- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. Paul officials are encouraging people to visit the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday despite a protest planned by Black Lives Matter.

City officials said at a news conference Friday that they plan to post extra police officers and expect the demonstration to unfold orderly.

Black Lives Matter St. Paul plans to lead a march beginning at 11 a.m. at Hamline Park up Snelling Avenue to a rally outside the front gates. The group says the fair has not been supportive of minority vendors and visitors. It also wants to raise awareness of other issues facing communities of color.

St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith says his department has open lines of communications with the protesters.

Because of anticipated congestion on Snelling Avenue, officials urge fairgoers to consider alternative routes.

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