Minnesota State Fair records 1.3M attendance, lowest turnout since 1977

People packed in the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday as weather conditions improved, bringing the fair's Gopher Gauge to a reading of 3 Fairchilds -- the highest level. (FOX 9)

The Minnesota State Fair recorded just over 1.3 million guests this year, marking the lowest attendance numbers in 44 years.

After a fairly slow start amid rainy weather and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the final weekend of the fair saw higher attendance. On Labor Day, there were 123,578 visitors, but the daily total still fell short of pre-pandemic levels. In all 1,301,584 attended the fair in 2021, well below the record set in 2019 at 2,126,551. According to fair records, overall attendance hasn't been this low since 1977 at 1,299,017 guests.

Despite the lower turnout, State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said he was impressed with the final outcome.

"Given the issues we faced, attendance was perfect this year," said State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer in a press release. "The vast majority of State Fair activities are outdoors, and the fairgrounds are huge, giving people plenty of space to enjoy the fair."