State Fair attendance 2nd largest everby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — This year's Minnesota State Fair was the second biggest of all time, according to attendance numbers released by the fair Monday.
Fair officials said that 1,788,512 people went through the gates at the State Fair this year, second only to 2009 for total attendance.
Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette said it was a strong showing despite some weather challenges.
"We had a little bit of rain the first weekend, and typically rain on a weekend means that people are going to come on other days and they're going to come throughout the week. And then we had heat later on during the fair," she said. "Based on all of that, weekday attendance was really, really strong this year."
More than 100,000 people attended each day of the fair, she said.
"Which doesn't typically happen," she said.
Attendance this year was only 1,985 people from the mark set three years ago. This year also marks the fourth year in a row that the fair attendance has topped 1.7 million.
There were 40 new food choices at the fair this year and a new People's Choice award to recognize fair-goers favorites. Turkey To Go won the food category, and the Giant Slide took the top honors in the product and service category.
The 2013 fair is scheduled to open August 22.