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.