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.

Lillian Colton

Following is the obituary for Lillian Colton from the Owatonna, Minnesota People's Press and is dated March 22, 2007. The obituary was written by Jeffrey Jackson.
"Famed Owatonna crop artist Lillian Colton, whose work was displayed prominently at the Minnesota State Fair and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, died Tuesday at her home, her family announced"
"She was 95"
"Colton, who was also a long-time superintendent of the fine arts at the Steele County Free Fair, had gained a national and even international reputation for her work, which used parts of plants, including seeds, stems and other structures, to produce art."
"She first entered her art work in competition at the Minnesota State Fair in 1965. In her second year of competition, she earned a second-place ribbon. In 1973, she won 'Best of Show' for the fair and earned 12 such 'Best of Show' awards from the state fair before retiring from competition in 1982."
"Since that time, she worked for the state fair as a demonstrator of crop art."
"'They put her on the payroll,' said her son Jon Colton of Owatonna."
I took the above photo at the 2011 State Fair. In the picture are a few of the many works of Lillian Colton which were on loan by her family. I've always enjoyed looking at the crop art. I don't know if it's because I'm fascinated that people can sit around and make art out of plants or that it's just kitschy or both.

More Crop Art from Friday's Visit Part 2

More Crop Art from Friday's Visit Part 1

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Day After

Wow. Yesterday's fair food sure tasted good yesterday. I didn't feel so great today. Dale noticed the same thing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 12 - The Grandstand

I'm looking forward to seeing Garrison Keillor at the Grandstand a week from today. Dale and Mom are going with me.
Photo taken 8-26-11

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 11 - The Midway

Dale spent some time looking at the fast moving rides at the Midway. He said it actually made him feel a little woozy. I couldn't spend more than a second watching them spin around.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 10 - Space Tower

I made Dale stop (foot) traffic while I got this shot of the Space Tower. He's quite a guy.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 9 - Skyride

This ride is one of my favorites as it's just plain fun!

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 8 - The Crowd

This picture speaks for itself.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 7 - Baby Animals

We stopped by the Miracle of Life barn. The little ducklings were very fuzzy and very active. The woman that was watching the baby lamb said the lamb was only two days old.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 6 - Mini Donuts

The mini donuts are my favorite. I can't remember a State Fair where I haven't gotten them although I think this was the first time EVER that I couldn't finish the whole bag!

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 5 - Butterheads

In the Dairy building Dale got some yogurt and I got a chocolate malt. We also saw the butterhead sculpture of Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 4 - Ag/Hort Building

Dale and I also saw some great crop art and some vintage seed bags in the Agriculture/Horticulture building.

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 3 - Ag/Hort Building

Top photo: One of the entrances to the Agriculture/Horticulture building.
Middle photo: Prize winning corn.
Bottom photo: Prize winning apples.
I don't know how they pick the winners because they all look good to me!

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 2 - Misc. Photos

Top photo: Snelling Avenue entrance
Middle photo: Fairborn
Bottom photo: Space Tower

The Fair 2011 (First Visit) Part 1 - Corn Dogs

When Dale and I first got to the fair today we headed straight for the food. We got to the corn dog stand at about 6:25 p.m.

MN State Fair 2011 Day 2

In this morning's Strib there was a photo of the State Fair's Giant Slide with the caption:

"The Giant Slide is a staple at the State Fair, just as the State Fair is a staple of summer's end in Minnesota. The fair, which opened Thursday, runs through Labor Day."

I believe I've only tried the Giant Slide once way back when I was a just a kid. I was probably about 6 years old so it would have been in the early 1970's. I went by myself as Mom, Dad and Sam didn't want to go. As you can see in the above photo, you need to walk up a long set of stairs. At the top of the slide is a landing with a bunch of burlap potato sacks. You grab a sack to slide on on your way down. Once you're up the only way down is the slide unless you want to push through all the folks on the crowded set of stairs. I had second thoughts once I made it to the top but, being a good mid-westerner, I didn't want to chance bothering anyone by pushing my way back down the stairs. I grabbed a sack and down I went. I hated it. I felt like the air was being pushed out of me as I went over every bump. Oddly, despite this bad experience, I still have fond memories of the Giant Slide.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MN State Fair 2011 Day 1

Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair for 2011. Dale and I were sitting on the porch last night remarking how much the weather was feeling like "state fair weather." Although it still gets quite warm during the day, the afternoon temperatures feel cooler, the air feels dryier and the days are just shorter. To me the afternoon and evening sun has a more golden and hospitable look to it. We're looking forward to going to the fair tomorrow afternoon after work.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gedney Pickles

Gedney is a Minnesota company that's been producing pickles since 1881. In 1991 the company launched two State Fair Pickles that were made from actual prize winning recipes. The Kosher Dills recipe belonged to Genevieve Spano and the Bread & Butter Pickles recipe belonged to Nita Schemmel. In 1994 the company also begins producing jams made from four different State Fair blue ribbon recipes. I haven't seen a television commercial for Gedney Pickles recently but the jingle is still stuck in my head: "Gedney...It's a Minnesota pickle. Gedney...It's a Minnesota State Fair pickle..."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quote by Author Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling has been attending the Minnesota State Fair for 48 years. Here's what he had to say about corn dogs:

"One year, I was driving by the fair, rushing to a meeting, and I just had to have a corn dog. I paid for a ticket and ran to the nearest corn-dog stand. When I ran out, I couldn't find my car."

Oh well, in my opinion it'd all be worth it for a corn dog.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quote by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobachar

Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, has attended the fair for 47 years. The following is a recent quote:

"I can give a 'best of' tour that hits eight must-see spots in less than an hour. In 2008, when the Republican National Convention was here, I took the Republican senators on my tour - of course, I made sure to steer clear of the DFL booth that time around."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Garrison Keillor Quote

I read in Minnesota Monthly magazine recently that Garrison Keillor has attended the fair 68 times. He was quoted as saying:

"I enjoy watching th 4-H kids show their animals and perform. I once saw a Broadway revue with teenagers singing showtunes. It was completely naive and wonderful; I'm a sucker for that."

I've seen some of these 4-H performances and they are sometimes a little corny but always completely endearing.