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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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