Minnesota State Fair 2011

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I’m a little late, but it was State Fair time again… I left my camera at the cabin, so the only photo I have is one taken with my phone of a calf just after being born.  Moo.

I went to the fair twice this year.  The first time was with my sister on a slightly rainy Tuesday.  We arrived early in the morning (8:30-ish) and got in as much as we could before I went to work at the milk booth for the second year in a row.  As we were heading in, the ticket takers offered us a map.

A calf born about 30 minutes before the picture was taken

A calf born about 30 minutes before the picture was taken in the Miracle of Life barn

“Do we want one?” I asked my sister.

“We could,” she said, “Or we could just rely on the fact that we’ve been coming here for over 25 years and we have the place memorized.”

“Right,” I said, “Let’s go with the second option.”

And into the fair we went, eating in chronological order…

  • Deep fried pickles — a breakfast of champions, including all three varieties (regular, gourmet (with cream cheese), and cajun)
  • Sarsaparilla — not root beer, the real stuff (Anne passed)
  • Deep fried cheese curds — from the Mouse Trap
  • Strawberry banana smoothie — Actually, this was just Anne
  • Sunflower honey ice cream — made with real Minnesota honey
  • French Fries — World’s Greatest, so says the sign
  • Brownie — The brownies used to be by the milk stand, and Anne and I reminisced about when they used to be breakfast
  • Free water from the WCCO booth — They no longer carry Twins games, but they still give away free water at the fair
  • Lots of milk — poured by yours truly
  • The best chocolate malt in the world from the Dairy Barn, given gratis for my milk booth shift — Anne missed out on this
We also bought a “Happy Meal” of gourmet dog treats for Cooper.  This has become an annual tradition and the dog has actually learned “Want a french fry?”  (It’s just a biscuit shaped like a french fry, but he loves them.)  And of course, beyond the food we also visited the animal barns, stopped by the Twins booth and MPR, checked out the seed art, and ran through the old train in Heritage Square.
We split up at shortly before 1 pm when she went home and I went to go work a four hour shift at the All-You-Can Drink Milk booth.  Anne wasn’t up for volunteering with me, but I love the opportunity to see the cross-section of Minnesota… okay, the very white cross-section of Minnesota.  (Just for fun, I counted and I had two black customers all day out of 400+… and one wasn’t actually a customer as he was just accompanying friends and didn’t want any for himself.)  After my shift, I took the Skyride back to Heritage Square where I picked up another batch of deep fried pickles to bring to my dad who drove me home.
The next day I was hanging out with mom, and we started trying to figure out what to do for lunch.  “You know,” I said, “I kind of want hotdish on a stick.”
“Well,” she responded, “I could go for a corn dog.”
So… off to the fair again.  This time the goal was lunch, so while we visited a few animal barns and participated in the Great Minnesota Sing-a-long, we also ate…
  • Hotdish on a stick — It’s not that I like it because it’s delicious, but because it’s ridiculous
  • Corn dog — Okay, just my mom, but I had a bite
  • French Fries — Again, the World’s Greatest!
  • Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick — Dipped in chocolate!
  • Virgin pina colada served in a real pineapple — These were $9 each or two for $10, so unexpectedly getting one for my mom seemed like a no brainer.  She was a little perplexed when I showed up with one for her.
  • A big tub of taffy — We didn’t actually eat this at the fair, but delivered it to my dad (and I had a few at home)
  • A big bucket of Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies…
  • … and another glass of milk.
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