Based on the data, here are the lower traffic days to visit the State Fair

A small crowd gathers near a food vendor.
Fairgoers line up for a breakfast hot dog early in the morning at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minn., in 2021.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2021

If you’re planning your trip to the Great Get-Together, the data suggests that the crowds will be slightly smaller on the first Thursday of the State Fair.

On average, the first Thursday tends to draw about 106,988 people. For the full 12-day run of the State Fair, that day averages the lowest attendance, according to data from the Minnesota State Fair compiled by MPR News.

Which day are all the lines are longer? No guarantees, but that tends to be the last Saturday of the fair. It averages about 232,430 visitors. The fair’s record for single-day attendance set in 2018 still stands with 270,426 visitors on the last Saturday of that year.

And in 2021, with the delta variant spreading and distribution of vaccines in full swing, (the FDA approved the first vaccine distribution for as young as 18 years at the end of August 2021), fair attendance dropped to significantly lower numbers. That year, attendance was below 100,000 fair-goers for six out of 12 days, when more often the state averages less than one day with sub-100,000 attendees in a year.

In 2020 the state fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — so no data for that year.

MPR News is Member Supported

What does that mean? The news, analysis and community conversation found here is funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount during the Winter Member Drive to support this resource for everyone.