By Kate Raddatz

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Getting to the Minnesota State fair requires some patience.

“I just had to breathe in, breathe out,” 10-year-old Olivia LaTart said.

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So far, the great Minnesota Get Together has had two record breaking attendance days– Thursday and Friday– that included full parking lots around the fair and full park-and-ride lots at all 34 locations.

“It’s busier but it’s always fun to come, definitely,” Patty Bohnert, from Roseville, said.

State Fair officials say the warm and milder weather this year has helped, but they credit it to the fair’s ever growing list of entertainment, exhibits, new foods, and vendors.

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“Our programming has been stepping it up and the more people that come each year, they tell their friends,” Minnesota State Fair spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said. “Yeah, the weather doesn’t hurt but we like to think even if there’s not sunshine people are still coming out.”

More than two million people visited the fair over the 12 days in 2018, which was an all-time record. There are eight days to go to see where the numbers stack up this year.

“It seems like we’re kind of on track for that but we’ll see,” Dullinger said.

Saturday’s attendance was slightly lower — 209,105 — compared to the first Saturday of the fair in 2018 — 222,194 — but overall, attendance is still ahead by close to 50,000 visitors. Still, State Fair officials say they’re not obsessing over the numbers.

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“What we care about is everyone came out, they have a safe time, they have a fun time,” they said.

Kate Raddatz