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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota State Fair’

Anyone who knows me knows I love the Minnesota State Fair. In less than a month the great Minnesota Get-Together will be in full force and I can’t wait.

 

The main reason I love the fair so much is because I was brainwashed at an early age by my dad who loves the fair even more than I do.  I harken back forty years or so and remember how Dad would take me and my sister to the grounds on set-up day where we’d watch Royal American set up the rides on the midway.  We’d peek into the train cars for a glimpse of carnival life.  We’d meet and greet all sorts of “human (and animal) oddities” (known then as “freaks”) going about their regular lives, and chatted things up with concession operators (big hello to Johnny Bolan up there in the big Midway in the sky).  We mustn’t dismiss the carnies…I could write a whole ‘nother post about the carnies. *sigh + heart flutter*  I was a young child, very impressionable, and Dad passed down generations of carnival love to me.  I totally love carnivals and fairs, especially the Minnesota State Fair.

Here’s the thing – the Minnesota State Fair doesn’t just happen. There are a lot of people, employees and volunteers, who pull it all together, and is not funded by public money. There’s also an organization called the Minnesota State Fair Foundation which is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the historic Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and supports State Fair agricultural, scientific and educational programs.

Because Husby and I love the fair we donate as much as we can to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. The Foundation gives perks to donators too.  A donation of $25 or less will get you a Friend of the Fair ribbon, the annual State Fair pin, a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book (coupons worth over $500 worth of savings in food and fun stuff at the fair) and a discount at the State FairWear shops on the fairgrounds.   Perks increase as the donation does.  Husby and I were lucky enough to be offered a personal tour of the fairgrounds by one of the Foundation big shots.  We love State Fair big shots (because they make it all happen) and this one was a really nice guy and showed us a very fun and informative time.

As my dad is known (mostly to himself) as Mr. State Fair I asked our tour guide if he could join us for the tour. “Of course!” We rode around the 300 acres of grounds learning history and seeing improvements facilitated by the Foundation. It was great.

Dad, donned in his State Fair garb, ready for a tour with Lynn Varco, Senior Director of Major and Planned Giving.

If you’re a Minnesota State Fair lover I’d encourage you to donate to the Foundation. They do wonderful work even though it may be work that’s invisible to the typical fair goer.  Despite some of the invisibility all of it is very important in the preservation of the buildings and much, much more.  (Gotta love those new bathrooms scattered around the grounds and the new elevator in the Grandstand.  Yep, that’s the Foundation’s work!)   Go to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation website to learn more and donate if you can. Contributions are tax deductible! Above all, come to the Great Minnesota Get Together August 24 through September 4, 2017.

Thanks to the Foundation and many donors for making our state fair a great state fair.  Don’t miss it, don’t even be late!

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The Gateway

The days are getting cooler and (thank God) less humid.  Autumn is just around the corner.  Woo hoo!  Autumn in Minnesota is the best.

In honor of autumn I present to you its gateway, the Minnesota State Fair…

My BFF MaryAnn, eating her ever beloved Pickle-on-a-Stick

My BFF MaryAnn, eating her ever beloved Pickle-on-a-Stick

 

Me at the fair, casting a shadow that looks like a Who from Whoville

Me at the fair, casting a shadow that looks like a Who from Whoville

 

Alpacas, lounging around and taking in the admiration of fair goers. Some day I'll have an alpaca for a pet. I love them!

Alpacas, lounging around and taking in the admiration of fair goers. Some day I’ll have an alpaca for a pet. I love them!

 

The giant Paul Bunyan, clothed completely in recycled clothes and fabric. He teaches us to recycle and reuse.

The giant Paul Bunyan, clothed completely in recycled clothes and fabric. He teaches us to recycle and reuse.

 

A stunning painting created by my friend, Mark Caselius, on display in the Fine Arts Building at the State Fair. Of course he won a prize!

A stunning painting created by my friend, Mark Caselius, on display in the Fine Arts Building at the State Fair. Of course he won a prize!

 

The Mighty Midway at sunset

The Mighty Midway at dusk

Once again the fair didn’t disappoint.  The smell of hot oil, the squeals of kids on their first thrill ride, and food on a stick galore.  I’m always a little sad when the fair ends, but I know it will be back again next year, barring war (as happened in 1861, 1862, 1945), conflict of major events (1893-damn you World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago! ) and/or epidemic disease (polio, 1946).

I’ll be back next year with bells on to enjoy the one thing thousands of people at the fair have in common, Minnesota.  We love our state and our people are great.  We know how to have a good time, how to eat good food, how to learn from experts, how to watch baby animals being born, and how to fly high and fast on the midway.

