Minnesota State Fair 2015

IMG_3701Despite telling everyone for the past two weeks that my wife and I were not going to go to the Minnesota State Fair this year, we decided that we wanted something to do today. Our main objection to going had been about how much money it can cost, and how much junk food we’d eat. We decided to have a strategy though of showing up really early in the morning, and sharing every food item that we bought. In the end it worked out great, as we didn’t feel overly stuffed with food, and we spent only half of what I thought we would, including our admission tickets (I think previous years where we had kids with us gave us a false impression about how much we’d spend there with only two people).

We arrived at the park-and-ride around 7:45am so that we could get on the first bus to the fairgrounds. It was a beautiful, cool and dry morning. A tremendous relief from the past couple of weeks of oppressive humidity. We decided to start our breakfast with some cookies and I got some bacon on a stick. Then, since most of the other exhibits weren’t open yet, we headed over to the animal barns to wander around. As we got to the coliseum we discovered that the horse show started promptly at 9, so we settled in and watched about an hour of riding competitions.

IMG_3702We then proceeded to head out to the far end of the fairgrounds and think about what we’d want to have for lunch. Before we got far however, we stopped in the Miracle of Birth center, and we happened to be there just in time to watch a lamb being born! It was really cool to see all the animals that had been born at the fair, including over a hundred piglets.

As we moved on I got to hit the craft beer area and picked up a flight of some Minnesota beer, most of which I hadn’t had before. I’ve been really impressed at how the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has been able to put together a great sampler of Minnesota brewing at it’s finest. There are 6 different flights to choose from every day, and they serve as a great introduction to the state of craft brewing in Minnesota. After downing a bit of beer and looking at more of the horticultural exhibits we moved on towards one of the vendors we had wanted to take a closer look at.

The vendor is a company called Vistabule trailers, and they make these gorgeous teardrop trailers that can be pulled by a car. My wife and I are starting to think about a small trailer as a travel option, especially with how many weekends we end up out at race events during the summer. We got to chat with the builder a bit, and got to climb inside their demo model. These trailers are very impressive and I could certainly see using one while traveling. Something we’re considering for the future.

IMG_3704Around this time we decided that it was a good time to get some proto pups, split a kabob and some cheese curds, and start to wrap up our day. We wandered slowly back to the food building for our lunch (and a bit more beer for me), stopping along the way at anything that interested us. Our journey back to the bus was slow and meandering and we got to hear some dixieland jazz, walk through some more vendor booths, and basically wind down from a really nice morning.

Despite being much cooler and drier today, the sun was still blazing, and by the time we got to the bus stop, and waited 5-10 minutes for it to arrive, I was pretty sure my dome was sunburned. Upon arriving home it was time to slather some aloe on my skin and settle in for a nice mid-day nap. I’m glad we changed our mind and went to the fair this year, it ended up being a great way to cap off a long lazy weekend.

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