2016 Minnesota State Fair is Best-Attended in History

ST. PAUL, MINN. (09/06/2016)(readMedia)-- A record total of 1,943,719 people attended the 2016 Minnesota State Fair, surpassing the previous record of 1,824,830 set in 2014. Labor Day attendance was 158,027. This year's edition of the Great Minnesota Get-Together had three record attendance days, including the best-attended day in State Fair history.

Daily attendance records were set on:

Friday, Aug. 26 with 141,023 visitors

Friday, Sept. 2 with 182,926 visitors

Saturday, Sept. 3 with 260,374 (the highest-attended single day in state fair history)

The Minnesota State Fair's agricultural and creative competitions drew more than 30,000 entries this year, with competitors vying for a share of ribbons, trophies and more than $1.4 million in prize money. Competitions included events for livestock, horses, 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 State Fair's Fine Arts Exhibition featured the largest juried art show in Minnesota. The People's Choice Award went to "Be Strong and of A Good Courage," charcoal and pencil on paper by Daniel Volenec of Eden Prairie. Bruce Nygren of Edina won the Kids' Choice Award for an oil on canvas piece entitled "Moonlit Duckies II."

The 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction on Saturday, Aug. 27, set 12 new record prices and raised more than $605,000 to benefit 4-H programs.

In open class livestock competitions, supreme champion titles were awarded to the best grand champions out of all beef and dairy breeds, and breeding sheep and swine:

Open Class Supreme Champion Dairy Female: Lisa Demmer, Ellendale, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Beef Female: Jarrin Goecke, State Center, Iowa

Open Class Supreme Champion Beef Bull: Seth Kaehler, St. Charles, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Boar: Gordon Dramen, Buffalo, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Gilt: Brian Ihnen, Round Lake, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Ram, Wool Breeds: Isaiah Bauck, New York Mills, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Ewe, Wool Breeds: Isaiah Bauck, New York Mills, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Ram, Meat Breeds: Michael Caskey, Holland, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Ewe, Meat Breeds: Jacob Brinkman, Goodhue, Minn.

Open Class Supreme Champion Dairy Goat Doe: Josh & Levin Campbell, Chula, Mo.

FFA Supreme Champion Breeding Female premiums were also awarded:

FFA Supreme Sheep Champion Breeding Female: Gabe Geiser, New York Mills, Minn.

FFA Supreme Dairy Champion Breeding Female: Catherine Thompson, Plainview, Minn.

FFA Supreme Beef Champion Breeding Female: Whitney Olson, Alexandria, Minn.

FFA Supreme Swine Champion Breeding Female: Larissa Becker, Fairmont, Minn.

FFA Supreme Market Lamb Overall: Scott Dingels, Redwood Falls, Minn.

Supreme and Signature winners in the Minnesota State Fair Horse Show were:

Supreme Championship Hunt Seat English Pleasure – Western Breeds: Bailey Eisinger-Saterbak, Robbinsdale, Minn.

Supreme Championship Western Pleasure – Western Breeds: Blaine Burt, Oakdale, Minn.

Supreme Championship Hunt Seat English Pleasure – English Breeds: Kimberly Crumley, Excelsior, Minn.

Supreme Championship Western Pleasure – English Breeds: McKinley Gelein, Hudson, Wis.

Supreme Championship Saddle Seat Pleasure – English Breeds: Cindy Backlund, Plymouth, Minn.

Supreme Champion Stallion Draft Horse: Don Mrozinski (Northview Belgians), La Porte, Ind.

Supreme Champion Mare Draft Horse: Scott Zube (Mystery Hills Stables), Kiel, Wis.

Supreme Champion Gelding Draft Horse: Harold Schumacher (Schumacher Farms), Plainview, Minn.

Supreme Draft Horse Six-Horse Hitch: Blue Ribbon Days, Farmington, Mo.

Draft Horse Supreme Cart Classic: Ames Percherons, Jordan, Minn.

Signature Driving Spotlight Champion: Steve Bobzin, Zimmerman, Minn.

Signature Liberty Champion (English Breeds): Toni Marie O'Daniel, Rosemount, Minn.

Signature Liberty Champion (Western Breeds): Madison & Jan Deile, Prior Lake, Minn.

Signature Tandem Bareback Champion Team: Rita Johnson & Alexis Larson, Glencoe, Minn.

Signature Northwoods Trail Cup Challenge: Ann Thayer, Kasson, Minn.

Supreme Champion Light Horse Mare: Kimberlee Brown, New Richmond, Wis.

Supreme Champion Light Horse Gelding: Michelle Schlaeger, Pine City, Minn.

Supreme Champion Light Horse Stallion: Kimberlee Brown, New Richmond, Wis.

