MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With the rainy weather and ongoing concerns about COVID-19, attendance for the Minnesota State Fair’s opening day saw a 50% decrease compared to 2019.
State fair officials announced that 61,883 people walked through the gates on Thursday. In 2019, the fair broke its opening day attendance record with 133,326 visitors. In 2018, opening day saw 122,695 attendees.
Attendance at @mnstatefair on opening day was 61,983.
The last opening day, in 2019, had a record 133,326 attendance.
— Guy Still (@mplstvguy) August 27, 2021
Those who did come out were thrilled to be there, though crowds thinned during the afternoon rain storm. In the evening, the Grandstand was evacuated due to lightning in the area, and Miranda Lambert’s concert was delayed.
Neither masks nor vaccines are required to go to the state fair, and officials did not institute an attendance limit. However, they do encourage Minnesotans to visit at less busy times, avoid weekends, and practice social distancing. Masks are especially encouraged indoors and in crowded areas, regardless of vaccination status.