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State Fair nearly breaks attendance record despite weekend drama

Reports of injury and assault at the Minnesota State Fair during its final weekend didn't hinder attendance numbers. The fair reports an increase of about 20,000 fairgoers compared to last year. More than 1.78 million trekked to the Great Minnesota Get-Together – the second all-time highest attendance and just short of an all-time record in 2009.
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Despite reports of injury and assault in the final weekend of the fair, total attendance was up from last year, according the Minnesota State Fair's website. The fair reports 2012 attendance reached 1,788,512, an increase from 2011 and just short of an all-time record in 2009, Star Tribune reports.

The state fair does well financially – last year it made $41 million in revenue, which goes right back into the fair, KSTP reports.

Fair officials are revisiting a discussion about regulating smoking on the fairgrounds after a 2-year-old girl was burned in the eye. KARE 11 says Sierra Kleindl was taken to the hospital Saturday and was unable to reopen her eye for 18 hours after running into a woman's cigarette.

Late Sunday, a YouTube video containing explicit language captured an off-duty St. Paul officer being kicked in the face while he was assisting another officer at the fair. KARE 11 reports "internet chatter" suggests the assault was in retaliation for a controversial arrest made by St. Paul police last week that was also posted on YouTube.

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Related

State Fair attendance solid, but no new records

About 117,000 trekked to the Minnesota State Fair on opening day Friday, short of the 2010 record of 132,000, WCCO reports. Saturday's 152,000 was way under the record of 202,000 in 1998. In other fair news, two men are recovering after they were stabbed in the stomach Sunday night.

Neighborhoods around State Fair deal with spike in nuisance crimes

Homeowners near the Great Minnesota Get-Together are blaming fairgoers for an increase of vandalism and crime. WCCO reports some neighbors are so annoyed by all the extra traffic they actually leave for the entire 12 days of the fair. A senior commander with the St. Paul Police Department says crime is usually at an all-time low during the State Fair because there are so many witnesses around.

Riders stranded again on State Fair swings

The Stratosphere Swing Tower stopped again in mid-air Friday morning. It was the second time in two days for the ride. The 200-foot-tall attraction, making its debut this year at the Minnesota State Fair, also stranded riders Thursday for about 20 minutes. KSTP reports that the same ride also stalled out at the Wisconsin State Fair.