Minnesota State Fair: A Guide to the Fun!

Our State Fair is a great state fair! Don't miss it, don't even be late.

Maybe the lyrics to that song don't mean anything to you, but it means that it is the time of year where crazy fun happens. :) Now, I've posted about the Minnesota State Fair before (2011, 2010), so this year I decided to provide you with a utterly non-comprehensive guide to my favorite event of the year.

The State Fair ends on Labor Day, so you still have five more days to experience this wonderful event! I've gone three days and have three more days that I plan to attend. Excited doesn't even begin to cover it.

Since this is a food blog, let's start with the food. I've been trying to eat super healthy lately, so you can see from these pictures how well mediocre I'm doing. The key to eating at the State Fair is to share as much food as possible. Portions and calories are out of control, so most of the food I shared.

My Day 1 Food:
Blazing Salad
Deep Fried Veggies on a Stick
Deep Fried Ravioli - Artichoke and Spinach
French Fries and Cheese Pizza

Hands down, my favorite out of this bunch is the Blazing Salad. I get one every year. It is simply a whole wheat pita stiffed with lettuce mix (from a bag) slathered in their mouth watering dressing. Maybe because it is so anti-fried, it tastes perfect. This is located in the Gyro booth across the street from the Culligan Water stand.

My Day 2 Food:
Scone from French Meadow
Island Noodles! Soba Noodles Stir Fried with Veggies
Cold Press Coffee from French Meadow
Curry Chickpea Roti
Cheese Quesedilla with Guacamole, Salsa, and Corona

This year, my husband and I rediscovered Harry Singh's Caribbean Restaurant in the food building. Their Curry Chickpea Roti is mildly spicy and soul warming. 

My Day 3 Food:
Luigi Fries
Red Velvet Funnel Cake
Cheese Pizza from Vescio's (not pictured)

Red Velvet Funnel Cake is new to the State Fair this year. I am a huge fan of red velvet cakes. I love how dense they are and yet aren't as cloyingly sweet as typical chocolate cake. The funnel cake misses the texture of a typical red velvet cake - not surprisingly - but this is so delicious I really don't care. I brought some extra to work the next day and it was still delicious! It's located in the stand next to the Giant Sing Along and the Pet Center.

So now that your hunger is satiated, what is there to do at the fair? I admit, the State Fair can be overwhelming. So, it is important to pace yourself. Once you arrive, find an Information Booth and grab one of the daily schedules. This handy guide will give you all the details for when animal shows, performances, parades, and demonstrations happen throughout the day. 

I like to pick out a few events and make a point to attend. They key in attending is to find a place to sit. Taking time to sit is just as important as taking time to eat and drink water. Here are some of my favorite State Fair events:

4-H State Arts-In Show. Both my husband and I performed in this show back in the day, so we have a lot of nostalgia associated with it. However, the 30 minute show will help you regain your confidence in today's youth in an extremely cheesy, yet fabulous, way. Do not miss this. 

Food Demonstrations. The Eco Building and the Horticulture Building have fun food demonstrations. And in the Horticulture Building, you can sample some really unique honey afterwards. I must buy some sage honey for my cheddar cheese. Now.

Animal Shows. Horse shows are daily in the Colosseum. Sheep, rabbit, goat, cow, and poultry shows vary a little more. The Pet Center does dog training demonstrations. The Miracle of Birth Center, despite the perpetual crowd, is my favorite place to sit and relax. I love watching the faces of little children as they see a cow give birth. I never know what they'll say! I even saw a rabbit agility demonstration in the 4-H building! I love how the bunny has neon green vest on!

Radio Station Special Events. Nearly every radio station has a booth and a robust schedule of events. Find your favorite station and check out their schedule. Their special guests are usually willing to take questions from the audience too!

Musical Performances. The Bandshell, the Bazaar, the Beer Garden, and the DNR stage are just four of the places that offer free concerts throughout the day. The grandstand shows are also fun, although they do cost extra to attend. 

Site Seeing. One of my favorite things of the State Fair (Ok, I'll admit that I have a lot of favorite things!), is that I never know what I'll see as I'm wandering from one event to another. For example, I saw kids taking a bubble bath one day:

I discovered this crop art that looks just like my cat Oreo:

And I saw tomatoes as big as the watermelon I got in my CSA box a couple of weeks ago:

Of course, there is much more to see and do at the State Fair (I didn't even talk about the rides and games!). If you go, let me know your must-see, must-do, or must-eat!