FALCON HEIGHTS (AP) -- Thanks to Monday's 136,242 fairgoers, the Minnesota State Fair broke its attendance record.
This year, the 1,762,976 people that attended the fair during its 12-day run tops the 1998 record by nearly 74,000.
The fair saw a new ride -- the $1.5 million SkyGlider -- which gave fairgoers a smooth flight over the fairgrounds, and some new food, including deep-fried candy bars. Of course, staples such as pronto pups and entertainment acts such as Alabama also kept Minnesotans coming back.
The attendance boom will only make the State Fair better, officials said. The more people that come means the more money there is to spend on bringing new attractions and entertainment for next year's get-together.
Not everyone will miss the fair.
"You try driving a sanitation truck through these crowds 11 hours a day every day for two weeks and tell me you're not tired of the fair," Les Vanella, 67, said Saturday from his Waste Management truck.
Billie Jo Larsen, 16, of Byron, said she been working all day taking care of cows then sleeping in a dormitory above a barn. She planned to get home Monday night in time to start school Tuesday morning.
"Am I sick of the fair?" she asked. "Oh, maybe a little. But I'm not complaining."
Heidi Davis, 21, of Maplewood, worked from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. in the horse barn office.
"When there are no horse shows, we play a lot of cards," said Davis, who will resume her Animal Science studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls this week. "Sometimes we do beadwork. Boy, do we do a lot of beadwork! And there's a couch in this office. But it's usually taken."
Rene Gilbert, 42, drove 12 hours from Missouri, arriving in Minnesota just in time to sell Circle M cowboy hats outside the cattle barn.
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