The last two days of the Minnesota State Fair, thanks to overcast skies and cooler weather, set new attendance records.
Total fair attendance was 1,731,162 loyal fans. They came out to celebrate the end of summer at the 2013 Great Minnesota Get-Together, despite high heat and humidity on seven of its 12 days.
On Sunday, Sept. 1, 236,197 visitors made it the best-attended single day in State Fair history. A new Labor Day attendance record was set on Monday, Sept. 2 with 164,277 visiting on the fair's final day. All other daily figures, along with attendance history can be found at mnstatefair.org.
On Sunday, Sept. 1, the Minnesota State Fair board of managers met and approved plans to move forward with the renovation of the Heritage Square area and addition of a transit hub to the west end of the fairgrounds. Further details will be announced in the fall.
The Minnesota State Fair's agricultural and creative competitions drew close to 36,000 entries this year, with competitors vying for a share of ribbons, trophies and more than $1 million in prize money. Competitions included events for livestock, school projects, dog trials, baked and canned goods, fruit, vegetables, crafts, bee and honey products, fine arts, farm crops, flowers, butter, cheese and more.
The State Fair's Fine Arts Exhibition featured the largest juried art show in Minnesota. The People's Choice Award went to "What Did I Promise You," a charcoal and pencil on paper piece by Daniel Volenec of Eden Prairie. Japheth A. Storlie of Minneapolis won the Kids' Choice Award for a mixed media sculpture entitled "The Newton House."
"The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" presented by Forever Floral won the 2013 Minnesota State Fair Floral Designer People's Choice Award as part of the first-ever Minnesota State Florist Association Floralpalooza in the Agriculture Horticulture Building.
The 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction brought in a record-breaking $450,000 to benefit 4-H programs.
In open class livestock competitions, supreme champion titles were awarded to the best grand champions out of all beef and dairy breeds. Supreme Champion Dairy Female went to a Jersey exhibited by Tom and Kelli Cull of Lomira, Wis. A Shorthorn exhibited by Joseph O'Sullivan of Maple Lake was awarded Supreme Champion Beef Female. Kody Stork of New Richmond, Wis., exhibited the Hereford that won Supreme Champion Beef Bull.
FFA Supreme Champion Breeding Female premiums were also awarded. Supreme Sheep Champion Breeding Female went to Isaiah Bauch of New York Mills. Rachel Friese of Wanamingo won for Supreme Dairy Champion Breeding Female. Supreme Beef Champion Breeding Female went to Hunter Aggen of Harmony. Jon Harmening of Jackson took the Supreme Swine Champion Breeding Female award.
Draft Horse Supreme Halter Champion Stallion, Mare and Gelding were honored again in 2013. Supreme Stallion went to a Percheron exhibited by David Anderson of St. Thomas, Ontario. Supreme Mare was awarded to a Percheron also shown by David Anderson of Ontario, Canada. A Percheron exhibited by Harold Schumacher of Plainview was awarded Supreme Gelding.
The Douglas K. Baldwin Award for FFA?livestock show participation and leadership went to Laura Bachmeier of Apple Valley with the Randolph FFA?Chapter.
MarJenna McWilliam of Winger was crowned the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way to serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 4,000 Minnesota dairy farmers this year.
The award-winning CHS Miracle of Birth Center welcomed dozens of baby chicks and ducklings into the world along with 207 other newborn animals, including 157 piglets, 13 calves, 37 lambs.
On Military Appreciation Day, Tuesday, Aug. 27 the Minnesota State Fair and its visitors honored more than 1,000 Vietnam Era Veterans in a "Welcome Home" parade through the fairgrounds. Additionally, more than 400 Gold Star family members were recognized with a dedication at the fair's Veterans Memorial Garden.
Grandstand attendance was 85,234?(not including Amateur Talent Contest Finals). Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with special guests Chance The Rapper and Talib Kweli, and Tim McGraw with special guest Brantley Gilbert were sold-out shows.
The 2013 Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards were presented to Kelly Christianson Falk of Roseau and Lloyd Adams of Grand Rapids. A ceremony was held at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell on Thursday, Aug. 29 to honor 84 seniors representing 46 Minnesota counties.
The 2014 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 21 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.
For more information, visit mnstatefair.org or email email@example.com