Minnesota State Fair Returns After 1-Year COVID-19 Hiatus

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State Fair is back after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19 but it won’t be back to normal when the gates open on Thursday for the fair’s 12-day run through Labor Day. Fair officials are strongly urging fairgoers to mask up inside and outside, though they’ve stopped short of imposing any mask or vaccination mandates to fight the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. It remains to be seen whether health concerns will put a dent in attendance, which typically exceeds 2 million. But the pandemic has made it challenging for vendors to hire enough help. There will still be much that hasn’t changed, however. National acts will still be playing at the Grandstand. Farm animals will fill the barns. And the smells of deep fryers cooking up corn dogs and other food aromas will hang heavy over the fairgrounds. Here’s a look at what to expect from this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together. Fair officials are urging visitors to wear masks indoors, whether vaccinated or not; outdoors in crowded settings, especially for the unvaccinated; and at some booths where vendors will require everyone inside to wear a mask. That’s in line with the current guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health. They opted against imposing a fairgrounds-wide mask mandate, saying it would be “extremely difficult” to enforce. While the fair isn’t requiring that fairgoers get vaccinated, they’re urging visitors to do so ahead of time. Guests who can’t get vaccinated sooner can get […]

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