Despite late boost, Minn. Fair attendance slips

9/3/2013 2:30 PM
By Associated Press

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — Despite cooler weather that brought record crowds in its final two days, attendance at the hot and steamy 2013 Minnesota State Fair slipped below last year's total, fair officials said Tuesday.

Total attendance this year was 1,731,162, slightly less than last year's total of 1,788,512, fair officials said. The record for total fair attendance was set in 2009, when 1,790,497 people came through the gates, the Star Tribune reported.

This year's Great Minnesota Get-Together saw record crowds on its last two days, thanks to cool, dry weather.

"Everyone showed up the second weekend," fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette said. "It was a fabulous fair."

On Labor Day, 164,277 people came to the fair on its last day, a record for 12th-day attendance. That follows Sunday's crowd of 236,197, which set a record not just for 11th-day attendance, but also for single-day attendance throughout the fair's history.

The previous record for attendance on any single day was 234,384, set on the fair's final Saturday in 2010. The previous Labor Day attendance record of 160,209 was set in 2006.

That was a big turnaround from Aug. 26, when the fair saw its least-attended first Monday in 20 years.

Hot, humid weather cut into fair attendance last week.

It was the third hottest Minnesota State Fair and the hottest since 1931, according to records from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group. The average high temperature for the 12 days was 88.2 degrees, thanks to six days with 90-plus temperatures, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

The 2014 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 21 through Sept. 1.



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