by Susan Sey
There are a lot of reasons I love my adopted home state of Minnesota but one of the biggest is the state fair.
We have the world's best state fair. Nothing against your state fair, I'm sure it's lovely. But the MN state fair just makes me happy. It's about five miles from my house, first of all, but there's a free park & ride less than a mile away that runs every fifteen minutes from 8 a.m. until midnight so we bike over there. I'm all about letting Metro Transit do the heavy lifting when it comes to fair traffic and parking.
Then there's the 4H building. I was never in 4H as a kid but I love their projects. (Who knew wool was so versatile? And the seed art!) Plus they put on an adorable little musical every year that usually involves pirates. I don't know what pirates have to do with 4H but I'm in favor.
I also love the competitions. Checking out the blue ribbon cakes, the home-made honey, the preserves & knitted goods. I always thing to myself, "Next year I'm going to enter my cookies," but I never do. I'm an happy amateur.
Then there's the food. Everything you ever wanted to eat (and then some.) On a stick, too. Even foods you didn't think could go on a stick. A few years back the they put mac & cheese on a stick. (This girl's verdict? Meh.) Last year the big deal was chocolate dipped bacon on a stick. (Again, better in theory than in practice.)
This year the big talkers are sweet corn ice cream (yes please) and breakfast on a stick. This consists of a sausage patty dipped in cornmeal waffle batter deep fried & drizzled with maple syrup. Three words: Sign. Me. Up.
Then there's my favorite part. The Milk Run. Sponsored by the Minnesota Dairy Farmers, it's a 5k race the opening weekend of the fair, starting & ending on the fairgrounds. For the price of the race you get a t-shirt, an admission ticket to the fair, some free dairy goods (last year it was yogurt), a ticket to the all-you-can-drink milk booth and a free milkshake. Plus it starts at 7:45 a.m. so you're done at like 8:30. You're a little sweaty but you're at the fair. You'd get sweaty without the 5k. Time to cash in that milk shake ticket & get your fair on while the fair grounds are cool & uncrowded.
That, by the way, is where I am today. The Milk Run kicked off at 7:45 & this year my 8 year old is running it with me. The rest of the family is joining us at the finish line & we're hitting the 4H booth. But not before I check out that breakfast on a stick thing. I'll report back.
How about you? Do you enjoy the fair season? What's your favorite treat on a stick?