors, license issuers or other officials might be laid off and unable to attend to fair-related business if a shutdown lasts that long.

The fair is scheduled to open Aug. 25, although preparations have to happen days, if not weeks, in advance.

“Lets hope they get it resolved way before then,” says Hammer.

UPDATE: Hammer added later that the fair has its own electrical, building and other inspectors — in fact, the fair has its own “building official,” as a chief inspector is known. Hammer says the state does do some food inspection, and there’s no way to know if those inspectors will be affected by a state shutdown. But he said there were also alternatives if state inspectors aren’t available. “There will be a fair,” Hammer says.

(Photo courtesy Minnesota State Fair)

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