The Minnesota State Fair Thursday morning shared the first photos of its 2021 season, and the first guest through the gates is no stranger.

"We are happy to welcome Ginger Johnson as our first guest through the gates for the third time!" the Fair posted to Facebook. "She arrived at 11 p.m. yesterday to get this honor." This marks the third year in a row that Johnson is the first person through the gates. A Green Bay Packers fan, she earned some good-natured ribbing in 2018 when she entered the fairgrounds sporting a green and yellow Packers shirt.

Hailing from Apple Valley, MN where she works overnight at the bakery at Cub Foods, Johnson told State Fair organizers, "I just love to be first, and I really wanted to beat Brian again.” Brian is another early bird who's been the first one through the gates many times before. "I’m excited to be back at the fair again. I missed my friends, the people and maybe a few of the food items.”

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The first day of the 2021 Minnesota State Fair wasn't all smiles and hugs, however, as severe weather throughout the day disrupted various rides, entertainment and activities. State Fair organizers communicated updates on social media including -- at one point -- encouraging fair-goers to seek shelter indoors.

At 7:15pm Thursday fair organizers announced that the Grandstand show featuring Miranda Lambert would be delayed, and concert attendees were encouraged to evacuate the area. The show finally resumed 2.5 hours later, though the opening act Lindsay Ell did not perform.

Between COVID and the weather, the first day of the 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together probably didn't make the return we were all hoping for. Still, the photos of the first day are giving us all the feels.

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