State Fair attendance on the rise, still below pre-pandemic numbers

A dramatic sunset over a line of tents
Manchester Orchestra and Bad Bad Hats performed at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand for the Music On-A-Stick concert on August 27. Headliner Portugal. The Man did not perform due to severe weather.
Darin Kamnetz for MPR

The final day of the fair's 12-day run wrapped up with 157,000 visitors, putting the total for 2022 at 1,842,222. That's about 42 percent over last year. Compared to before COVID, it’s only 90 percent of the average.

This year did include one of the top six days for attendance at the fair for all time. On Saturday, the sunny and temperate weather brought just short of a quarter million people to the grounds.

Fair officials said even before the gates opened this year that they did not anticipate record attendance, as many Minnesotans were still hesitant about COVID, inflation and public safety concerns.

A graph shows attendance levels
Attendance clocked in at 1.8 million for the Minnesota State fair in 2022.
APM Research Lab

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