When we planned our first family trip to Minnesota 15 years ago, my husband was bummed because we would miss the State Fair. Growing up in rural Colorado, I had been to my share of county fairs in my lifetime and reassured him that it was no big deal.
“No, you don’t understand. This is the Minnesota State Fair.” As if that statement made it self-evident as to what I was missing.
Ending on Labor Day each year, Minnesota is the biggest state fair with average daily attendance of around 250,000 people. That boggles my mind, coming from a town of less than 10,000. When we finally went as a family for the first time three years ago, I was overwhelmed by the crowds.
What are my three favorite things about the fair?
1) Fried Snickers (or insert name of your favorite candy bar). Sounds disgusting at first but you realize after the first bite that it is actually crack on a stick.
2) Chickens. Walking between row upon row of the chickens at the livestock pavilion, I became lost in my unhealthy obsession with all manner of chickens. My husband and son called out to me several times when they were ready to leave. “But honey, look at the Ameraucanas… and they lay blue eggs….” I almost have my husband convinced to buy one of those backyard, gentleman farmer chicken coops. We are down to negotiations about who would clean it, but hey, that’s why you have teenagers.
3) Spam Castle. We walked into this structure and there was a throne made of Spam cans. Our son said “Wow, Spam” in this awed voice. That memory still makes us laugh and I look for this every time we go.
These family memories are worth spending an afternoon full of dust and crowds.