Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Visit Part 3 - Other Sights

It was a gorgeous, sunny winter day at the Fairgrounds. Strangely warm with no snow.

Top photo: Watertower
2nd photo from top: Giant Slide
3rd photo from top: Skyride
Bottom photo: Watertower

Winter Visit Part 2 - The Midway

This is where the Midway is. Again, oddly, it seems smaller with nothing there.

Winter Visit Part 1

Dale and I had some business over by the fair grounds today so we decided to make a stop. Oddly, it seemed smaller with no one around.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Official State Fair Commemorative Art

The prize winning poster was designed by Lino Lakes artist Steve Thomas. I like the fun retro look.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Candy Apples and Popcorn 2

Another treated photo of a State Fair food stand taken at the 2011 Fair. I love all the colors of the lights of the Fair at night!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Another photograph of a food stand at the State Fair treated to look like a watercolor painting. The September 5 posting shows the original photograph.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Candy Apples and Popcorn

I took the photo that is the basis of this picture at the 2011 State Fair. I treated the photo on a photo-shop-type website to make it look like a watercolor painting. I think it turned out well. See posting from Sept. 5 for original photo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MN State Fair 2011 - From Dale's Blog

Dale took the above photo of me on one of our two visits to the State Fair this year. The following is written by him and from his blog:

"Joe and I went to the State Fair twice this year, which has never happened before. Once is usually enough but this year we went at the beginning of the Fair's run then went again just this past Friday to celebrate Joe's mom's 70th birthday by taking her to see Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion at the Grandstand."

"The picture above is of Joe outside the Horticulture Building. In Colorado, the State Fair is not part of the shared state culture, so my family never attended, nor did anyone I knew. When I moved here, I realized it is very much part of the culture of the state and almost everyone goes or has gone and everyone knows about it, regardless."

Joe has very fond and long memories of the State Fair, and compared anticipating it and experiencing it much the same way as kids anticipate and experience Christmas. I like this picture of him because his pleasure being at the Fair is just obvious. And it gives him an opportunity to wear his European Man Clutch."

Grandstand 2011

The western sky is still light but it's still just dark enough for the lights to come on.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MN State Fair 2011 - Even More Skyride Photos

The return trip going west yielded some nice pictures of the evening sky. Photos from top: 1. The evening sky. 2. The Grandstand. 3. The Midway.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MN State Fair 2011 - More Skyride Photos

On our first fair trip for 2011 Dale and I took the Skyride. I got some really good pictures as we headed east.

The Giant Slide.

Approaching the Ag/Hort building.

A closer shot of the Ag/Hort building.

Above photos taken Friday August 26, 2011.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011

Today is Labor Day and that means it's the last day of the fair for 2011. I can't believe it's over and that summer is winding down but, I guess, all good things must come to an end. Looking forward to next year already!

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 12 - Goin' Home

After my experience with the deep fried apple pie it was time to go home. It was past 10:30 and many things were closing down. The midway and lots of food booths were still open so bright lights were gleaming everywhere. Here are a couple of stands we passed on the long walk back from the southern grounds of the fair to the parking lots on the northern end near Larpenteur Avenue.

Above photos taken September 2, 2011.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 11 - Deep Fried Apple Pie

On our first trip to the fair this year, Dale and I found a booth that was selling deep fried apple pie. It sounded intriguing but, at the time we discovered it, we had both eaten enough for the day and were not willing to take in any more food. I was bound and determined to try it on our second fair outing for 2011. After the Prairie Home performance, Mom, Dale and I trekked across the grounds to get to the Minneapple Pie booth. It was worth it. The pie was like the ones McDonald's used to sell only 10 times better. You also got your choice of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream to go with it. I went with cinnamon which was a great pairing. Three of the fair's food judges were guests on the Prairie Home performance we had just seen and they sampled about three different fair foods as part of the show. One of the foods they sampled was the same deep fried pie I'm now writing about. They all liked it to one degree or another. One of them even said it had a good "mouth feel", whatever that means. Another, while generally liking it said it had too much crust. I remember leaning over to Mom and saying, "How can you have too much crust? I'd eat it all by itself!" I remember Mom making pie crust cookies with extra pie dough when she made pies years ago. Anyway, the fair's deep fried apple pie was worth seeking out.
Top two photos taken July 26, 2011. Bottom photo taken September 2, 2011.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 10 - PHC Performance

