MN State Fair

State Fair attendees have the opportunity to see livestock and talk directly with producers. In the swine barn, they get to witness just how sows are farrowed and baby piglets are cared for. Photo by Peter Scharpe.

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SAINT PAUL, Minn. – For 12 days, millions of people from all over the country and world come to the Twin Cities for the “Great Minnesota Get Together.” For the Metro area, the State Fair brings a significant economic impact as well as great job potential.

“Last year, we had ticket buyers from all 50 states plus 30 nations overseas,” said Jerry Hammer, State Fair general manager. “We know that as the State Fair has grown, the business has grown, the economic impact has grown as well.”

The State Fair’s economic impact on the Twin Cities area in 2018 was $268 million, according to a study by Markin Consulting of Maple Grove. This includes the 12-day event that is the State Fair, plus all the other events held at the fairgrounds over the course of the year.

“Now we're talking Superbowl size economic impact, only the State Fair does it every year,” Hammer said.

The $268 million economic impact is broken down into three categories.

First, is the operating revenues and resulting local expenditures from the State Fair itself. That totaled $127 million.

This part of the study considers both the money earned by the Fair and the money generated by other Metro business due to the additional people coming to the Twin Cities – hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Next, the study accounted for the concessions, games, rides, commercial vendors and exhibitors. That made up $105 million of the economic impact.

Lastly, non-fair events held at the State Fairgrounds brought an impact of $36 million.

Additionally, the fair provides 12,390 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs to Minnesotans. That is $76.9 million in annual wages.

The tax revenue, for both the state and local levels, generated by the fair totaled $9.9 million. This includes sales taxes, fuel tax and lodging taxes.

“The economic impact is significant, beyond what the Fair contributes to our social fabric and that's a big piece,” he said. “When you come to the Fair, it doesn't matter where you're from, who you are or what you do, when you're here, we're just celebrating the best in each other.”

The Fair has always been a safe space for people to come and express ideas. Not only does it bring urban families and farm families together, it brings people in from nearly every background and upbringing possible and the audience continues to grow year over year.

“People love the fair, no doubt about it,” said Hammer.

This article originally ran on agupdate.com.

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