Minnesota State Fair sees larger crowds on Sunday after slow start

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)

With bad weather and COVID-19 concerns keeping some people home, the Minnesota State Fair is off to a slow start to its 2021 festival.

Over its first three days, the fair saw its lowest attendance numbers in decades with only 61,983 visitors showing up on opening day -- the lowest opening-day since 1978 –  as rounds of storms brought rain and lightning.

Friday, the fair reported 77,406 visitors - the lowest first Friday since 1972. Saturday say 129,984 visitors, the lowest first Saturday since 1968.

On Sunday, the nicest weather day so far for the fair, it seemed larger crowds had made their way to Falcon Heights, with the fair registering the highest reading on its "Gopher Gauge" --  a new tool for visitors to measure crowd sizes.

The fair runs through the next week, wrapping up the following Monday on Labor Day.