As the Minnesota State Fair approaches, the fair board has provided a health guidance update on their website about many things related to COVID-19. But the one update everyone wants to know about is their face mask policy for the 2021 fair.

I plan to go to the state fair this year and I'm very excited! I do plan to wear a mask the entire time that I'm there though, other than when I'm eating delicious food and drinking awesome beer of course. And that's basically exactly what the fair is asking everyone to do.

Minnesota State Fair COVID-19 2021 Update

Here's the gist of the fair's update:

Make an informed decision about attending the fair. In other words, if you don't feel comfortable with a huge crowd of people, if you feel sick, if you've been in close contact with someone who recently tested positive, or if you're at high risk for an extremely negative reaction to getting COVID, you may want to reconsider attending the fair this year.

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Get vaccinated. The state fair website says, "if you’re not vaccinated and plan to attend, we urge you to reconsider a vaccine, both for your safety and the safety of others." There will be free COVID vaccines available at the North End Event Center during the fair if you would like to get your vaccine then. No ID and no insurance are required.

Wear a face covering. The state fair will not be mandating masks because with everyone eating and drinking all around the fair it "would be extremely difficult for [their] organization to enforce". They do strongly encourage everyone to "do what’s right" and wear a mask. In the following places, they strongly urge everyone to wear a mask if you are over the age of 2 and are medically able to wear a mask: indoors (for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals), outdoors in crowded settings (especially recommended for unvaccinated individuals), and some independent booths where they are requiring people in the booth to wear masks.

Wear a face covering if you take a bus to the fair. The state fair's website says, "Federal regulations require all public transportation passengers to wear masks while they are waiting for and on a bus".

Plan your trip to the fair on a day the historically less busy. You can check out past fair attendance numbers HERE. You can also use a new tool from the state fair called the Gopher Gauge. It'll be on the state fair site soon. If there's one Fairchild on the Gopher Gauge that means it's not too busy, two means it's moderately busy, and three means it's busy.

Social distance when possible.

Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently.

Get tested for COVID 3-5 days after attending the fair. I didn't even think about this but it's not a bad idea and tests are widely available. You can find testing locations around Minnesota HERE.

To get yourself ready (and hungry) for the state fair, keep scrolling to see all of the new foods for this year!

New Foods at the Minnesota State Fair in 2021

WARNING: Drooling may occur while viewing these food photos. The great Minnesota get-together is back in 2021 and this year, they are already teasing our taste buds with photos of all the new foods that will be offered at the Minnesota State Fair. If you are ready to have your stomach growl, scroll through the pics below.