Friday, August 28, 2009

Minnesota State Fair

Yesterday my wife, Amy, my daughter, Hannah, and I took our annual trek to the Minnesota State Fair. The fair has become a tradition for our family. Since I met Amy in June 1998 we’ve only missed the fair once.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the wonderful parts of being in Minnesota. I can’t quite explain this love affair. Jason De Rusha shared some interesting facts last night on his “Good Question” piece,

Why do I love the fair?

Where else could Amy & Hannah insert themselves into Grant Wood’s famous picture?

Where else can I also eat cheese curds, cream puffs, and chocolate cookies without feeling guilty? I expect to eat and gain weight and diet for days after the fair. The new food that I ate was the deep fried green beans. Amy bought them and generously shared a few with me. The cookies are overpriced--$14 for a bucket? I thought about buying a pot roast sundae, but wisdom prevailed.

Where else can I also expect to meet celebrities? We stopped by the WCCO-TV set up at 6:00 and watched Mark Rosen sit himself next to a man with a Brett Favre jersey and then do his sports piece while sitting there. After the news show Amy, Hannah and I got a picture taken with Don Shelby and Chris Shaffer. Hannah liked the picture of Shelby, Shaffer, and the three of us so much that she thought we should send it out as a Christmas card.

Where else can I also buy sand art and snow that practically comes alive when mixed with water? Hannah spent fifteen minutes at a vendor under the grandstand making a picture with sand art. It cost a buck and turned out beautiful. Last year we bought snow that feels like snow when water is added. We sent some to Amy’s son, Drew, while he was in Iraq.

Where else can I also learn about Minnesota history? Yesterday I learned that the grandstand is a hundred years old. We saw pictures of it being constructed.

Where else can I also see a pig being born? I did see that happen on my uncle’s farm when I was a boy, but it’s been a while. It’s not something I need to see too often.

Where else can I also walk with my family while being serenaded by Bonny Raitt. We heard her lovely voice as we walk to the car in the dark of night.

Where else can I also go on an art tour? This year we went to the art show first. Hannah got a piece of paper where she answered fill-in-the-blank questions about the art. She was excited.

Where else can I also get all the chocolate milk for $1? Hannah and I are addicted to milk. We might need to join the milk-lovers anonymous support-group.

Where else can I also meet friends from out of town? We met Hannah’s former pediatrician from Rochester and his family. I haven’t seen them in five years. It was fun catching up on their lives and share the new news about our lives.

There is not a single part of the Minnesota State Fair that makes it so special, but all of these events taken together make it worth a yearly trip.

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