Edit ModuleShow Tags

Memory Machine: Minnesota State Fair


Published:

Miiiiiinnesota State Faair! Anyone driving around the Twin Cities and extending metro has likely heard the familiar radio jingle that advertises the Great Minnesota Get-Together, coming August 23 through September 3, 2012. Love it or hate it (the tune, and I suppose, the fair itself), it has quite the effect on most Minnesotans, and conjures up all sorts of memories and emotions.

Minnesota State FairFor some it’s the anticipation of people-watching and pronto pups (Or corn dogs? Debate!). It’s excitement for outdoor concerts and carnival games, or admiring the tractors and animals, plus local art and handiwork.

I happen to land in the fiercely loyal pack who value all of the above, and more. ("Pack" being the perfect word, considering the throngs of family members and friends we gather every year to attend together, and the slow, steady way the hive travels—breaking away only to return with food.) For me, it really is the memories that bring me back...

Courtesy MN State Fair

It's cramming 20+ people into the Education Building photo booth to prove the calendar ladies wrong—we can fit!

It's the year my cousin got stranded, but sat calmly eating her favorite popcorn until the group realized she was missing and sprinted back.

It's the 30 and three-year-olds connecting hands while riding down the Giant Slide on potato sacks.

It's my uncle stopping to play one of the pianos in The Grandstand (Star Wars theme song, anyone?)—though this year we'll have to track down the new display of Pianos on Parade. Located in Family Fair at Baldwin Park.

It's counting how many food items we've consumed, and the detective work to find the new ones. (This year, Red Velvet Funnel Cakes, for sure!)

And every year moving forward, we can add visiting The Bench to our itinerary. Recognition benches, scattered around the grounds, are a touching addition courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation and its efforts to add value (seating) while involving the community (personalization, donations). So this year we will make our inaugural stop at The Fitzgerald bench honoring and picturing my grandparents.

The thing is, we don't know exactly where it will be...The first year you can request a general area (we originally thought of the beer garden, due to my grandma's particular love of the fair and a cold one, but ended up going with where we all meet to start the day, at mass), but after that, the bench will potentially move around.

So the annual hunt is on! Which I will forever cherish.

The online box office closed today, but discounts ($9) at the State Fair Box Office and Cub customer service centers run until August 22. Or just pay $10-$12 at the gate (children under five are free). Minnesota State Fair: 1265 North Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul | 651-288-4400, mnstatefair.org
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Treasure Island Resort & Casino 2018 Summer Concert Series

Check out the awe-inspiring lineup of summer concerts at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags