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At the midway point, how is 2021 Minnesota State Fair attendance stacking up?

Here's a look at how this year's numbers compare to the four most recent fairs.
Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair

Questions about crowd levels at this year's Minnesota State Fair started weeks ago. The fair, following a cancellation in 2020, is holding its first get-together since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The delta variant is surging, vaccine reluctance among some people remains steadfast, and fair organizers strongly recommended — but did not require — attendees get vaccinated and wear a face covering in many situations. To the east, Wisconsin State Fair attendance was down about 26%, prompting many to wonder how things would go here in Minnesota.

So how are things looking at the midway point?

The Minnesota State Fair reported attendance of 89,618 for Tuesday. That's nearly 50,000 people shy of the 2019 attendance of 136,987 (a daily record), and more than 30,000 short of the 120,209 people who went in 2018. 

MN State Fair attendance: 2016-21

Day20212019201820172016

Thursday

61,983

133,326

122,695

117,877

111,902

Friday

77,406

157,224

108,059

125,324

141,023

Saturday

129,984

209,105

222,194

158,525

180,567

Sunday

149,247

191,524

184,715

197,891

177,906

Monday

91,568

96,716

124,438

144,504

119,522

Tuesday

89,618

136,987

120,209

132,120

126,354

On four out of six days so far, attendance has been below 100,000. Attendance dipped into five figures just once in 2019, and not at all from 2016-18. (It's also worth noting severe weather threatened the opening three days of the 2021 fair.)

Overall, attendance over six days of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is at 599,806 this year. That's about a 32% drop compared to average figures for the same period during the four most recent Minnesota State Fairs.

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