The Great Minnesota Get Together (aka the State Fair)

I am an unabashed fan of the Minnesota State Fair.  My preference is to arrive early in the morning so I can see the kids compete in the 4H activities but this year I couldn’t make it before the afternoon.

Of course there’s an endless variety of great-tasting-but-bad-for-you foods (and I indulge liberally) but there’s also a fresh fruit stand and every year I get one of their fantastic Colorado peaches (the best bargain at the fair).  Every year I also get a flu shot (free with my insurance card). I also like to stop by the Dairy building to see the likeness one of the Princess Kay dairy maidens being carved into a 70 lb block of butter (which she gets to take home at the end of the fair).

But there are always new things at the Fair too!  Where else would you see a 700lb wad of paper (the world’s largest) or a live glassblowing demonstration?  In the end the Fair is a bittersweet event - I look forward to it, but it marks the end of the summer.

I was tagged by Fatman2Fitman and asked to post the most recent photo from my phone.  This is a picture from last night as Beth and I sat in our MN State Fair rain ponchos waiting for the start of the Prairie Home Companion show in the grandstand.

Prairie Home Companion is old-time radio show that is broadcast on NPR on Saturday evenings.  It’s normally a live show, generally broadcast from St. Paul, but most years they also tape a show on Friday night at the MN State Fair.

Even though it’s extremely uncool, I really love this show and it’s a treat to see it live.  Beth is a good sport and indulges me.  Also, how is it possible that she looks so cute in a silly plastic rain poncho?


BOOM! This is how CHEESE CURDS are made at the Minnesota State Fair.


Walking in to the state fair last night for the meet up, the strap on my flip flop broke. So I walked up to the group (after traipsing across the fairgrounds) with only one shoe on. I’m classy like that. I’m also a champ at first impressions!

Luckily, everyone was really cool about it. After we took our group picture we all walked (barefoot) over to the International Bazaar to see if I could find some shoes. $35 later (ouch) I found a suitable replacement. I can report that the fair does a good job of keeping the streets clean. I didn’t step on anything sticky or hard. So yay for that :)

After the shoe detour, we were able to focus on the main mission. Food! We spent the rest of the evening talking, walking, laughing and sampling lots of treats. It was great to get to talk to everyone in person. It’s amazing how much we really do know each other from our blogs.

It’s also a nice reminder that our words don’t just slip into the ether. People are reading them and living our ups and downs with us. The thing I have learned from these meet ups is that most people do a really good job of representing their true selves in their blogs. I have yet to be shocked by someone’s personality IRL. So when we meet, it’s like we’re continuing a conversation between old friends.

To all the Minny peeps who didn’t make it out last night (you know who you are) you were missed. But we thought about you all fondly!

1. Sheila and Bob trying the deep fried olives.

2. Sweet Martha’s cookies.

3. FR: Sheila, Heather, Rachael, Jason, Katie, Lee.
BR: Morgan, Sarina, Ryan, Sarah, Bob, Jen.

4. $35 flip flops.

5. Rachael, Sarah and Jason taking a break.

6. The chair ride over machinery hill.

7. Yummy corn on the cob.