The streets at the state fair were packed on Saturday.

Milk Maid

So how is state fair attendance determined?

2,046,533. That is the total number of people that attending the Minnesota State Fair during its 12 day run, according to state fair officials. 270,426.

That’s the total number of people that attended the state fair on just Saturday, September 1. Both of those numbers set new attendance records.

This was the first year that total state fair attendance cracked 2 million.

The previous total was 1,997,320 that was set in 2017. Saturday’s daily attendance shattered the previous daily record of 260,374 that was set in 2016.

I will tell you with confidence, Saturday’s fair attendance felt like more people that 270,000. The streets were full and vendors selling cold drinks and treats were full of people looking to cool off.

When I went to get my S’mores Sundae, the line was full but it actually moved pretty quickly.

Last week on WCCO, a viewer asked, “How does the state fair count people?” for their “Good Question” segment.

Scanners at each of the Fair entrances can now give State Fair officials attendance numbers almost immediately.

Up until a few years ago, each of the tickets were counted by hand by people in the ticket audit department.

Minnesota State Fair workers, which include sanitation, administration, parking lot attendants, ticket sales and more, are not included in State Fair attendance numbers.

That averages to about 3,000 people per day.

Concession workers, which includes any outside vendors who work in the Midway or booths, must have a paid ticket to enter the Fair.

That averages to about 7,000 people per day, or about one half of four percent of ticket sales.

Children under the age of 5 who do not require a ticket are also not counted in attendance totals.

I think those totals are a tad skewed, as many livestock exhibitors stay in campers and in the dorms at the fairgrounds, so they aren’t going in and out of the fairgrounds.

That must be why it’s called the “Great Minnesota Get Together.”

Brittany Moorse

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