SLIDESHOW: The Late, Great, 2014 Minnesota State Fair
SLIDESHOW: It's dollars to donuts (or french fries ... or pronto pups ... or all-you-can-drink milk ...) that our state fair/ Is the best state fair in our state. P and I slipped out of Washington last week to visit family in Minnesota and attend the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday. We wound up being part of a record-setting crowd that day: 252,092.
Why do I love the Minnesota State Fair so much, less so the Washington version? Is it nostalgia? Giant Slide? Pronto Pup? Root beer? I'm guessing nostalgia has a lot to do with it but the Minnesota version simply could be better.
One of my first stops. You call it corn dog; we call it pronto pup.
In the Agriculture Building, P and I were won over less by the corn art than by the artistry of old feedbags.
P and Jordy rock out to “Twist and Shout” at the Giant Singalong, a new (perhaps “Glee”-inspired?) addition. Cost? Nuttin.
You know the Paul Westerberg song “Skyway”? That kept playing in my head as we stood in line to board the Skyride. Except my version went “I'll take the Skyride/ High above the Twinkies being deep-fried ...” That's one thing I didn't get, by the way: something deep-fried. I wanted something really, really bad for me. Next time.
The best part of the Skyride was less the view than just getting away from the crowds for 60 seconds.
Yeah, these guys.
Here's the Giant Slide from the Skyride ...
... and here it is after my dismount.
P, who will go on any roller coaster in the world, the crazier the better, refused to enter this fairly sedate maze/treasure hunt. She says they scare her.
Milk is big in the Midwest.
The Dairy Building girls. Oh, and 1 boy. I recommend the chocolate malt.
We also saw one of the dairy queens being sculpted in butter.
Ye Old Mill is a ride in the dark in a rickety little boat that takes you past decades-old dioramas that don't make much sense anymore (leprechans; three little pigs). So it's appropriate that the Minnesota GOP (rebranded “Growth & Opportunity Party”) is right next door.
Just a reminder where all of those french fries go.
The Midway at 5 pm. Still packed. When are these people going to leave?
That's about the time we arrived at the Grandstand for Music-on-a-stick. The music? Eh. But it was nice to sit down for a while
The view from the Grandstand.
Whirly girly gig, who can stop this kid?
I mean this one. Ryan's 11th-hour attempt at winning stuffed animals came to naught. So did my attempts to win something for him. I did blast two of the three superheavy milk bottles down with a baseball, but the only consolation prize I got was the fact that the ticket taker/barker immediately shooed me away. As if I were a threat. In my mind it was a kind of victory.