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MN State Fair Opening Day Sees Less Than Half Of 2019 Attendance

Patch logo Patch 8/27/2021 Gabby DeBenedictis
a group of people standing in front of a building: The Minnesota State Fair saw a drop in opening day attendance this year. © Shutterstock The Minnesota State Fair saw a drop in opening day attendance this year.

TWIN CITIES, MN — Thursday's stormy weather and the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases did not bode well for the Minnesota State Fair's opening day – attendance did not even reach half of 2019's record-setting number.

Despite the fair seeing 133,286 first-day attendees in 2019, in 2021 only 61,983 Minnesotans showed up on Thursday.

This year also marks the first time in over five years that opening day attendance did not top 100,000. First-day attendance had been growing in recent years – Bring Me The News reported that previous years' attendance numbers are:

  • 2016: 111,902
  • 2017: 117,877
  • 2018: 122,695
  • 2019: 133,286

The fair was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rides were temporarily shut down twice on Thursday due to thunderstorms – once in the early afternoon, and again shortly after 7 p.m., Fox9 reported. During the second shut down, officials also cleared out the grandstand and delayed Miranda Lambert's concert.

The Minnesota State Fair fairgrounds will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight each day of the fair (except Labor Day, when they'll close at 9 p.m.), though most tents and activities are open from around 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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