In a typical year the Minnesota State Fair has about 50 to 100 vendors that decide not to return the following year. That's a normal part of business for Minnesota's Great Get Together. But this year following the pandemic and guidelines issued by the fair, twice as many vendors have decided not to participate. There are several factors at play.

The nationwide labor shortage has made it difficult for vendors to find workers to staff their booths or exhibits during the fair. The rise in Delta Variant COVID-19 cases also has made some reluctant to come back this year. Some events aren't a good fit with the pandemic either.

According to FOX 21 News, the Minnesota State Fair isn't looking to set attendance records this year. They are more focused on it being a safe get together. They are not trying to find replacement vendors, and let there be more open space for attendees. Minnesota State Fair Spokesperson Danielle Dullinger says one of the staples won't be back, and that's the Giant Sing A Long. In her words, singing into a microphone during COVID-19 just isn't a good idea.

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Other typical fair events that won't be returning this year include 3rd Laird Skate Park, Equimania, Festival of Nations Demonstration Stage, Great Big Sand Box, Go Karts, River Raft Ride, and the Laser Encore's Laser Hitz Show.

Some other exhibits and activities have moved locations. You can find more out on their update page. 

Vendors aren't the only ones who are having an issue finding staff. The Minnesota State Fair themselves are having a hard time finding workers. The fair has asked that guests be patient and expect longer lines and wait times.

The fair released their health guidance information on August 18. They encourage everyone to get vaccinated and where a mask, but won't be enforcing either. They had thrown around the idea of having attendance limits, but also decided against it.

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