LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When the 2014 Kentucky State Fair gets underway Thursday, its attractions will run alongside Kentucky Kingdom for the first time in five years.
Whether going to the amusement park, state fair or both, patrons need to prepare to pay.
"The admission into Kentucky Kingdom is separate from the fair," said Kentucky State Fair Board President Rip Rippetoe.
General admission for the fair will cost $10 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. Even if you're only interested in visiting Kentucky Kingdom, you will still need to pay for the fair.
"You still have to pay for the admission into the state fair in order to get to the Kentucky Kingdom gate," said Rippetoe.
While Kentucky Kingdom season-ticket holders will then have access to the park as usual, everyone else will need to buy a separate ticket.
"You can go to a Kroger and pick-up the Kentucky Kingdom one-day pass for only $9.95," said Kentucky Kingdom Marketing & Communications Director John Mulcahy. "If you don't do that in advance, you'll wind up paying $19.95 at the gate."
Turns out, that is not all you will pay at the gate if you elect to drive. On-site parking, no matter your destination, will run you $8 a day, every day. There is, however, a cheaper option.
Like last year, free off-site parking will be offered Friday through Sunday between the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Green B-D lots to the Kentucky Expo Center campus.
Savings, however, do not stop there. Advance purchase admission tickets are available through Wednesday at all Kroger's stores for $8 for adults and $4 for children and seniors.
While organizers said there will be ample parking, Rippetoe said staff are going one step further this year to ensure getting through the gates takes less time.
"We want to be able to have a great experience at the gates," said Rippetoe. "So, we've added handheld units that can deal with credit card transactions and point of sale, as well as cash, and we're going to be able to have multiple people at the gates at high-areas, or high attendance times."
Although full access will be granted to the state fair, that will not be the case for Kentucky Kingdom.
"During the state fair, Hurricane Bay will not be operating," said Mulcahy. "We're going to reopen the water park as well as Kentucky Kingdom Labor Day Weekend and we'll continue operating both the theme park and the water park weather-permitting, right through the end of September."