Saturday, August 23, 2008

Minnesota State Fair

Like a good Minnesotan, I made the pilgrimage to the annual Minnesota State Fair on Saturday. The fair grounds are in St. Paul and I took one of the buses that run nonstop during the two week affair. Now, I had been to the Texas State Fair one time but nothing prepared me for what I encountered today. Think a huge amusement park with rides and food stands every 5 feet (serving EVERYTHING on a stick- hot dogs on a stick, pickles on a stick, cheese on a stick, fried mashed potatoes on a stick, fried candy bars on a stick, meatballs on a stick, scotch eggs on a stick....) then throw in hundreds of domestic animals in every variety you can think of plus exhibits for every political candidate up for election in November as well as things like the Minnesota Alpaca Farmers Guild and the Minnesota Wild Rice Growers Association and you get a basic idea of what it was like.

I don't think I've ever seen more people- the day was gorgeous- not a cloud in the sky and a beautiful 78 degrees, which I'm sure contributed to the weekend crowd- here is a pic down just ONE of the streets of the fair grounds:

As I said before, there are all sorts of domestic animals including bunnies (isn't this the biggest lop eared bunny you've ever seen?):

And fancy pigeons- this one has curly feathers!:
There were tons of horses- big ones, small ones, Clydesdales, miniature... Also lots of cows- milk cows mostly, and sheep- black faced, white faced, HUGE ones, baby ones, horned ones.... Lots of chickens and ducks and turkeys....

I think the coolest thing was the birthing center though. They put all of the super pregnant animals in here and you can watch them give birth. I watched this HUGELY pregnant cow give birth and this little lamb was born earlier in the morning... There were also a litter of 12 piglets born today as well as hundreds of baby chicks of various breeds.
Now a bit about the food, I was told that I HAD to try fried cheese curds. Apparently these are a Minnesotan specialty not to be missed at the fair- they were actually quite good and were remarkably like little cheese sticks:
In addition, the original (and according to some, the only true) corn dog is a must have at the fair and so I had one:With mustard:It was, in all, an enlightening experience- this is only the first Saturday of the fair so we'll see if I make it again this year but I'll definitely be going back next year!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Fried cheese curds ARE awesome. We had them in Wisconsin last year when we were there for a wedding. We should compare notes some time on MN vs. NC on state fair foods on stick...we have alligator!

P.S.--I like your hair :o)