Publish date:

State Fair posts busiest day of 2021, but attendance remains low

The fair said attendance on Sunday was 149,247.
A view of the State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 29.

A view of the State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 29.

The Minnesota State Fair posted its busiest day yet of the 2021 get-together Sunday, but attendance figures remain below recent years' levels.

The fair said attendance on the fourth day was 149,247, a step up from numbers seen over a rainy first three days of this year's get-together: Saturday (129,984), Friday (77,406) and Thursday (61,983).

Overall attendance so far is at 418,620. That's anywhere from 60-70% of the numbers seen from 2016-19, the four most recent fairs.

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

4-day total

418,620

691,179

637,663

599,617

611,398

Thursday through Saturday this year were threatened, in part, by rain and storms in the forecast, some of which carried severe potential.

Related: Minnesota State Fair during a pandemic: Does it feel any different?

But questions about attendance at the 2021 State Fair have lingered for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance for the Wisconsin State Fair was down 26% compared to 2019 (the 2020 fair was canceled due to COVID).

A number of entertainers, vendors and well-known institutions dropped out of the Minnesota State Fair due to concerns over the fair's COVID mitigation policies — masks strongly recommended in many situations, but not required.

As of Monday afternoon, the fair's new Gopher Gauge was at level two out of three, indicating things were "moderately busy," and the fair's Twitter account noted a full parking lot as well as numerous at-capacity park and ride lots.

Related: Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best food options that avoid the crowds

Next Up

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents WILL vote on future of MPD following Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court decision reverses a previous action by a Hennepin County Judge.

241973904_4682340605144278_4345026009043536295_n

Pictures: Storm causes huge damage to library, planes at MSP, and more

Sun Country planes were blown into each other at MSP Airport.

Harvey Williams

Minneapolis teacher dies after being shot, crashing car onto I-94

Harvey Williams was the victim of gun violence in north Minneapolis.

Steve Riley

Steve Riley, longtime Vikings starting tackle, dies at 68

He played on three teams that went to the Super Bowl.

Hagedorn - Carnahan side by side

Rep. Hagedorn blames 'cancel-culture' for wife's expulsion from MN GOP

Jennifer Carnahan was forced out as party chair amid a cloud of allegations.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 6.56.30 PM

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for central MN, part of Twin Cities

A line of storms is making its way across the state.

Flickr - Enbridge Line 3 Palisade - Lorie Shaull

DNR orders Enbridge to pay $3.32M over Line 3 environmental violations

The pipeline company breached a groundwater aquifer, causing water to flow uncontrolled into a trench.

Eric Kendricks

Eric Kendricks misses practice, lands on injury report

The star linebacker headlines a lengthy list ahead of Week 2.

WIkimedia commons covid vaccine moderna

3 Twin Cities counties reach 16+ vaccination rate of 80%

More than 8 in 10 residents of that age group have gotten at least one dose.

Flickr - Burlington store exterior -

New Burlington location opens in Minneapolis Friday

To celebrate, the company is donating $50K to a neighborhood group and nearby school.

Top Ten Liquors Minnetonka rendering

Top Ten Liquors plans another Twin Cities location

The high-end wine bar and grocery space would take over a former Champps.

Related

Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair 2021

2021 MN State Fair passes half a million guests in 5 days

This comes after Monday's attendance total wasn't far off from the 2019 number.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

Stronger final weekend, but total State Fair attendance down 36%

Overall attendance just eked past 1.3 million, the lowest attendance since 1977.

Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair

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

Here's a look at how this year's numbers compare to the four most recent fairs.

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.

Melissa Turtinen - Minnesota State Fair 2021

Will MN State Fair attendance pick up for the final weekend?

Attendance has been below 90,000 five times this year — figures not seen in the past decade.

Minnesota State Fair - corn foreground image

The 2021 Minnesota State Fair: Everything you need to know

From ticket prices to new foods to health protocols, we've got you covered.

minnesota state fair

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.

Wikimedia Commons - Hamline dining hall state fair - Myotus

Big changes for 2 remaining church dining halls at this year's State Fair

The Hamline and Salem dining halls cited health and safety concerns.