More members of The Royal Academy of Radio Actors including (from left) Tim Russell and Sue Scott. I'm not sure of the name of the woman on the far left but she's very talented. The Guy Noir segment was quite funny. It involved a vegan radical threatening to set of a stink bomb at the fair if all the animals weren't released.
Photo taken September 2, 2011.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 9 - PHC Performance

Although we were 24 rows back, our seats offered a great view of the stage. Garrision Keillor is the luminous figure on the right. The three to the left are members of The Royal Academy of Radio Actors including Tom Keith and Fred Newman.

We were also very close to the jumbo-tron. Above is Garrison Keillor doing what he does so well.
Photos taken September 2, 2011.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 8 - The Evening Sky

This is a shot of the evening sky taken from my seat for A Prairie Home Companion at the State Fair Grandstand. It was a gorgeous late summer evening - perfect weather.
Photo taken September 2, 2011.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 7 - PHC Set Up

We had really good seats for A Prairie Home Companion. I haven't been to a show at the Grandstand for almost 20 years.
Photos taken September 2, 2011.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 6 - PHC

Although I've listened on the radio for many, many years, I've never seen a live performance of A Prairie Home Companion. Mom, Dale and I saw the show at the State Fair Grandstand last night and had a ball. Garrison Keillor was in perfect form and because I'm used to listening without seeing him, it was fun to see his facial expressions along with his delivery. The show regulars including The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and the Royal Academy of Radio Actors were all there along with guests The Jayhawks and violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 5 - Walleye On a Stick

We went to the food building and Mom and I both got the walleye on a stick. It was fantastic. Dale got a gyro sandwich.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 4 - Dale's Gyro

My gyro.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 3 - Corn Dog

Mom got a corn dog.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 2 - Sweet Corn Ice Cream

I got some of the sweet corn ice cream at the Blue Moon stand and it was well worth it. The topping I picked was caramel candied nuts. Delicious.

Photos taken September 2, 2011.

The Fair 2011 (2nd Visit) Part 1 - Prairie Home

Dale, Mom and I went to the fair last night to see Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. It's been a long, long time since I've seen a Grandstand show and even longer since I've been to the fair twice in one season. The show was fantastic (more on that later). I find the above photos adorable and the bottom one confirms Dale's habit of pushing people's button's...
Photos taken September 2, 2011.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Walleye Head Gear

Found this photo in the Strib. Dale and I saw folks with head gear just like this woman is wearing. I believe they were handing these out at the Gander Mountain booth. They're so goofy I think they might be fun to wear!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

This past Saturday I read in the Strib about a place at the State Fair called the Blue Moon Dine-In Theater. I haven't heard of it before but I guess it's been there about 5 years now. This year they're offering sweet corn ice cream which is supposed to be quite good. There are three toppings to choose from which are: a cinnamon-scented blueberry compote, a butter sauce with hints of bacon and, finally, crunchy candied peanuts. I would have sought it out had I known about it on our visit last Friday. Good thing we're planning on going to the fair twice this year!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Skyride Part 1

I love the Skyride! It's one of my favorite things to do at the fair. This photo was taken by me just before Dale and I got in line to buy tickets. We opted for the round trip ride. The green car on the right is leaving the station and the blue car on the left is coming in. We didn't have to wait very long and when our turn came we were put in a green car.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Epiphany Diner

This is the last year for the Epiphany Diner is sad because it's been part of the fair for the last 46 years. I've eaten there and at some of the other church diners before and it really is a down home experience as the fare is very traditional. The St. Bernard's Diner closed its doors a few years ago and now I believe Epiphany is the last one. It's the end of an era for a particular type of food experience at the fair.