Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gopher Glasses 2014

When I showed up at the Fair with Mike and Charisse on August 23, we saw a bunch of people walking around in these wild shades. I turned out there are the cartoon eyes of the University of Minnesota's gopher mascot. I decided I had to have a pair. Charisse and I looked everywhere and finally asked someone where they got them. It turns out it was a U of M booth not far from the Education Building. When we arrived they were, alas, out of stock. We were told they'd be handing out free backpacks soon. I politely declined. I didn't want a backpack. I wanted gopher glasses.

Photo from the internet.

State Fair 2014 - View of the Midway from Martha's

video

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fair Attendance


Found the above information at the History and Heritage Center. 

It turns out 2014 has been a record breaking year for attendance at the Fair. 1.8 million people attended The Fair this year. That's 34, 000 more people than the previous record. The surge was likely due to the new West End Market and also better overall weather than last year.

This was a record breaking year for me as well. I made it to The Fair three times this year. That's a first for me!

Third Visit 2014 - Giant Inflatable Dog

Sunday, August 31, 2014
I had to say goodbye to my favorite giant inflatable dog before leaving.

Third Visit 2014 - Giant Sing Along

Sunday, August 31, 2014
On the walk back to the parking lot, Dale and I just had to stop by the Giant Sing Along as we had so much fun there last year. We stopped by as they were about to begin Bennie and the Jets by Elton John. Sorry to say that this song just not lend itself well to sing-along. We couldn't figure out how it made the playlist. Last year we caught them playing We Are Young by Fun and Don't Stop Believing by Journey. These songs worked. 

Third Visit 2014 - The Giant Gopher Part 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014
Wow. Three times to the Fair this year. My most EVER. And no, Dale, the gopher did not have any corn stuck between his teeth. I was just kidding.

Third Visit 2014 - The Giant Gopher Part 1

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - Creative Activities Building

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - DNR Building

Sunday, August 31, 2014
I've never been to the DNR Building but we decided to give it a try since it was on the Minnesota Historical Society's walking tour of the Fair. We found out that the building, which resembles a classic looking lodge, turned 80 years old this year and ran into a couple of different versions of Smokey the Bear.

Third Visit 2014 - The Blue Barn

Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Blue Barn is another food option in the West End Market. We didn't make it there this year but will make a point of it next year.

Third Visit 2014 - Lulu's Public House

Sunday, August 31, 2014

While in the West End Market, Dale and I stopped for a bite to eat at Lulu's. We both got the walleye tacos. They were wonderful. Fried walleye and cole slaw in a soft shell taco. Mike got the same thing when I was here with him.

Third Visit 2014 - Christmas Ornament

Sunday, August 31, 2014
These are some metal Christmas ornaments we found being sold in the West End Market.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - The Old Heritage Square


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - The Old Heritage Square



Third Visit 2014 - The Old Heritage Square

Sunday, August 31, 2014
I had never been to Heritage Square when it existed as described above. I didn't even know it was there.

Third Visit 2014 - History and Heritage Center

Sunday, August 31, 2014
From another exhibit at The History and Heritage Center. Old photo is from 1928.

Third Visit 2014 - History and Heritage Center

Sunday, August 31, 2014
Photo from 1976

Third Visit 2014 - History and Heritage Center


Sunday, August 31, 2014
I was excited to spend a little more time in the West End Market than I had last time. Dale was really excited to see it. The History and Heritage Center had a lot of fun stuff to see and a lot of great information.

Third Visit 2014 - Crazy Maze

Sunday, August 31, 2014
Didn't go in the Crazy Maze but I had to show Dale where Charisse and I got the video footage we texted him from my first visit this year.

Third Visit 2014 - Blue Moon Dine-In Theater


Sunday, August 31, 2014
The sweet corn ice cream I got on my last visit was so good I just had to have more. Dale and I stayed long enough to sit down and catch a Daffy Duck cartoon in the theater.

Third Visit 2014 - Christmas Tree

Sunday, August 31, 2014
First-prize winning Christmas tree from Happy Land Tree Farms.

