When you close your eyes and think of the Minnesota State Fair, what do you taste? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you hear? What do you see?
When I close my eyes and think of the State Fair, I taste cheese curds, Sweet Martha’s Cookies, deep-fried pickles, lemonade, chocolate malt and beer. I smell fried food, barn animals, apples and beer. I feel hot, sweaty, nostalgic and beer spilling on my hand. I hear kids laughing on rides, people chatting, bands playing, Mary Lucia’s voice, fireworks, and beer-sipping. I see waves of people walking down the streets, fuzzy bunnies, Machinery Hill, babies passed out in their strollers, children screaming for cotton candy, couples in love, art, honey, giant pumpkins, purple UST bags (shout-out to my alma-mater!), carnies, the lights from Midway, the Giant Slide, the Skyride, food everywhere and beer, lots of beer. I like to drink beer at the fair.
When you close your eyes and think of the State Fair, what memory comes to mind first?
When I close my eyes I remember barely being able to breathe while I flew through the air with a grade school friend on what is now known as the Skyscraper ride. I remember laughing hysterically on the Zipper because I was so nervous that the door to my cage would suddenly open. I remember looking for cute boys with my friends when we were teenyboppers. I remember how sinful cheese curds taste, especially with a cold beer. I remember trying the hoppy beer flight in the Agriculture/Horticulture building with my sister before 10:00 a.m. and feeling buzzed for the next two hours while we took our grandma to some of her favorite spots. I remember trying to find a “private” spot to breastfeed my daughter, and after doing so, discovering that there was a fancy tent for nursing moms just two blocks away. I remember watching my son bust a move with the Choo Choo Bob Show cast at one of their live performances last year. I remember (sort of) drinking too much beer at the Blake Shelton concert (which was my first country concert ever) and telling the woman next to me that Blake converted me to a country music lover. I know I had too much beer that night because I still don’t care to listen to country music to this day. I remember how excited my kiddos were when they saw the barn animals and went on the Giant Slide. I remember the time when my husband and I went to the fair on a rainy day and we found trash bags to use as ponchos. I love the fair. I love St. Paul. I heart Minnesota.
I remember it all, and I am looking forward to making some new memories this year. The only thing to figure out now is where to start? What exhibits do I want to see? What do I want my son and daughter to experience? What should I eat? Which bands do I want to hear? How many times should I go? There is so much to consider!
Fortunately, I had a sweet opportunity to attend a sneak peek of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair with an awesome group of local bloggers yesterday. We tasted seven new foods that will be at the fair this year, and we also had a chance to chat with some of the vendors. We received packets of information on the many events, competitions, exhibits and foods that will be at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. We toured the new West End Market and the History & Heritage Center. And we also got a glimpse of the new exhibit The Common Table, which will be an interactive exhibit focusing on inspiring its visitors to make intentional food choices. I think I will finally be able to get a good night’s sleep after attending this awesome event now that I have a much better plan in mind for the crazy adventure I want to take my kiddos on this year.
Don’t worry, I want to take you on a crazy adventure too, just not this late at night, and not all at once. I have so much that I want to share with you about what is new at the State Fair this year. Come visit me later this week!