For the 152nd time since 1859, a deluge of Minnesotans dressed in brotanks and fanny packs has flooded St. Paul for the latest installment of the Great Minnesota Get Together. Even as you read this sentence, from Albert Lea to Roseau, and all points in between, citizens of the 32nd state in the Union are making the pilgrimage to our capital city for the chance to see beauty queens carved from huge butter blocks while double-fisting a couple of pronto pups and washing them down with an entire bucket full of cookies.
The Pioneer Press reports the hallowed fairgrounds were visited by more fair-goers on the first Friday of the event than ever before. The previous record of 132,738, set in 2010, was easily broken when 141,023 men, women and children took a day out of their busy summers to spend quality time with one another, parading past barns full of farm animals while plugging their noses, watching mesmerizing demonstrations of super sharp knives and other novelty cooking paraphernalia they have no intention of buying and admiring portraits of celebrities and politicians made entirely out of stale Wild Rice.
Traditionally, attendance on the first Friday of the Fair is relatively low, with the most visitors waiting until the final weekend to engorge themselves on a bevy of fried delicacies while holding their kids on their shoulders and standing and waving to the camera from behind the set of their favorite local news broadcast.
Here is a graph showing the single day attendance records for the Minnesota State Fair by day (Click on it to make it bigly-er. Believe me.):
The Fair, as usual, runs through Labor Day.
Have fun and enjoy the food!
Photo by: Matthew Deery