The great Minnesota get-together

If you live here you know that get-together means the Minnesota State Fair.  It comes around every year for twelve days ending on Labor Day.  And it’s our tradition to go on opening day.  We usually go additional days too because you just cannot do it all in one day.  So, while these photos are from this year’s state fair experience, they were not all taken on the same day.  And if you don’t live here, I hope you’ll enjoy my collection of this year’s state fair.  Perhaps it will inspire you to visit Minnesota while our fair is going on.

There are many entrances to our state fair, this one is where we enter:

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We always start in the ag building or the Agriculture Horticulture Building officially.  We never miss the seed art display and this year’s entries were great once again.  There are always several politically charged pieces and this year we had many regarding the marriage amendment on our ballot this fall.

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That last one also mentions another item that will be on our ballot this fall having to do with voter ID.  Next up, one of our favorite sons, Fritz Mondale:

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We enjoy the various flower contests which occupy two rooms in the ag building.  Every couple of days the displays change.  We managed to see both the orchids and the gladiolas but I only got photos of the glads.  Brilliant colors and fine arrangements all!

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Our annual visit to the fair would not be complete without viewing the art in the art building.  Always a great display of local art.

This bust is made from parts of a piano:

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Here’s hubby with his favorite artist.  Bruce Nygren always has interesting pieces:

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And I have to tell a funny story about his shirt.  It’s from the 2008 campaign.  We stopped by the Al Franken booth that year and his wife Frannie was there.  She and hubby struck up a conversation because, as it turned out, they were the same age with similar political leanings.  So he bought that shirt from her and he wore it at our subsequent visit to the fair that year.  This time it was Al himself manning the booth with the normal crowd gathered around him.  He was signing the baseball cards he used for his campaign and as he was signing mine he saw hubby’s shirt and said “oh, nice shirt.” And without hesitation hubby replied “I got it off your wife the other day.” Al looked up, started to smile and then, “wait, I don’t like the sound of that!!” and everyone laughed.

We happened upon Al once again this year but we decided not to greet him this time.  Still fun to see him:

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But back to the art building.  One fun thing to do is to vote for your favorite piece of art.  Probably not the best photo of it, but here’s the one I voted for this year:

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We took the sky ride to the northwest end of the fair and then headed to the animal buildings.  We saw cows, horses and donkeys.

We got the “cow car” this time around and that was pretty cool.  It’s painted to resemble a cow and there’s a bell on the back that is rung by the ride operators at the beginning and the end of the ride.  I didn’t get a pic of the cow car but here’s one from the inside:

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We saw lots of animals and their babies.  Here’s a baby donkey:

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A mama and baby cow:

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And a scultped tree trunk of a mama and baby bear:

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Getting a henna tattoo was very popular:

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Well, okay, here’s my political statement in the way of a photo. With our favorite president:

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Of course there are plenty of places to take breaks.  Here we are taking a break in an old tilt-a-whirl car:

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And O’Gara’s Paddyo for a beer and a cool mist.  We sat at a tall table just under those mists and it was rather nice. We were told a couple of times what a great spot we had:

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This is the best place for a chocolate malt, less crazy than the dairy building.  That’s the art building to the left of the malt stand:

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And then eventually it’s time to go home.  Bye Minnesota State Fair, see you again next year:

Minnesota state fair front gate from the inside

Minnesota state fair front gate from the inside

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of our fair.  And really, there is even more that I haven’t shared.  You’d really have to experience it for yourself to believe how big it is.  Hubby tells me the Minnesota State Fair is one of the two or three largest fairs in the country.  It’s always a great time with plenty of things to see, do and eat.

The Minnesota state fair is known for having foods on a stick.  I tried a new food this year:  lamb chop on a stick.  Delish!!  Did you have a favorite of the various things to do or eat at the state fair?  Does anything from my photos here intrigue you or catch your attention?

5 Comments

Filed under Minnesota

5 responses to “The great Minnesota get-together

  1. Love it! Wish I had been there. Does your love of the fair have anything to do with me bringing you to the LA County Fair (well, the Pomona Fair at that time) when we lived together? Our fair just started. I hope I can get there this year…

  2. Love it — my post on the Fair this past year focused on a lot of our favorite foods, we map out our path in advance and pace ourselves throughout the day to make sure we get to sample all of our favorites! A few years ago while wandering the grounds early on a cold, dreary day we bumped into Al Franken as he was starting his day, and got a pic with him. This year was disappointed Klobuchar wasn’t manning her booth when we stopped by! We have a tradition of going on MPR Day, the Friday before Labor Day (my husband stays home as he can take about an hour before he’s had enough –so it’s a fun tradition for my boys and I). ~ Kat

  3. Pingback: My first blogoversary and I’m late! | travels with toby

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