Updated: 09/02/2013 5:01 PM
Created: 09/02/2013 7:35 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
If you haven’t been out to the Minnesota State Fair yet, Monday is your last chance. Day 12 of the fair is “Last Chance Day” and “Kids’ Day.” Kids ages 5-12 can get in for $7, and kids younger than 5 are free.
There will also be discounts on Midway and Kidway attractions and some last-minute bargains on food and merchandise.
Weather Influences Business
While the heat has kept many Minnesotans inside, this weekend’s cool weather brought bigger crowds. On Saturday, just more than 196,000 people went to the fair, which is the biggest crowd so far this year.
Sunday’s numbers will be released later today. To get us even close to attendance numbers from the past couple of years for the entire 12 days, Sunday’s and Monday’s attendance numbers need to total about 450,000.
With attendance up, so is spending at the fair, which is good news for the manager of Blue Moon. He was hoping to cook up business after last week’s heat melted profits. He nearly doubled his staff Sunday to serve hungry crowds – nearly doubling his business, too.
Fair organizers say this weather is perfect for profits.
“This is the state fair weather we’ve been dreaming about,” communications director Brienna Schuette said. “We are hoping to end the state fair with a bang and have a wonderful last few days.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, gross sales last year reached as high as $1.5 million for some vendors. In total throughout the fair, gross food and beverage sales jumped to nearly $35 million last year, up from $25 million in 2007.
Click here for all attendance figures.
Today in History
In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
2013 Competition Results
There are a number of competitions at the state fair where judges will look for the best livestock, plants, exhibits and foods. Click here for real-time results.
Much is the same at the fair from years past, but there are a few new attractions and new foods for you to check out this time around. The Minnesota State Fair announced the addition of more than 40 new foods to the line-up, bringing the total to more than 450 foods from 300 concessions.
Virtual Fair Tour
History meets high-tech in a new smartphone version of the Minnesota State Fair History Walking and Cell Phone Tour. In the tour, old photos, maps and text combine with audio of personal memories and narrated history. Access the new mobile website here.
You can take the free self-guided tour while walking around the fairgrounds, on your phone or on your computer. This year, two new tour stops were added about food at the fair and the history of the Department of Natural Resources Building and exhibits.
The 2013 Minnesota State Fair runs through Labor Day, Sept. 2. For complete information, click here.