Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get Together

The "last 12 days of summer" (aka known as the last 12 days leading up to and including Labor Day) we Minnesotans get together at our State Fair! Today was Day 11; tomorrow will be the last day of the 2011 State Fair.

When we were young, my brothers and I used to go almost every day to the fair. One of our uncles had a food stand at the fair (he charcoal broiled chicken). As young kids we'd go with him prior to the fair and help get the stand ready - sweeping, mopping, painting, dusting, etc. Once we were old enough, we all worked at the stand too; it was a great way to earn extra money. Many of the same people always came year after year (and some of the fair workers would come several times during the fair) to eat at the stand and you'd get to know these folks pretty well; it was always good to see them again the next year. Once the fair gets in your blood, it's kind of hard to let it go!

Fairchild, the State Fair mascot!

My children are both avid fairgoers too; in fact; my DD was just 3 weeks old when she attended her first fair! My kids haven't gone as often in recent years; while most elementary and middle/high schools in Minnesota don't start school until after Labor Day, many of the colleges and universities start before, so they have been in school and haven't been able to go as much as they would like.

(I don't know who that guy is; darn him for getting in my photo!)

My mom is there every year as she demonstrates tatting at one of the buildings on the fair grounds. She is planning to be there tomorrow and will have gone 10 out of 12 days this year. Here she is with her little tatting display. (She says she's demonstrating tatting, but we think she spends most of her time talking and watching people!)

My family went to the fair twice this year (actually, DD went three times) but today was my first and only fair day. When we go to the fair, we always do the same things. Our first stop is at the Pronto Pup booth just inside the main entrance. We are Pronto Pup snobs -- no corn dogs for us!

My second stop is at the Creative Activities building. My family usually goes off and does their own thing for about an hour or longer so that I can take my time looking at things without feeling rushed. In this building you will find all things handmade - sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, woodworking, etc., etc. I didn't think there was very much cross stitching entered this year; I'm not sure why. I took a few pictures for you of some of the things that were on display:

Beautiful stumpwork!

This quilt was made using Minnesota themed fabrics from the 2010 Quilt Minnesota shop hop.

Do you recognize Mary Wigham?
Not sure who entered this, but they did a beautiful job on it!
It was stitched with blue and green color scheme.

More Hardanger!

We ventured all over the fairgrounds checking out displays and collecting free stuff. One of the new foods this year was Sweet Corn Ice Cream; I had mine with the Butter Bacon sauce. It was good - although I probably wouldn't have it again (it just can't compete with the Dairy Building malts!)

We tried lots of other foods - walleye cakes, walleye fingers, egg rolls, chicken on a stick, cheese curds, honey candy, fudge puppies (chocolate covered waffle on a stick). I should have taken more pictures!

One of our "must see" items is the State Fair Parade; it happens every day at 2pm. Many high school marching bands come to the fair to march and perform in the State Fair Parade; on the first Sunday even the University of Minnesota Marching Band is in the parade. Today we had only one high school marching band, from the city of Worthington; there were other musical groups to fill out the rest of the parade. Here are some snapshots from today's parade:

For my flamingo loving friends...

In the words of Smokey the Bear says "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"

And as the parade announcer says every year "there goes a lot of beef!"

We headed home around 4pm; it had been a long day and the fair was quite crowded with people at that point. It was a fun day. Looking forward to next year's fair!


Wrought By LaDonna said...

Looks like fun. Quite a few interesting food selections.

Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

What a fun day!!! There is nothing like a State Fair! Not so sure about the sweet corn ice cream though...

Your mom is adorable. I'd love to see her demo!

Bekca said...

Thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures, I would love to attend a State Fair myself one day. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Do you really have 10.000 lakes? Amazing! Love all the pictures, but must thank you especially for the flamingos, my favourite birds ever!

Anonymous said...

I love state fairs too and yours really looks like fun!

Katrina said...

Too much fun, the food sounds wonderful and the pictures were so interesting :-)!!!! Love all the needlework ones especially.

trillium said...

beautiful needlework at the fair--thanks for sharing the pics.

Mary said...

Cathy - I'm with you - Pronto Pups - never the corn dog! We are also Minnesota State Fair folks - my husband worked in the publicity office for several years during his college days, my kids all worked at the Pizza Palace for many years (started VERY young because their summer nanny's family owns the place) and I spent the last 12 days of every childhood summer there because my best friend's family owned the Beer Garden and the old carousal (remember that?) - great memories! I really liked the displays at the Creative Arts buildings were separated by colors - and it was fun to see some familiar designs actually stitched up!

Mary in MN

Lynn said...

Loved the pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us. I really enjoyed seeing the pics of the crafts on display. Love that quilt!

Suzanne said...

What a fun day! Lovely items in the craft display. That's a very unusual flavour of ice-cream.