Saturday would have likely been biggest day at the Minnesota State Fair 

Minnesota State Fair officials say the Saturday of Labor Day, the last Saturday of the Fair, is typically the busiest day of the yearly event. On this day last year, they saw more than 260,000 visitors. For this year’s drive-thru event, they saw around 7,000.

“At least some people get to experience the fair. It looks a little different but it’s at least a slice of it,” Minnesota State Fair Spokesperson Danielle Dullinger said.

To make up for having to cancel the State Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fair organizers put together a drive-thru experience with 16 food vendors and other live entertainment. The drive-through event was held over three weekends: August 20-23, 27-30 and Sept. 3-7. Tickets to the event sold out in less than three hours. 

“The food parade has been absolutely wonderful. We could have never predicted how well it’s gone. We’re humbled how many people actually wanted to attend and then just how well it’s gone. It’s been very smooth, we’re getting people through much quicker than expected,” Dullinger said.

An estimated 19,000 cars will go through the State Fair grounds as part of the drive-thru event. Dullinger estimates there’s an average of 4.5 people per car, estimating total attendance of around 85,500 people. 

Don’t worry though, Dullinger says if you miss this State Fair experience this year, and have a running tally on going several years in a row, you don’t have to break your streak.  “We tell people if you weren’t able to come it does not break your streak. This is not the fair this year. It’s completely different.”

The all-time single-day attendance record for the Fair is the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in 2018 when 270,426 people attended.