Day 518 – Tuesday

Today Elizabeth and I went to the MN state fair.

I didn’t really understand parking so when we got to the fairgrounds everything was full. Because so many people visit daily (200K+), there are satellite parking areas with free shuttles. Though the indicates on Twitter were most of these were full. So there was an even farther back option with a $6/person express bus.

I drove back to head for that.

Then, passing a large Lutheran church, saw what looked like a state fair satellite parking lot so I turned back. That lot was full but 3 blocks down we could park and then walk back to catch the free shuttle. Happiness.

We made it to the fair, got in, and had a wonderful time. Elizabeth’s only prior experience was California where it’s usually in the hundreds of degrees and so forth. It was in the mid 70s today and there were a couple of rain storms. Here are the highlights:

  • Deep fried bacon wrapped cream cheese filled green olives on a stick. 4 or 5 to a stick.
  • Went to “miracle of birth center” where the baby animals are on displayed. We both got annoyed by a big poster teaching how much happier and healthier chickens are when kept in small cages in industrial farm barns than in outdoor free range conditions. Clearly the industrial farm lobby is strong here.
Princess Kay’s likeness was not being carved when we were there.
  • At the Dairy building we saw some completed and in-progress portraits in butter of Princess Kay of the Milky Way and the runners up. It’s a refrigerated rotating stage so all can watch the creations. No one was being sculpted when we were there.
  • We had cookies + ice cream sandwiches.
  • Ate Jamacian hot chicken.
  • Ate chicken samosas.
  • We went to agriculture building where we avoided a rain storm. There were flowers, garden exhibits, seed and corn art plus champion corn cobs. Lots of things made of honey (food) and beeswax (art) in the bee area. There were championship Christmas trees.
  • Between rain storms we crossed the street to the Food Building for cheese curds (from Mouth Trap Cheese Curds. they are famous).
  • The storms passed and it was clear blue sky again. We sat and rested while a parade went by near by and we sampled water at the Culligan booth.
Champion level cookies.
  • In the the Creative Arts building we saw an amazing display of quilts, knitting, wood working, cookies, cakes, canned goods, and other creative works. There are some very talented people around here. My feet were starting to hurt by this point. I would have spent a couple more hours here. I see why people spend a couple days at the fair.
  • We walked part way to the far North end of the fairgrounds but not much to see. Elizabeth was curious what “math on a stick” was and it looks like interactive math for kids. We walked past the antique engines sputtering along. Lots of farm equipment is on display from different companies.
I got my cookies.
  • We got a bucket of cookies from Sweet Martha’s Cookies on the way out. They are very sweet. Good tasing but not my favorite. I had 2 or 3. Elizabeth had 4 or 5. The rest were a request from Chris’ daughter. Sweet Martha’s is a favorite tradition of many at the fair. You get a bucket which holds over 4 dozen cookies. And you eat them. The bucket is overfull. You have to eat about a dozen to get the lid on. (It’s brilliant marketing). They say they can produce about 3M cookies a day.

We had a really good time. This is so much more fun than the CA state fair.