Despite lower attendance, vendors say 2021 Minnesota State Fair was worth it

(KSTP) – As the 2021 Minnesota State Fair comes to an end on Monday, thousands of Minnesotans enjoyed one of the bright spots of the year.

While it was different than year’s past, presented many new challenges and saw lower attendance than normal, there’s no question for the fair’s vendors: it was worth it.

"There were pandemic challenges, there were short staffing issues, there were supply chain issues but then you have weather — we’ve had great weather, we’ve had not so great weather — so again, there’s so many different layers that we can’t just attribute one thing to the pandemic, there’s a lot affecting the fair this year but we’ve done it, we opened, we had 12 days and it was amazing," Danielle Dullinger, a spokesperson for the State Fair, said.

Going into Monday, attendance was down about 40% this year compared to the 2019 fair. Vendors say their revenue is also down, and they had to deal with staffing shortages but they made it work.

"We got it in, we had a fair, and I think the staff and the fairgoers appreciate the way that the fair staff and administration handled things coming into this year. Just the fact that we were able to be here is incredible," Danny O’Gara, of O’Gara’s at the Fair, said.

And many are already looking forward to next year’s event.