Monday, September 6, 2010

In Which We Hit The Fair

Happy Labor Day to all my pals in the states! I hope you are having a good time!

As Hannah and Matthew already mentioned, late August running through Labor Day is the Great Minnesota Get Together (aka the MN State Fair)!

Excitement! Drama! Food!!!

The MN State Fair is the second largest in the country, trailing only a bit behind Texas. It is the sauce that covers our awesome (well one of many sauces)

The State fair was first held in 1859, a year after MN was granted statehood. It spans over 320 acres and has been held every year except 1861,1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, 1945 due to war time fuel shortages and 1946 due to a polio epidemic.

2009 set an attendance record (last record was 2001) with 1,790,497 attendees. So far this year the attendance is at 1,211,031 attendees (not yet counting Sat, Sun on Mon) so as you can see, it's a big deal in our state.

Here's a fun timelapse video of one of the corners in the state fair (Jusdson and Nelson Sts) from open to close so you can get an idea of the crowds:

Judson and Nelson - Minnesota State Fair from Ochen K. on Vimeo.

Onto the pictures!

Most everyone in MN knows the real reason you go to the fair is to eat.
OR, maybe to check out the strange fashion and hair choices of many of the attendees:

BUT it's still primarily an agriculture fair.

Every year you can see baby pigs:

And every year one boar gets the honor of being known as the biggest boar.

this is reggie. He's 2 years old and weighs 1450 lbs

And giant pumpkins? You betcha we have them:

First place pumpkin: 1100 lbs

Also crop art. Art made from crops (mostly seeds and corn)

Depending on which day you go you can see chickens and rabbits and goats. But there are always cattle, horses, sheep and pigs.

Also you can hit the MN DNR area and check out the fish we can find in our lakes and rivers.

But, as said above, the real reason most Minnesotans attend is so we can stuff our faces with food, most of it on a stick.
It's always good to attend with a few friends or family members, so you share the food and therefore try as many different food option as possible.

Australian Battered Potatoes

Dole Ice Cream

Deep fried candy bar on a stick. Snickers

Big fat bacon (on a stick) (one of my all time favorite things to eat. EVAH)

Turkey samich

Deep fried Banana split

Corn on the cob

Spiral potato chips

Chicken fried bacon (new this year and already a fav of mine)



Kittie Howard said...

Great pics! The MN state fair made the national news last year. The whole arena is America personified. That crop art is amazing!! I'm biting into that corn on the cob, yum!

Happy Labor Day!

Anne said...

that was a cool time lapse video

Summer said...

Oh my freakin' gourd. DEEP-FRIED Bacon??

I don't even know what to say.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I'm hungry. Except for the fat bacon on a stick. Don't think my body could handle that.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Kittie - the corn on the cob was especially good this year

Anne - yeah it was. There was also a timelapse video of the midway being set up but it was 8 minutes of boring

Summer - it was SOOOOOOOO good!

Alex - that's too bad because it is DELICIOUS!

Michelle said...

Your pictures are awesome!! I love state fairs. I grew up in Indiana and I miss the agriculture-everywhere feel. Your pics brought me back a little. We have similar funness here in CT, but it's never this good! That video was so cool!

Go! Have more fun!

Lola Sharp said...

I totes think my body could handle that big chunk of bacon on a stick! Looks YUMMY!!!

Y'all have the big daddy of awesome fairs. Color me green with envy. Y'all and Texas know how to have a party.

Janel said...

It's artery clogging heaven! My local fair doesn't have those spiral cut potatoes, but the art fair that I didn't go to yesterday does. Now I wish I would've gone!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Michelle - it's so fun. Twin and i went back last night for dinner. YUM!

Lola - oh you totes could! It's salty with like a slight sweet glaze on it. SO. Good.

Janel - they are good, but it's certainly something you need to share with other people

Clara said...

I'm in it just for the food and the baby pigs! God, I love the States.

Shelley Sly said...

Wow, that is a HUGE state fair! That food all looks so bad for you... which probably means it's freakin delicious. ;)

Jo Thornley said...

Wow... the local fall fair here in my little Scottish town would be put to shame. Of course, we do have the sheepdog tournaments, but you know... ha ha!

I remember this one time I went to a fair where they had this HUGE pot-belly pig. I think I spent every minute petting it (I was young, like four, maybe five).

Also, I am totally addicted to that soft ice-cream stuff... YUM!!

Joan Crawford said...

You have my undying respect for eating all these foods of the gods.

Chicken. Fried. Bacon. I shall name my next child this.

Baby sheep in a coat!!!

KodasTotems said...

I Don't think I was ever a true Minnesotan because the MN State Fair was always such a turn-off for me. You forgot to mention that the streets smell like pee and the delicate fragrance of body odor and flatulence hang ripely in the hot, humid, stagnant summer air. Especially enjoyable when you're 80 people deep in line for a friggin' Snicker Bar on a stick. Ugh.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Bacon on a stick? That’s too funny. Deep fried banana split is a new one for me. And I love the corn-do.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, it's a good thing I've already eaten. That bacon, and those chips... oh man. It feels like a good day to move to MN. :)

Lynda Young said...

