The Minnesota State Fair is more than the sum of its parts. But its parts make for some interesting sums.
Take cookies. And cakes and the staggering number of baked goods submitted for judging at the 2016 Great Minnesota Get-Together. Fair judges sampled 106 different banana bread entries and 209 plates of chocolate chip cookies alone before they could pick the winners.
Here's a breakdown of the entries in the baked goods category this year:
The food on display inside the exhibit halls is dwarfed by the food choices outside: Cheese curds, things on sticks, buckets of cookies and bottomless glasses of milk to wash it down. We thought we'd try to put some of these big numbers into context for you.
For example, 26,000 gallons of milk are consumed each year at the All You Can Drink Milk Booth.
Some of the other hard-to-fathom numbers about Fair food:
--338,000 corn dogs are consumed
--55,000 pounds of cheese curds are served up at the Mouth Trap Cheese Curds booth
--70 tons of Pronto Pup batter are consumed
--25 acres of land are needed to produce all the corn sold at the Corn Roast booth
--Sweet Martha's Cookie Jar bakes 2,000 cookies per minute (That's 120,000 per hour!)
As many as a quarter of a million people attend the fair on the busiest days, but they're not the only visitors to the fairgrounds.
Thousands of horses, cattle, bunnies and other livestock will make themselves at home during the fair’s 12-day run. Every year, the fair ends with more animals than it had when it began – the Miracle of Birth barn welcomes an average of 200 new babies each summer.
Babies aren’t the only thing the animals leave behind.
An estimated 4,500 tons of manure is produced and it gets hauled to Hastings to be composted into fertilizer. If you piled it all up, here's how big it might be:
The fair set a new attendance record in 2014, when it drew more than 1.8 million visitors. We'll see if the 2016 Great Minnesota Get-Together can draw an even bigger crowd together.
The fair receives no government funding. In 2015, it raised $48.8 million over its 12-day run. Those revenues were offset by $41.8 million in expenses for things like prizes and payroll, leaving $7 million left over.