Minnesota State Fair officials offer tips for beating potential record heat this weekend

A massive crowd moves through the State Fair.
Crowds descended on the Mighty Midway at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 25, ahead of an expected heat wave this weekend.
Caroline Yang for MPR News file

Minnesota may be headed for one of the hottest days ever recorded during the run of the State Fair — and fair officials are warning people to be prepared for the heat this weekend.

The National Weather Service forecast has the high temperature on Sunday approaching 100 degrees in the Twin Cities. Saturday and Monday are expected to see highs in the 90s, too.

A triple-digit high temperature at the fair has only been recorded once — 104 degrees, back in 1931. The second-highest fair temperature — 99 degrees — was that same year, and forecasters say that’s within reach this weekend.

Fair spokesperson Maria Hayden said officials know people will come to the fair even in sweltering heat, and that fairgoers should take steps ahead of time to cope with the heat.

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“Make sure you plan for your day — dress appropriately. We’ve got a really great fairgrounds with a lot of trees, so look for shade,” she said. “And then stop by some of our air-conditioned exhibits when you need to.”

Those buildings with air conditioning include the North End Event Center and the History and Heritage Center at the West End Market.

In addition, Hayden said, “we’ve got water bottle refill stations throughout our fairgrounds marked on our map, so you can bring in your own water bottle and refill it for free throughout the day to stay hydrated. We’ve also got misting stations throughout the fairgrounds ... and of course first aid on-site.”

Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend are traditionally the busiest days of the fair’s 12-day run.

The single-day attendance record for the fair is 270,426 people — set on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend back in 2018.

Last year nearly 250,000 people passed through the gates on that day — and so far, this year’s fair attendance numbers are running more than 10 percent ahead of the 2022 pace.