Record crowds, great weather mark 2016 Minnesota State Fair

- The 2016 Minnesota State Fair was accompanied by good weather and record setting crowds.

Tradition continued on the final day, as vendors slashed prices and bargain shoppers flocked to retail tents.

“Everything is $10. Take it home so I don’t have to,” Laura Rush announced to passers by Monday. “At 7:30 a.m. when I got here, there were already people waiting.”

Rush slashes prices at her clothing booth every Labor Day, and most of what doesn’t sell goes to a local charity.

“At 9 p.m., the little sisters of the poor—the nuns—come and I give them the things they want and they give it to the poor and those who don’t have.”

The charitable giving doesn’t stop with Rush, the Sandwich Stop is one food vendor that gives all the left over ingredients to a local food shelf.

 “I didn’t want to throw it into a dumpster—it’s good, there’s lots of lunch meats, pancakes and all kinds of stuff,” said Katrine McDonough. “Every year, I call the Dorothy Day Center [of St. Paul] and they have a nice gentleman comes out with a van and picks it up and it goes to needy people.”

Sweet Martha’s Cookies also donates, but to its young—mostly high school aged—workers and other state fair staff.

“We give them to sanitation workers, we’ll help out our neighbors and stuff, we’ll pass them out because I don’t take them home anymore,” said Martin Warneke, a 17 year Martha’s employee.

Both Sweet Martha’s and the always popular Corn Roast say they set all time sales records during the last Saturday of the 2016 fair.

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