Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memories of the Great Minnesota Get Together—The MN State Fair Starts Today!

Did you feel it when you woke up this morning? That tingling of anticipation? That unmistakable rush of excitement when you heard that the gates opened at 6 AM this morning? If you did, you are undoubtedly a Minnesotan! Yep the cars and people started streaming onto the streets of the MN State Fair at the crack of dawn this morning. All the TV news programs were there showing what we could expect new in the line of food on a stick…or heart attack on a paper tray if you saw the chicken-fried bacon strips and deep-fried bologna. (But don’t worry…there is a health care booth on scene to check your blood pressure and heart rate!)

People who are not from our state don’t always feel the rush of nostalgia and longing for these ten days that wrap up our Minnesota summers. They don’t realize that our fair is a permanent location that opens to this huge EVENT just once a year! They have never had the opportunity to by a ticket and attend the evening concerts at the Grandstand. See a Dairy Princess have her likeness carved out of butter. Strolled through the horse, pig , and poultry barns to see the prized hog and sheep shearing competitions. Marveled at those daredevils in stunt shows or tried your own stunt by cruising on a burlap sack down the Giant Slide.

So as a REALTOR®, I like to entice people to consider relocating to Minnesota. We are not buried in snow year-round around here, ya know! It is a beautiful state with amazing and fun events…And the Minnesota State Fair is one of my favorites!

From my earliest memories, some of my favorite times were spent at the MN State Fair. It was a family event where we would meet up with our grandma, aunts and cousins. We would buy Salt Water Taffy, drink all the milk we could drink for a quarter (I think it is $1 now) and play games in the midway. There was the year my 5 year old brother stopped to look at a toy display and got lost…unfortunately, we found him. (Just Kidding...Love ya Mike!)
There was the year I went with my best buddy from high school for three days straight. As a college freshman at Hamline University, we were right across the bridge from the fairgrounds. During a lull in orientation weekend, I convinced several new friends from out of state to walk over and enjoy the last day of the event. A year later I went with my new boyfriend to four grandstand concerts in one week. He is now my husband and over the years we have seen several shows including Kenny Rogers, Rick Springfield, Eddie Rabbitt, Johnny Cash and Alabama….from the names of the bands you can tell we haven’t gone to a concert for a few years.

When my oldest was still stroller aged, we took him for his first visit to the fair. After a real-lemon lemonade, he took one of the pieces and stuck it is his mouth. And suddenly someone shouted, “Hey look at the baby sucking lemons!” Yep…people-watching is one of the favorite pastimes at the fair. It is especially scoping out people enjoying the tons of various foods...usually on a stick. I heard that there are 60 different food-on-a stick choices this year.

As the kids got older, we made it a point to stop at the Education Building to see the exhibits and collect all the free stuff from the colleges and organizations. Several of the pine trees the kids won from the forestry booth are still alive…though much taller…in our yard today. Another highlight was the Home Depot booth to build a souvenir. Sure you could do this on any Saturday morning if you were under 12 at a local store but it was so much more exciting to do it at the fair!
See that is the joy of the Minnesota State Fair…Everything is more exciting there. It is quite an event. Twelve glorious days at the end of summer to people watch at its best. It ends Labor Day so hurry!

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