Originally Published On Aug. 27, 2021By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first two days of the Minnesota State Fair have been two days of rain. The dry spells are longer than the downpours, but it’s caused some vendors to pivot a bit.

Add to that, crowds are about half the size of what they normally are during the first days of the State Fair. So for vendors, rain or not, they are determined to stay open and weather whatever comes their way.

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A lemonade stand WCCO spoke with feels the squeeze when the crowds move in. But when the rain rolls in, they get soaked, especially if they don’t get their tarps up fast enough.

“It’s getting wet. Tubs fill with water, so you just kind of have fun with it, because it only happens once a year,” one worker said.

Jessica Love, of L&B Cotton Candy, says her family has been at the fair for more than 40 years, selling about 5,000 bags of cotton candy a year.

Over the years they’ve learned a thing or two about fairgoers and radars. If a front moves in they zip up the stand with their tarp, because if their machine gets wet, it’s ruined.

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Others, like Chelsea Brennan’s Pronto Pup stand, do the best with the weather they have. They’re protecting their pups with panels.

“I just have to thank God that we are getting rain. It’s a bummer that it’s over the State Fair, but I hope that guests are still able to come out and definitely enjoy it,” Brennan said.

The weather isn’t something that Sheryl McGuire has to worry about too much. Her Route 66 Roadhouse Chicken stand is inside the Food Building. Their business spikes when the rain rolls in.

“Even if they come in from the rain, they can use our counter to stay dry,” McGuire said.

McGuire and her family also have Danielson and Daughters Onion Rings just outside the food building. They sell 6,000 pounds of onion rings over the 12 days of the fair.

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John Lauritsen