Monday, the wife and I took off from work to go visit the Minnesota State Fair. This is a really fun tradition for us, especially when we do it on our terms. That means getting on a shuttle bus, and arriving on the fairgrounds before 9am, mainly so we can beat the crowds (as well as any heat). This year was no exception, as we arrived at the Fair a little before 9, and made our very first stop of the day at the Blue Barn for some breakfast.
One of the other treats that I really enjoy at the Fair is the bacon on a stick. It’s super thick and meaty, and smothered with a light maple glaze. It’s my other traditional breakfast on Fair days. At first I was concerned that the booth was no longer where I expected it. A quick search of the Fair website showed that they moved to bigger and fancier digs. This was cool, except that it also seemed to be much pricer than I remembered.
From there we decided to check out the arts and crafts buildings. One of our good friends, Natalie, took home a couple ribbons for some amazing dresses that she sewed. We got to view those, along with a lot of other really creative arts. We also wandered through the education building where student artwork was displayed, and I paid a visit to my alma mater to sign the guestbook.
We finished up on the NE corner of the Fair by hitting the fine arts and environmental buildings before getting our first decadent treat of the day, some warm apple dumplings with ice cream. From there we started wandering around, with an eventual goal of hitting the coliseum for some dog showing. In particular, we wanted to see sheep herding, and when we arrived we got to view 3-4 sessions. It was really cool to see the trainer and dog work together to herd a flock of three sheep through obstacles, with varying degrees of success.
For lunch I opted for a hot dish on a stick, and a new beer, the 612 Ligonberry Lager. It was a delightful beer, and very refreshing. A nice accomplishment for 612 Brew. Since I had been over at a friends the night before, sampling a LOT of other beers, I opted to stick to just one beer today. Despite being tempted by all sorts of unique options, I felt like I should probably behave.
A bonus highlight of the day was getting to run into our friend Kari and her mom. I was wearing a Rock Steady Running shirt, and she called “Rock Steady Running!” as we walked by. It was only after we turned around that we realized that we all knew each other! It was fun to chat about the upcoming Superior races and our plans for an incredible weekend.
We wandered around a bit more and shared a few more sweet treats before grabbing our bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies and heading back home. Around the time we were leaving the crowds were getting much more intense. This was our sign that we were done for the day, and we hopped the bus home feeling happy and satisfied. All in all, it was a great day at the Fair again, and I’m glad we’ve got our system nailed down to enjoy it the way we want to.