Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.
Publish date:

The Minnesota State Fair has started planning for this summer's Great Minnesota Get-Together despite suffering huge losses due to the pandemic canceling the 2020 event, and with no sign yet of when restrictions on large-scale events will be lifted.

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society, which is the governing body of the State Fair, held its 162nd annual meeting this week. During which State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer reported the "operation remains intact and planning is proceeding with different scenarios for 2021," a news release said

“From the day we canceled, our priority has been to ensure the future of the fair by holding our operation together,” Hammer said. “I cannot stress enough how critical our expert staff is to the success of the fair. They’re experienced pros, and there is no fair without them. 

"Our staff is ready to go, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back together at the State Fair," Hammer said. 

The 2021 Minnesota State Fair begins Aug. 26 and runs for 12 days, ending Labor Day, Sept. 6. No other details about what the "different scenarios" could look like were released Friday. 

The fair did report that nearly all of the State Fair's revenue dried up last year, resulting in it reporting an operating loss of $16.2 million. 

As a result, the State Fair dramatically slowed the amount of maintenance and improvements that were done on the fairgrounds. Typically, the fair spends $12 million a year on such improvements, but in 2020 it only spent $2.4 million, which was used on essential maintenance, most of which happened prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fair organizers did note they were successful in keeping fair-goers engaged last year, citing two weeks-long State Fair food parades, which sold out; an at-home edition of the fair; an online marketplace to support State Fair vendors; four virtual competitions; and the in-person and virtual 2020 Fine Arts Exhibition of Minnesota.

At the meeting, the society also elected or re-elected members to leadership roles on the fair's board. 

Next Up

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

CDC report reveals how first cases of Brazilian COVID variant came to MN

Dozens of people had to be tested for the virus after the first and only two cases of the P.1 variant were detected in Minnesota.

stormking bbq

Black Sheep Pizza's owner, Rapids Brewing opening BBQ brewpub in Minneapolis

The brewpub is a new iteration of Jordan Smith's Texas-inspired StormKing BBQ restaurant.


U.S House passes 'For the People Act' in effort to expand voting rights

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces the challenge of the filibuster.

Stephen Weatherly

Vikings to bring back former DE Stephen Weatherly

Weatherly spent last season at the Carolina Panthers.

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic makes $727M profits in 2020 despite pandemic

The clinic cited philanthropic gifts, investments and alternative revenue sources.


Walz: New COVID vaccine 'accelerates' state's vaccine rollout timeline

The governor said Wednesday the state will "significantly beat" its goal to vaccinate 70% of people 65 and older by the end of March.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Hornets erupt in 2nd half to blow out Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were outscored 73-46 after halftime.


Authorities investigate fatal Bloomington house fire

One person has been reported dead in the fire.

Minneapolis skyline

New tool helps Minneapolis homeowners disavow racial covenants in deeds

A new free program connects homeowners with the City Attorney's office to complete the process


minnesota state fair

Minnesota State Fair provides update on its 2020 plans

Whether the fair will go ahead or not remains in question.

minnesota state fair

Minnesota State Fair calls 'fake news' on rumors of cancellation

The fair is waiting to make a decision on whether it will go ahead or not.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 12.20.36 PM

Here's how this year's unusual Minnesota State Fair performed

"It’s been a challenging year so far, but also a rewarding experience that ultimately strengthens the fair."

Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair to add metal detectors at entrances

The State Fair has revealed its latest set of investments.

minnesota state fair

State Fair launches online shopping and virtual competitions

The Fine Arts showcase will also be accessible in-person with reservations or online

It's time to get your tickets to ... erm ... the Minnesota State Fair?

You can get your tickets to the 2020 Minnesota State Fair now.