The Douglas K. Baldwin Award for FFA livestock show participation and leadership went to Elen Skaar of the Minneota FFA Chapter.

Haley Hinrichs from Goodhue, Minn., representing Goodhue County, was crowned the 63rd Princess Kay of the Milky Way to serve as the official goodwill ambassador for nearly 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families this year.

The award-winning CHS Miracle of Birth Center welcomed 224 newborn animals, including 178 piglets, 15 calves and 31 lambs.

Total Grandstand attendance was 111,319 – a new record for the venue (not including MSF Amateur Talent Contest Finals). Dixie Chicks with special guests Vintage Trouble and Smooth Hound Smith sold out shows on both Aug. 27 and 28.

Nearly 8,000 fans cheered on the best amateur talent in the state at the 44th Annual MSF Amateur Talent Contest Finals, sponsored by JACK'S ® Pizza, held Sept. 4, at the Grandstand. Winners were:

Open Division

First place: Anne Goedtke of St. Paul, cello solo, "Julie-O"

Second place: Elite Family of St. Paul, dance performance, "Bottom of the River & Ante Up"

Third place: Roland Hawkins of Orono, vocal performance, "La Donna E Mobile"

Teen Division

First place: Amanda Chan of Plymouth, piano performance, "The Tom & Jerry Show"

Second place: Lauren Senden of North Mankato, vocal performance, "II Bacio"

Third place: Izzy Cruz of Edina, vocal/ukulele performance, "Beast to Me"

Preteen Division

First place: Gabby Bruestle of Woodbury, vocal performance, "Time To Say Goodbye"

Second place: Bella and Libby Butters of White Bear Lake, dance performance, "Rhumba Latina"

Third place: Brody Merila of Albertville, dance performance, "Illusion"

Jeremy Reichenberger of Minneapolis and Kari Putterman of Bloomington were the overall male and female 5K Milk Run winners with times of 16:54 and 18:31, respectively.

The 2016 Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards were presented to Inez Johnson of Marshall County and Gary Hawkins of Isanti County. A ceremony was held at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell on Thursday, Sept. 1, to honor 71 seniors representing 43 Minnesota counties.

The State Fair 2016 Best Awards recognized outstanding vendors, attractions and commercial exhibits. Winners were: Best Product or Service: Doghouses & Playhouses built by Hoffman Weber Construction

Best Food or Beverage: The Preferred Pickle

Best Attraction: Boys Scouts of America

Best Value: Patinella's Chicken Grill

Best Customer Service: HomeTown Mobility

Best Midway Ride: New York New York Fun House (Fair Ride Entertainment)

Best Midway Game: Fish-A-Rama (Oren Concessions)

Best Kidway Ride: Safari Train (Michael Wood, owner)

New additions and highlights for 2016 included: Bulls & Barrels Championship in the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum on Sept. 5; the addition of a brand-new 6,540-square-foot restroom with 14 family restrooms located south of Kidway; Recipe Card Roundup giveaway featuring six top ribbon-winning recipes in the Creative Activities Building; the 50th birthday celebration of Minnesota State Fair mascot Fairchild; Unite in Purple event on Aug. 26, celebrating the life and legacy of Minnesota's own Prince; National Park Service Centennial Day at Carousel Park on Aug. 29; The Great Yoga Get-Together at Carousel Park on Sept. 4; 4-H Meat Grilling Contest; Hen House and more.

The 2016 fair featured 32 new foods: Candied Bacon Donut Sliders, SPAM® Sushi, Minnesota Corn Dog, Carpe Diem, Rustic Beef Pastry, Macaroni & Cheese Curds, Cheesy French Onion Monkey Bread, Gumbo Frites, Iron Range Meat & Potatoes, Italian Taco, Strawberry Donut Delight, Sheep Dog, Deep Fried Nachos Supreme, Paneer On A Spear, Barbecued Shrimp Taco, Candied Bacon BLT, Saucy Shrimp & Slaw, Spicy Pork Bowl, Cajun Peel-N-Eat Shrimp, Reuben Pickle Dog, Burnt Butt Ends, Deep Fried Grilled Cheese Bites, Beer Brat Buddies, SPAM® Curds, Bang Bang Fresh Chicken Tenders. New frozen treats included: La La Palooza Sundae, CRACKER JACK® Caramel Sundae, Call It Breakfast, Chocolate Agate Crunch, The Elvis, Minnesnowii Shave Ice – New Topping and New Exclusive Flavor, Banana Cinnamon & Cream Dipped in Dark Chocolate. New food vendors included: Katie's Sweet Tea, OOF-da Tacos and Tot Boss. In total, vendors served up nearly 500 different types of food.

The 2017 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 24 through Labor Day, Sept. 4. For more information, visit mnstatefair.org.