The Minnesota State Fair (quaintly known as the Great Minnesota Get-Together) is kind of a big deal. It’s kind of a HUGE deal. According to Wikipedia (my totally reliable source), almost two million people grace the fairgrounds each year – it’s the second largest state fair in the nation. The Minnesota State Fair really means business.
Up until the beginning of my junior year of college, I had never been to the Minnesota State Fair. Since my fateful freshman year trip, I hadn’t been back to the South Dakota State Fair, either. So when I found out that James’s band, Funky Gumbo (remember them?) was going to play at the Minnesota State Fair over Labor Day weekend, my curiosity was piqued. I’d heard so much about this State Fair to end all State Fairs, and I wanted to experience it for myself.
James would be indisposed for the majority of his time at the fair, so I had to find some other Fair buddies. My friend Sara was game – we could even stay with her grandparents! Our friend Lacee planned to come along, too – her boyfriend (now husband) Kevin was also a member of Funky Gumbo, and she was their most loyal fan.
The three of us loaded into Sara’s car in Morris and headed
east to the Twin Cities. We arrived at the fair and hit all the hot spots: the
birthing barn, the Al Franken booth, the plaster Minnesota dinosaurs. And oh,
the food! Sara and I were fairly unadventurous with our selections: cheese
curds, frozen chocolate covered bananas.
Lacee, however, had no such qualms.
She bravely devoured alligator sausage (“tastes like chicken”) and teriyaki
ostrich while Sara and I cautiously observed. Both were served on sticks, of
|We didn't just eat food: we posed as food, too.|
|Lacee was briefly a victim of the|
deadly knock-off Croc.
Thanks to Camber and Mark, I saw a whole other side of the fair. We got to see all sorts of lumberjack-y competitions, and we became the proud owners of paper fish hats.
We visited the Spam booth and became potted
We even helped celebrate Mr Bubble’s 50th anniversary
by playing in the bubble pit.
As with every State Fair, there was a fair (ha
ha) amount of eating, also: I had frozen chocolate-dipped fruit on a stick,
which was extra delicious in the summer heat. Camber and Mark bought Sweet
Martha’s cookie buckets, which merited several trips to the all-you-can-drink
|A wardrobe essential.|
|Queens of Spam.|
|"Put bubbles on your heads!" said a group of Marines.|
Most importantly, though, Camber had her first taste of cheese curds. You read that correctly: Camber had never had cheese curds before. I didn’t think you were allowed to enter the state of Minnesota without having tried cheese curds. Upon hearing this distressing news, Camber’s lack of cheese curd experience was quickly remedied. She approved, but really, how could she not?