Officials with the Minnesota State Fair are busy planing for the 2021 'Great Minnesota Get Together,' with several scenarios in the works due to the ongoing pandemic.

The 2020 State Fair was cancelled due to COVID-19, for just the sixth time in the festival's existence. State Fair General manager Jerry Hammer says that virtually all State Fair revenue dried up in 2020, and the fair reported an operating loss of $16.2 million. The Minnesota State Fair doesn't receive any funding from the state government.

Hammer added:

From the day we canceled, our priority has been to ensure the future of the fair by holding our operation together. I cannot stress enough how critical our expert staff is to the success of the fair. They’re experienced pros, and there is no fair without them. Our staff is ready to go, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back together at the State Fair.

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Some of the things that were done in 2020 to keep Minnesotans connected with their Great Minnesota Get Together were:

  • Two State Fair Food Parades were held on the fairgrounds over five long weekends and each sold out, giving air fans a chance to get their State Fair food fix.
  • Minnesota State Fair At-Home Edition was offered on the fair’s website and social media channels and included demonstrations, entertainment, creative contests, behind-the-scenes peeks, videos and more.
  • The Minnesota State Fair Online Marketplace was a searchable hub to help fair fans support more than 285 State Fair merchandise vendors by clicking through to vendor websites.
  • The Minnesota State Fair competition division offered four Virtual Showcases that included cookie decorating, crop art, K-12 artwork and photography and quilt on-a-stick.
  • The 2020 Fine Arts Exhibition of Minnesota show went on both in-person and virtually and featured works by 346 artists from across the state selected through an online juried competition.

2021 Grandstand Lineup

Both Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw were scheduled to take the state in 2020, both were cancelled, and bother are scheduled to be back in 2021.

  • Thursday, August 26:  Miranda Lambert (special guest TBA)
  • Tuesday, August 31:  Doobie Brothers
  • Wednesday, September 1:  Tim McGraw (special guest Midland)

You can get more info on the 2021 grandstand shows and tickets HERE.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. Visit for more information. The 2021 Minnesota State Fair runs August 26th through Labor Day, September 6th.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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