Skip to main content

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.

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

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

ambulance

2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.

Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 5.01.34 PM

Suspected Bloomington restaurant killer arrested in Oklahoma

The 47-year-old Texas man was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Related

Minnesota State Fair

There will be no state-ordered restrictions for the State Fair this year

Fair organizers could still implement their own COVID safety restrictions.

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

Optimism about 2021 Minnesota State Fair continues to grow

What the State Fair in 2021 could look like is a mystery.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

MN State Fair sees sharp drop in attendance for opening day

The 2021 figure was less than half of opening day attendance in 2019.

minnesota state fair

State Fair could require masks indoors, capacity limits not ruled out

Things could change before Aug. 26, but an indoor mask mandate appears likely.