Solid finish at unusual Minnesota State Fair in 2021, despite large drop in attendance – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Monday marked the end of an unusual year for the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Before the start of the Minnesota State Fair, more than 150 vendors, exhibitors and musical groups gave up.

READ MORE: Crowd removed with chemical spray as MN State Fair closed

Attendance was also down. A total of 1,301,584 people visited the exhibition center, down by around 40% compared to 2019. The highest attendance was on the Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day, which hosted more than 150,000 visitors.

Food vendors say low attendance likely contributed to less income. Money was not the top priority for some of them, however.

Yosmary Mejias, director of Oven Fresh Brownies, says good weather throughout Labor Day weekend boosted sales, but her business was down more than 50% from the 2019 show.

READ MORE: Minnesota State Fair 2021 Final attendance: 1.3 million, well below 2019 record

“It’s good to be here and to be open, not like last year,” said Mejias. “We generally have more employees, but this year it was a little less because we saw that it was a bit slow, we had to reduce some of them.”

(credit: CBS)

In its 124th year of operation, the Hamline Church Dining Hall activity was also cut in half. They have chosen to close their indoor space this year and sell ice cream through a window. Mary Bloom is co-chair of the dining room committee.

“[We took in] a lot less money, but we didn’t open up to make money this year, ”Bloom said. “We just wanted to have our presence here. We didn’t want to shut down completely.

WCCO asked several other vendors about the overall profit. Mancini al Fresco said he saw a 25-30% drop in profits. The Produce Exchange reported a loss of around 40% and The Original Pronto Pups said its profits were cut in half from previous years.

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The fair may be over, but it’s about hiring for some cleaning work. Labor could last until October.

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