I'm sorry but we don't do that to battered potatoes. Real Aussies eat them without sauce ;)

Looks like you had a BRILLIANT time at the fair

W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

Anonymous said...

Hannah also had a picture of those potatoes and they look GOOD. Glad to see you had a great time!

Anne said...

@Lynda- in the potatoes' defense, the woman who owns the shop is Australian :-)

Falen (Sarah) said...

Clara - baby pigs are so effing cute

Shelley - it is and it is! We try and tell ourselves that we work off many calories by all the walking

Jo - yeah no sheepdog competitions at the state fair, but they do have them at the Renfest

Joan - it's amazing what you can eat when you're sharing with 4 other peeps

Kodas - ah, see, that means you weren't going at the right time of day. If you hit it really early, the streets are clean of people and trash. Problem solved!

Holly - the banana is wrapped in lefsa and then fried. SO DELISH

Elana - we almost went again last night for dinner!

Lynda - well the chick is australian so i'm sure it's just a gimmick. But i don't even care because they are so good

Kelly - it is one of the many foods Hannah and we love at the fair

Justine Dell said...

Wow--what a crowd! I would go early morning or late night. I hate crowds. Probably one of the reasons I've never went to our state fair (which I think is pretty darn close to one of the largest, too--maybe behind Texas.)

Looks like you had a blast!


Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

The crop art hair is fabulous! OMG how do they deep fry bacon!? I just felt an artery shrivel up and hide from this post. ;) I'm so glad you had a great time and thanks for sharing the photos. Fairs are so awesome.

Teebore said...

Loved the time lapse video. And I heard that Saturday broke a single day attendance record, so we're in good shape to set a new record overall this year (and the only reason the stupid Texas state fair beats us in attendance is because their college football stadium is on their fairgrounds, so everyone who goes to the homecoming game as to buy a ticket to the fair).

I prefer the deep fried twinkie to the deep fried candy bars, but both are most excellent.

Big Fat Bacon is amazing. One of my faves.

As is the turkey samich. My god, I have never tasted a sandwich as good as that. I can't wait for next year. I want one NOW!!

I was curious about the deep fried banana split, but never got around to it. I was hoping the ice cream was fried, too.

I was disappointed in the chicken fried bacon (I know, I know). It was good, it just wasn't awesome. I was expecting a thicker batter, and more savory than sweet. Still good, but not what I was expecting.

I also had the deep fried pickles (another personal fave), several Mexican Hat tacos, a BLT fajita, mini doughnuts (of course), garlic fries, the BBQ baked potato, cheese curds, buffalo chips, the peanut butter/bacon/banana hot dog, a phenomenal hot apple dumpling, a korean BBQ taco and I tried the deep fried mashed potatoes (which were excellent).

I wanted to try the deep fried camel, but they weren't serving it when I went back on Sunday.

Oh, and beer. Lots of beer.

Oh, fair. I shall miss you. 'Til next year!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Justine - yes, it is always best to go as early as you can

Erica - i don't know how they fry it and it's probably good that i don't...

Teebore - i know. i already miss it. The three of us discovered that chicken fried bacon was better the second time around. It went from being good, to great.
We also had mini donuts and cotton candy and kettle corn, i just forgot to take pics

Teebore said...

I did only have it once. Maybe the key is the second time, when expectations have been tempered.

Hannah Kincade said...

I want to eat so much more next year. I was so hot and dirt this time that I didn't get to eat as much as I wanted. But I did get Aussie pots so all is well. I want some so bad right now! Where do they get those ginormous potatoes?!

Falen (Sarah) said...

Teebore - yeah Anne and i went one last time just for dinner, and we ran into Derrick and Anne-Margaret. What are the chances? Also remind me to tell you on Monday about Ben at renfest

Hannah - they are in the food building. It's pretty much the staple of the place that sells them, so you can't miss them if you're looking. You need like 6 people to help eat them, though

Hart Johnson said...

A good, old fashioned fair--looks fabulous! Our pathetic urban one is very sad by comparison. One of the few things I miss about Idaho, actually... a fair that was a fair... though I admit the ORegon State fair where we got to drink beer and bet on horses had some perks...

Hannah Kincade said...

uh what?? I'm confused.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Hart - ooh, horse betting is something we do not have

Hannah - what's to be confused about? They're in the food building. The stand that sells them pretty much only sells those chips, so they have them on signs and junk.

AchingHope said...

Ohmygoodness. I just ate lunch, but looking at those pics makes me hungry. Oh. Wow.


Al said...

Hmmm, we don't call battered potatoes 'battered potatoes'. If you want to be authentic they are called 'Potato Scallops' if you live in the north of Oz or 'Potato Cakes' in the south. Plus we don't eat them with sauce, rather we just sprinkle them with salt (and some people add vinegar as well).

Cassie Ahiers said...

Chicken fried bacon!? WHY AM I NOT THERE??

BlackRoseofLight94 said...

that seed art is crazy!

thanks to all that deliciously fattening looking food, my lunch deprived stummy is now rumbling.

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