Long live L’Etoile du Nord!  And happy autumn!

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Scenes From A State Fair

Today is the last day of the 2015 Minnesota State Fair. It was a fine and good State Fair – it always is.  Our state fair is a great state fair, the best state fair in our state!

 

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My first visit to the Minnesota State Fair was on opening day and I went with my friend MaryAnn.

Right away I got a deep fried Twinkie.  I can’t even tell you what a delectable treat it was.  Then we walked the length of the fairgrounds so MaryAnn could get some deep fried pickles.  She shared one with me and once again my taste buds rejoiced in the gifts I granted them.  Also on the food list was the most juicy turkey sandwich you can imagine.  Then MaryAnn treated us to an after dinner libation while we sat on a bench and watched (and commented on) the people strolling by.

I have to tell you though, we did something I never imagined we’d do.  While cruising the midway we saw a brand new attraction.  A fun house.  You may think, “what’s so great about a fun house?”  This thing was like nothing I’ve seen at the fair, ever.  It wasn’t a scary haunted house.  It wasn’t a walk through a darkened semi trailer.  It was a fun house!

It’s called New York New York. I suppose that’s a play on the Vegas casino or something. The Minnesota State Fair hasn’t seen the likes of this in ages.

There were tricky stairs, back-and-forth-moving paths, hangy tubes to navigate through, spinny tubes to squeeze through and rolly paths.  MaryAnn led the way and got to experience all of the challenges before me.

MaryAnn, you should be able to navigate the plank-and-rope bridge – just like on Gilligan’s Isle.

There were those up-and-down platforms, like in the final scene of Grease where Sandy and Danny fell in love for good at the graduation scene.   MaryAnn wanted to sing the song You’re the One That I Want with me, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

I didn’t want to dance or sing in this fun house. MaryAnn was very disappointed.

The grand finale of this fun house was the tubular, spiral slide.  There was the option of taking some stairs down three flights, but MaryAnn and I both agreed we’d take the slide.  I went first this time…

Screaming before I even went down. What’s with the curly goat-tongue thing I’m doing?

Two old ladies at the Minnesota State Fair, acting like they were teenagers again.  How much fun can life get?

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OK, I’m pretty sure you guys know what’s coming up in this post.  This time of year I’m very predictable.

IT’S MINNESOTA STATE FAIR TIME!

I know it’s not everyone’s bag, but I can’t understand why not.  For crying out loud, people come from other states just to visit our state fair.  Why?  Because it’s the best state fair in our state.

Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair and for the first time in a long time I’m going to attend on the first day, with my friend MaryAnn.  The first thing on my list of things to do is eating a deep fried Twinkie, if indeed they still have deep fried Twinkies, what with the whole Twinkie-going-south thing.  MaryAnn is looking forward to some deep fried pickles.  Deep fried.  It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is, as long as it’s deep fried, and maybe even on a stick.

Deep Fried Twinkies (on a stick) are to die for. I’m not even kidding about this.

So, after MaryAnn and I are done working our tedious day jobs we’re going to meet up at the fair and see the sights, eat the food, and talk some girl talk.

If you live in Minnesota, or even Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, heck, Alaska even, come and see the Minnesota State Fair.  It starts today and continues through Labor Day.  Oh what a time it is!

The Mighty Midway

For the next twelve days you might hear from me about things other than the fair, but know that my heart is at the fair.  Always.

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What a summer it’s been.  It started out with an extended weekend to Door County, Husby’s and my go-to place to get away from the hum-drumedness of the everyday routines we have.  It’s always refreshing and has become quite comfortable.  We’ve gotten to know people who used to just be familiar faces, we devour our favorite meals at fun restaurants, and we revel in the company of mighty Lake Michigan for hours on end.

Moon over Baileys Harbor

I’m the luckiest girl in the world because not only did I get to have a mini vacation with Husby, I got to have a major vacation with Charlotte…to Europe!  Oh, the sights we saw, the people we met, and the feelings we had.  It was my first time visiting countries not attached to my homeland, and it made a huge impression on me.  So huge I’m still trying to get my head around it.  Everything I saw and did was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Cologne Cathedral

Next on the summer agenda is the Minnesota State Fair, which begins in nine days.  There will be much eating of things on a stick, taking in animals and art and carnival, and general hobnobbing with millions of fellow Minnesotans.

Fair lovers galore!

When it’s cold and snowy (and it will be soon enough) I’ll have warm memories of the Summer of ’15.  Making memories – that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

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