Total attendance for the 2012 Minnesota State Fair was 1,788,512, making it the second-best-attended Great Minnesota Get-Together in history.
This year's figure surpasses 2011 attendance of 1,769,872 by 18,640 guests.
The all-time total attendance record was set in 2009 with 1,790,497 visitors. Labor Day attendance for 2012 was 152,760. All other daily figures, along with attendance history can be found at mnstatefair.org.
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 $1.1 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 State Fair's Fine Arts Exhibition featured the largest juried art show in Minnesota. The People's Choice Award went to "Am I Your Pride and Joy," an oil on panel piece by Daniel Volenec of Eden Prairie. Attila Ray Dabasi of North St. Paul won the Kids' Choice Award for a clay, glass, oils and mixed materials piece entitled "Bless the Beasts and Children."
The 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction brought in a record-breaking $440,000 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. Supreme Champion Dairy Female went to a Jersey exhibited by Tom and Kelli Cull of Lomira, Wisc. A Limousin exhibited by Rooney Limousin of Maxwell, Iowa was awarded Supreme Champion Beef Female. Matt Purfeerst of Faribault exhibited the Angus 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 Jared Seinola of St. Charles. Dustin Compart of Nicollet took the Supreme Swine Champion Breeding Female award.
Draft Horse Supreme Halter Champion Stallion, Mare and Gelding were honored again in 2012. Supreme Stallion went to a Percheron exhibited by Robert Detweiler of Oelwein, Iowa. Supreme Mare was awarded to a Percheron shown by David Anderson of Ontario, Canada. A Percheron exhibited by Harold and David Schumacher of Plainview was awarded Supreme Gelding.
The Douglas K. Baldwin Award for FFA livestock show participation and leadership went to Kirby Schmidt of the Marshall FFA Chapter.
Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre was crowned the 59th Princess Kay of the Milky Way and will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 4,000 Minnesota dairy farmers this year.
The award-winning CHS Miracle of Birth Center welcomed dozens of baby chicks and ducklings into the world along with 185 other newborn animals, including 134 piglets, 12 calves, 33 lambs and six goats.