Monday, August 30, 2010
Minnesota State Fair
Last Friday, Amy, Hannah and I made our annual visit to the Great Minnesota Get-Together—the Minnesota State Fair. Since Amy and I met each other in 1998 we have only missed the fair once. Going to the fair is an annual tradition for our family.
Instead of driving to the Fair and parking there, we parked our car at the parking lot of Presbyterian Church of the Way. While we waited for the bus to arrive, we very much enjoyed talking with folks from the church. The parking lot was almost full. I appreciated that we could park for FREE and then take a bus to the fair.
For me the power of the fair is its tradition. I attended the fair as a boy, as a single young adult, and now as a father and husband. When I walk around the different areas of the fairgrounds many memories come to me. I remember listening to Steve Cannon at the WCCO-radio booth; I remember going to hear Kenny Loggins sing at the fair in 1985. I remember the first time Amy and I went to the fair. We stayed late and sat in the bleachers at the WCCO-TV booth to watch the telecast. We were both still giddy about meeting each other. As we watched the telecast Amy called her family and friends to tell them to turn to Channel 4. I remember hauling Hannah as a baby around in a stroller all over the fair. I have a memorable picture of her sitting on my shoulders eating a cream puff. I remember the year that statues of Peanuts characters were all around the Fair.
For me the challenge of attending the Fair is its tradition. I’ve attended the Fair so many times that I have a “been there, done that” attitude. I need to do new activities at the Fair. This year I decided I was going to eat new foods at the fair. I eschewed my traditional feasting on cheese curds, Greek gyros, and pronto puffs. Monica Walch—a former parishioner from the Plainview church—sent me a blog that contained a review of new fair foods. The link is here: http://heavytable.com/the-minnesota-state-fair-2010-food-tour/ I tried the lingenberry lefse—highly recommend it; the Granny’s Apples Strawberry Lemonade in the Food Building—again, highly recommend it; the Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich from Turkey To Go—even though it’s received strong reviews the sandwich didn’t do much for me. I also consumed a half pounds of cinnamon almonds—Yum. No cheese curds or cream puffs this year.
The memory I’ll take from this year’s Fair was when Hannah participated in a DNA survey that some students at the University of Minnesota are doing. We stumbled upon the survey. It was late at night and the students were almost finishing up for the day. They asked Hannah if she wanted to do the survey and we said “sure.” The survey consisted of the three of us spitting into a tube, Hannah getting weighed, her height measured, her blood pressure taken, and some blood taken from her. Hannah had never had her blood pressure taken before. She didn’t like the pressure that the instrument put on her arm. The student taking the survey tried unsuccessfully three times to get Hannah’s blood pressure from her right arm. Finally he switched to her left arm—it worked. In participating in the survey we’re suppose to get two tickets to the Fair for the next two years.