We never miss the fair and this year we went three times. We always go opening day and this year’s crowd was dizzying. Sure enough, it broke the record for opening day attendance. I met hubby and Miss M mid morning as I had to work a few hours that morning and I knew the moment I entered the fair that it would be a big crowd, it already felt that way.
I went right into the grandstand to peruse their wares until I heard when to meet hubby and Miss M. Right off the bat I found a fair shirt. The state fair gift shop in the grandstand moved making it more centrally located and it pulled me right in. I bought the shirt on our way out that afternoon. I also found some great Christmas gift items so I was feeling fairly accomplished!
I met my family near the sky ride outside the Agriculture Building. I always go into the Ag Building. I love the flower rooms, the crop art, the scarecrows, U of MN apples, the biggest gourds. So much to see in the Ag Building! There was a long line for the crop art and it was that way with each of our visits this year. I did wait in the line on opening day when we went back later. You don ‘t have to wait in line, but if you want a front row spot to take photos, it works better to wait in line.
We got our buttons at the Admin building, we do that every year too. They’re free and it’s fun to see the new design every year. This year it’s a circle of guitars and the wording is Minnesota’s largest music festival. I never thought of it that way but I can see it now. Lots of music entertainment options for sure! From the various free stages all around the fair or the grandstand show, there is something for everyone musically speaking at the fair.
We always tour the art in the art building and there were lots of gems in there again this year. I usually get a malt from the Kiwanis club next to the art building but Miss M wanted to get one at the dairy building to see her friend who was going to be working there at 3:00. Well, we could barely breathe with the wall to wall people at the fair that day so we decided to just get the malt earlier than 3:00 at the dairy building. That turned out to be so fun!! Miss M saw one of her buddies working and he erupted with happiness after she handed him the ticket for the malt and he realized it was her. It was adorable.
We left shortly after the malt, it was well past time to go. It was fun but our next visit was even better in terms of a much more subdued crowd. I met hubby from work the following Thursday afternoon. As soon as I arrived it also felt different. It was much calmer with a lot less people. And the weather was perfect too. We had so much fun finding things to buy. We like to visit the international bazaar to check out the music and do some shopping. Hubby found a new Day of the Dead shirt, I got a new mug both from El Burrito Mercado, a Mexican imports shops. Hubby found a new silver pinky ring and we got Miss M maple syrup made by Native Americans. It was a fun shopping year this year!! I don’t usually find that much to buy but this year was different.
We decided to go back a third time this year just because and hubby wanted to see the newspaper museum again. We live 5 miles away and there are many free park and ride buses to the fair that make it easy for us to get there. We thought there might be less people on Sunday vs. Saturday and we opted for the bus this time, to go in a different gate than when we use my U of MN parking spot. We were right about there being fewer people but wrong about the weather. Oh it worked out alright but it wasn’t ideal. No matter, we still had fun. We hadn’t yet ridden the skyride, something else we usually do, because those lines were too long in previous visits. But not on our final visit. Because it was raining, there was virtually no line at the skyride. Score!!! We did get a little wet but it was better than walking to the grandstand for one last shopping spree. And I can add riding the skyride in the rain to my list of things I had not done before.
We didn’t find anything at the grandstand but I took the opportunity to finally try a roasted corn on the cob. I’ve been going to this fair since 1992 and I’ve never had a corn. This last trip to the fair the timing was perfect. And it was excellent and so juicy!! We got back on the skyride since we’d be leaving from the front gates and went back into the Ag building to see if the flower rooms were open yet. They were both closed temporarily for judging as soon as they opened the building so we had to come back. And we only got to see one room since the other was still closed for judging. I did get to see the room at a distance and the dahlias in the other room were just gorgeous!
I feel so fortunate to be able to go to the great Minnesota get together every year. I think we’ll go three times next year too. Why not?
Following are some galleries of fair memorabilia that I hope you will enjoy. First up is a combination of all our visits to the Agriculture Building:
Next is a gallery of our visit to the newspaper museum and the art building:
The remaining gallery are photos of other things at the fair: