Much like Chaucer’s storied pilgrims, my family (along with a not-insignificant percentage of other Minnesota families) makes a journey to the Minnesota State Fair pretty much every year. We thought work and other obligations might prevent us from attending this year, but luckily, at the last minute, schedules opened up and we all had free time yesterday afternoon. Typically we go in the morning, which is a wiser choice, I think. You’re hungrier, and the fair is less crowded. Still, we had a grand old time.
Follow me, will you, as I take you on a short photographic journey through the Great Minnesota Get-Together? (Click on the photos to see them bigger. Both WordPress and Flickr have changed some of their settings, and I can no longer as easily share Flickr photos on the blog).
Last year I won fame and glory through the Heavy Table’s photo contest. With that in mind, I was eager to take more food shots as we went along.
I think this is my best one:
The tag on it says, “Mildly spicy hot & sweet ‘big bombs.'” I have no idea what that means.
This big boy was in the same area. Obviously a blue-ribbon winner, but there were others there that were even bigger.
Doesn’t this look good for you? And comforting?
I think the honey display is so beautiful:
Then we got on to the real business at hand: actually eating the food. AG said, “What was it I had last year? I want one of those. I think it had a dog in it?”
No, turns out she was not talking about a corn dog. Rather, it was a fudge puppy. Basically a Belgium waffle, folded over, and stuffed with chocolate, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Kid gives it the thumbs up. I thought the chocolate was a bit waxy.
Luckily, they were near the garlic french fries, which I remembered from last year as delicious.
They still are! Paul got some mini-donut beer, which came in a glass with a sugared rim, and which he thought was pretty tasty, too.
We went on rides. AG loves the giant slide, and she went on it about 47 times.
We took the sky ride to the other side of the fair,
where AG decided she wanted to participate in the giant sing along. So she joined in on “You are my Sunshine,” with several other fairgoers, some of whom were (intentionally?) butchering the song.
Then on to the Kidway, where we rode the Ferris Wheel and she rode the swings.
I know there are differing opinions on this, but, you guys, I love deep-fried cheese curds.
I’m not sure they’re all that photogenic, however.
AG loves horses, and she has a bunch of books about girls and horse competitions. Turns out, equitation is actually a real word, and a thing that happens at the fair. I didn’t get any good shots of it, though, because we were kind of far away. We did pick out a favorite horse, a paint horse with a lovely white mane and large black markings. AG called him/her “Oreo,” but turned out its name was “Intimidazzle.” S/he won something, too. Gorgeous horse.
We missed the llama dress-up competition, but we were able to take to the ring when it was over and take photos of the winning pair.
I think the llama is supposed to be a griffin, and the owner is a steampunk griffin driver? Not sure. Is it from Harry Potter?
By then, it was kind of getting late, and we decided to make our way back to the Kidway to use up our tickets. Along the way, I snapped shots of funny signs.
(As far as I could tell, neither was anywhere near this sign).
AG wanted to ride the bigger swings, but she was too small (to my relief, frankly).
On slow shutter speed:
So, she rode the long slide (a different one!) about 83 more times, instead.
My absolute favorite thing at the Minnesota State Fair (to eat, anyway) is the strawberry-rhubarb malts they have in the Dairy Barn. I maintain that you can get no better malt anywhere. So, even though it was quite late by 5-year-old time, we stopped there and stood in line one more time for one of those. Or rather, Paul stood in line for the malts while AG and I admired the butter heads.
I took a photo of my delicious malt, but, well, it looks rather macabre. And I don’t want anybody to think that the malts from the Dairy Barn are anything short of amazing creamy slices of Heaven, so I won’t post it. (If you can’t get enough of these photos, you can see more in my State Fair 2014 album on Flickr.)
Then we hopped on our bikes (did I mention we bike to the fair? Best way to do it, in my opinion. No muss, no fuss), clipped lights on ‘cuz it was late, and rode home.
‘Til next year, when I think I’ll have to try the deep fried baklava.