Final numbers are in. Total attendance for the 2011 Minnesota State Fair was 1,769,872, making it the third-best-attended Great Minnesota Get-Together in history and just 20,000 short of the best ever.
A daily attendance record was set on Sunday, Sept. 4 with 229,943 people attending that day. Additionally, this year's Labor Day weekend was easily the best-attended on record with 600,332 people visiting the fair in just three days. Extreme heat, high humidity and cold held attendance down on a few days, but weather during the final weekend was spectacular.
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 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction brought in a record $370,000 to benefit 4-H programs.
In open class, supreme champion titles were awarded to the best grand champions out of all beef and dairy breeds. Supreme Champion Dairy Female went to a Red & White exhibited by Reid Stransky of Owatonna. A Charolais exhibited by Haley Stalcup of Prescott, Wisc. was awarded Supreme Champion Beef Female. David Gottshalk of Byron 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 Bauck of New York Mills. Rachel Friese of Wanamingo won for Supreme Dairy Champion Breeding Female. Supreme Beef Champion Breeding Female went to Dan Fox of Rosemount. Lorna Riemer of Alden took the Supreme Swine Champion Breeding Female award.
Supreme Draft Horse Stallion, Mare and Gelding were honored again in 2011. Supreme Stallion went to a Percheron exhibited by Freeman Yoder of Plum City, Wisc. Supreme Mare was awarded to a Percheron shown by David Anderson of Ontario, Canada. A Percheron exhibited by Ames Percheron Farms of Jordan, Minn. was awarded Supreme Gelding.
The Douglas K. Baldwin Award for FFA?livestock show participation and leadership went to Brianna Jahn of Kerkhoven from the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA?Chapter.
Mary Zahurones of Pierz was crowned the 58th Princess Kay of the Milky Way and will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for Minnesota's nearly 4,500 dairy farmers for the year.
The award-winning CHS Miracle of Birth Center welcomed dozens of baby chicks and ducklings into the world along with 161 other newborn animals, including 117 piglets, 15 calves and 29 lambs.
The 2012 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 23 through Labor Day, Sept. 3. For more information visit www.mnstatefair.org
Source: Minnesota State Fair