Third Visit 2014 - Seed Sacks 3

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Take a close look at some of these.

Third Visit 2014 - Seed Sacks 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - Seed Sacks 1

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Don't ask me why I think seed sacks are so cool. They just are.

Third Visit 2014 - First Prize Corn



Third Visit 2014 - Crop Art 3

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Third Visit 2014 - Crop Art 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sad to loose Robin Williams this year.

Third Visit 2014 - Crop Art 1

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I've always been a big Felix the Cat fan.

Third Visit 2014 - Agriculture Horticulture Building





Sunday, August 31, 2014

Next we stopped by the Agriculture Horticulture Building to get a look at the Crop Art and find the prize winning Christmas tree.

Third Visit - DFL Booth

Sunday, August 31, 2014

We stopped by the DFL booth. I met the candidate for Minnesota Lieutenant Govenor, Tina Smith. Before we left I had to get a picture with Hillary.

Third Visit 2014 - Sunflower

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I love sunflowers. You can see the Sky Glider in the distance.

Third Visit 2014 - Giggles and Sparks Trailers


Sunday, August 31, 2014

After getting our tickets we walked by my favorite dog and then Giggles Campfire Grill. Giggles is where I had the excellent walleye mac and cheese a couple of days ago. The inflatable dog is at the Sparks Trailers stand. The guy there told me I wasn't allowed the take a picture of the dog. I asked why and he laughed and said, "because it's classified."

Third Visit 2014 - Dale

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dale hasn't been feeling well lately so he surprised me when he said he wanted to accompany me to the Fair with me today. This was his first trip this year but my third. We took the Larpenteur Avenue route and parked at the north end of the grounds. Gorgeous day today. Quite a difference from when Mom and I went a couple days ago.

Second Visit 2014 - Fireworks

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fireworks at the Grandstand after the Prairie Home performance.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Second Trip 2014 - A Prairie Home Companion

Friday, August 29, 2014

Second Trip 2014 - A Prairie Home Companion

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mom and I went to see A Prairie Home Companion at the Grandstand.

Second Visit 2014 - Sweet Martha's Cookies

When Mom and I got to the Fair we stopped by Giggles Campfire Grill which is up on the north end of Machinery Hill. I got the walleye mac & cheese and Mom got the walleye cakes. I thought they were both delicious. It started to sprinkle so we ducked in the John Deere shelter where Mom ran into a friend from church named Gary.

Next stop, corn dogs and we each got one. I haven't had one in a few years and it was yummy. I like mine with mustard and Mom likes hers plain.

After that we stopped by the Blue Moon Dine-In Theater where I got some sweet corn ice cream. It tasted like and ice cream version of a corn muffin and it had some cereal sprinkled it as a topping. I think they used Cap'n Crunch. Mom didn't get any but I gave her a taste and she loved it.

Sweet Martha's Cookies was nearby and when Mom saw the crowd lined up there she asked what the big deal was. I told her what it was and she said she had never heard of it which was surprising since the place has gotten a lot of local TV coverage lately due to it being open over 30 years and because it was recently featured on the CBS Evening News. They sell chocolate chip cookies by the bucket-full for 15 dollars. Mom said she only wanted to try one. I told her that I didn't think they sold them that way and that it looked like the smallest order you could get was a fairly good sized paper cone that was chock full. Mom said we should look for someone walking by with a bucket and just take one, which, if you knew Mom, is something she would never do. She decided to ask someone if she could have one which, again, if you knew Mom, is something she would NEVER do. Well, she did. A man walked by and asked if she could have one. He smiled and said yes acknowledging that it was a ridiculous amount of cookies. Mom tried one and offered me a bit. It was warm and pretty good. The man asked if I wanted one of my own because, as he said with a smile, "I have more than enough." I told him I didn't and we parted ways. The cookies were almost as thin as potato chips and Mom said they probably were as good as they were because they were warm and wouldn't be too special once they cooled off.