I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love the Minnesota State Fair.
Maybe it's because the fair was always a privilege to attend. As a 4-Her, I had to earn my trip to the fair by placing first place at my county fair. I didn't go to the state fair until I was 12, so I don't have memories of being really exhausted after a long day wandering around with my parents.
Instead, I have memories of sleeping in the dorms in the 4-H building on the fairgrounds. I remember finding the best breakfast places in the early morning hours before many people had arrived. I remember getting a free 4-H Fleet Farm T-shirt on the second day every year. I remember meeting my husband while staying at the 4-H building. I was 14.
So every time I walk through the gates of the fairgrounds, these memories and many more come flooding into me.
But it's not just nostalgia that keeps me coming back for more. I love not knowing what I will discover at the fair.
One day, I saw a hawk catch some prey in mid-air, and later that same day I saw the birth of a calf. On another day, I saw a man dressed up like a hotdog dancing on stage during the Koo Koo Kangaroo show.
The state fair is where the city kids and the farm kids walk down the same sidewalk and have their minds expanded by each other's lives. I actually heard one city kid exclaim after they heard a cow moo, "Oh my gosh! Was that a real cow moo?!"
I saw a GIGANTIC horse. Seriously. The back of this horse was at least a foot taller than me.
And I saw a tiny horse.
And I saw a green moss horse!
Many people love the food at the fair and go just to eat way too much fried, greasy food. I love some of the food at the fair, but I think I'm much more picky than the average fair goer.
However, breakfast at the fair is divine. A cup of coffee and a fruit stuffed scone with cream cheese frosting slathered on top. So good.
I also love Harry Singh's Curry Chickpea Roti. Next to all the other fried food on a stick around, this roti is a refreshing change.
I do like the occasional fried food - don't get me wrong! My favorite is the French Fried Ravioli at Vescio's. I like the artichoke and spinach ones the best.
I spend most of my time at the fair nowadays at the German Rootbeer Stand.
My sister-in-law's family has owned this booth for over 50 years! It's a great place to work, and it supports my expensive love for the MN State Fair!
One thing many people complain about the fair is the crowds. This weekend, the weather was perfect for fairing-it-up. Wow! Did a lot of people decide to come to the fair! However, the crowds aren't crazy all day!
At 9:00 a.m. - Perfect crowd!
At Noon - A little busy...
At 3:00 p.m. - Crowded!
At 5:30 p.m. - How can we fit this many people in one spot!?
At 10:30 p.m. - The crowd is surprisingly still large for this late.
We are planning to have a couch surfer stay with us for most of this week. I'm excited to be able to give her ideas of what to see and where to eat while she's here. Will the State Fair be on the list? You betcha!
After eating at the fair for a couple of days, I definitely crave simple, low salt, low sugar, low fat foods. I made this meal to cure my state fair hangover: Linguine with tomato sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds and cornmeal crusted summer squash (baked, not fried). This made my day. So good!