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State Fair attendance plunges amid blazing temps

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The Minnesota State Fair is feeling the heat in more ways than one because of the current heat wave sweeping the state.

According to daily attendance records posted by the State Fair, attendance was down considerably Sunday and Monday in comparison to the same days in 2012.

On Sunday, the fair reports that 145,706 people came to the Great Minnesota Get-Together in comparison to 185,485 in 2012.

Monday's numbers were down more than 30,000 people from last year -- 102,935 from 133,881 in 2012.

The Roseville Patch reports that the lagging numbers are evident at the area park-and-rides. A parking attendant at Grace Church Roseville tells the publication that he doesn't need to help people find parking spaces because there are so many of them open.

Among those affected by the dwindling numbers are the State Fair food vendors.

WCCO-TV reports that some vendors like Spaghetti Eddie's -- the maker of deep-fried Twinkies -- have seen a 50 percent drop in business compared to last year's State Fair.

The station also reports that some businesses are getting creative in trying to lure fair-goers to their booths by installing misting fans.

The State Fair has responded to the heat by implementing 12 misting stations -- 10 more than last year.

For those braving the heat, WCCO says among the most popular food items are deep-fried olives.

KARE 11 reports that the excessive heat has attracted at least one group: food inspectors from the state Department of Health and state Department of Agriculture.

The inspectors, who visit vendors at least once a year anyway, are paying particular attention to hot and cold food holding areas of the booths, and making sure equipment isn't straining under the heat. The inspectors are also looking out for any power outages.

See WCCO's report below.

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See KARE's report below.

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