Minnesota State Fair attendance record

Saturday, Sept. 4, was a record setter at the Minnesota State Fair. In that single day, 234,384 people attended.

Even the line for a bus 11 miles away to take people to the fair was so long that when the double-bus arrived there wasn’t enough room and many had to wait for the next one.

But once people got in there they could stand in an even longer line to buy a little bucket of Sweet Martha’s cookies for $15. (Who says the economy is in trouble? — P.S., yes this photo is of the line for cookies. The French Meadow Bakery & Cafe is in the background, but the people facing forward are waiting for Sweet Martha’s cookies … and they won’t get them until I get mine, because I’m as big of a sucker for a good gimmick as everyone else!)

Speaking of gimmicks, Kiss played the fair. The group above is obviously not the real Kiss, but fans who showed up in costume and quickly realized they would have to pose for hundreds of photos with people, even though they aren’t really in Kiss. (By the way, it’s not really clear in the photo, but the baby is terrified.)



about 12 years ago

Thanks Paul, for reinforcing my dislike for the fair.  I live just down the block from the state fair and have for the past 5 years.  I have never been to the state fair and really have no intention of going.  Not a huge fan of crowds and really not a fan of waiting half an hour to get way overpriced mediocre food.  When I tell people that I've never been to the fair, they think I'm nutty.  When I tell them where I live, they think I'm insane.  Probably they are right, but I'm ok with it.


about 12 years ago

We got there around 2 on Saturday, parked for free at one of the many For Lease complexes across Energy Drive from Merrill. Walked to the fair. Got trapped at the bazaar because the parade was going through. Very claustrophobic and it remained shuffly. We knew there had to be some kind of record crowd happening. Never, ever seen it that packed. But if you are with a vegan, getting food was no problem. There was no line at French Meadow and various other veggie-friendly places. As for exhibits, you'd go in for one quick glance and that was it. If you went any further, you'd get caught in the current. Heritage Square was sparsely populated in comparison. Stayed for 3.5 hours. It was enough. Fair is what you make of it. Arms crossed on principle to not attend is rather off. You need to go try it on your terms. On the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday after it opens. Crowds came Saturday for the weather. We went because we were in the area. I would rather go on a too-hot day because one of my favorite parts of the fair is getting a good seat and watching people in inappropriate clothing. And, funny, we went to see Crowded House at the zoo afterward.


about 12 years ago

I went to the Fair on Friday, it was a zoo that day too, despite it being chilly and windy. Ran into half a dozen people I knew from Duluth. I was supposed to interview a children's book author who's in charge of a literacy crafts area at the Fair (The Alphabet Forest, across from the 4-H Bldg), it was such a mob scene of kids there the entire afternoon, I wasn't able to sit down with her until 6 pm (3 hours after the scheduled intv). Does there come a point -- like with Disneyland and Disneyworld -- where they don't allow any more people into the venue? I can't fathom how one could enjoy oneself when it's as jampacked as Paul describes. I thought Friday was just too much, and there were like 150,000 there.

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