Crowds flock back to Minnesota State Fair on opening day

Crowds of people walk through the streets at the Minnesota State Fair
Thousands of fairgoers flocked to the first day of the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Opening-day attendance at this year's Minnesota State Fair rebounded in a big way from last year.

Fair officials reported 121,478 people passed through the gates on Thursday amid near-perfect weather conditions.

That's nearly double the 61,983 visitors seen on last year's opening day, when greater concerns about COVID, as well as thunderstorms, kept some people away.

And Thursday's total wasn't far from the opening day record of 133,326 people — set back in 2019, the last fair before the pandemic.

The 2019 fair also set the record for overall attendance for the 12-day Great Minnesota Get-Together, at 2,126,551.

The fair's all-time single-day attendance record is 270,426 — set in 2018 on the Saturday before Labor Day.

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