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Want to go to the Minnesota State Fair but don't want to have to join a throng of 200,000 people? We don't blame you.

The fair is back and there are signs that visitor numbers could be a little closer to pre-pandemic levels, albeit likely won't hit the 2.1 million record seen in 2019.

But if you're looking to avoid the crowds – either because of continued concern over COVID-19, or just because large crowds suck – then the best time to go to the fair is typically the opening day, which has the lowest record daily attendance of them all. 

After that? Then you'll be looking for the first Monday and the only Tuesday and Wednesday of the 12-day event, which have record attendances between 136,000 and 144,000 – compared to more than 200,000 on every weekend day and the second Friday.

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If you are going, try and get there as early as possible – or go in the late afternoon/evening. The busiest times are typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Another tip to avoid big crowds is to go on a day when rain is forecast. You might not get much look this year though – some rain is scheduled early Saturday morning, but after that everything looks relentlessly sunny the next 10 days.

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