I realize this is my own personal moral failing, but I cannot find anything to recommend the State Fair. I know a lot of people love it and some even go there every year. My last trip was probably 20+ years ago and I don't care if the next one is at least that far into the future.
I saw in the paper that there were 150,000 people at the fair on Saturday when it was cold and rainy so I don't even dare to think how many were there yesterday. I heard a rumor at one point that they closed the entrances because it was full. How full would the State Fair have to be to be full?
Update: Attendance for Sunday was 210,570. Saturday's attendance was 215,847. That's a lot of people.
Not of my own choosing, I spent the entire day at the fair yesterday. I left my house at 8 a.m. and it was about 7:30 when I returned. These are my cranky ass comments.
- We ran into traffic about 45 minutes away from home. Bad traffic. Cars that drive very fast and weave in and out of lanes. They could lose a tire, you know.
- We paid $15 to park the car, which at the time seemed like a good idea, and truly, was not a bad idea. Parking and driving in the State Fair area is a nightmare and the sooner you can abandon your vehicle, the better.
- We moved in a river of humanity (and giant strollers) onto the fairgrounds, past people hawking water and pop and souvenirs and cheese curds. It was like walking into battle.
- I saw more tattoos in one day than I've seen in a long time. Sometimes all on the same person...or family.
- I saw two people carrying six-foot Rastafarian Bananas. I'm sure they will get them home and wonder what the hell they were thinking. You can put Rastafarian Banana in google and find a picture of it it you're interested.
- I want to know what people do with all that free crap they collect and cart around all day. I saw a woman with four plastic five gallon pails from Home Depot that they must been giving away somewhere. Why would you drag four pails around the fair strapped to the back of your stroller? The mind boggles.
- I sat under a tent most of the day and talked to people who went past. I ventured out from time to time for the facilities and once for lunch, but otherwise, it was shady and protected so I stayed there.
- Lunch. I braved the throngs and went in search of food. I have read that there is some good food at the fair but I wasn't of a mind to seek it out among the hordes. I went into the first place that looked promising and bought a crab cake and a beer. The beer was good but very expensive and the crab cake was mediocre. I didn't have to wait in a long line.
- There was a knifing somewhere just after we left. Did you know the State Fair has its own police force?
- I wanted to eat one cookie but the only sell them by the bucketful. I thought about chasing someone down and offering to buy one for a dollar. I suppose it's more economical for them to sell five pounds of cookies in one swoop.
And, in the interest of fairness, these are the happy thoughts from the day.
- I rode up with two very nice people, Kemmie and Joanne, who will soon be our neighbors.
- I sat in a tent all day and talked to people about River Rock. Most of them were very nice.
- I shared my space with Kerry, a young woman who is a graphic designer. We took turns leaving our stuff and going out to forage.
- It was not unbearably hot and there was a good breeze. I was in the shade and I had a chair.
- The bathroom facilities were more than adequate and fairly clean, considering the numbers of people they serve.
- The Minnesota Cooks event was very interesting and I learned some things about grass-fed vs. corn-fed beef from the rancher at Thousand Hills Cattle Company.
- Senator Al Franken was one of the celebrity tasters when River Rock's chefs were on the stage. He loved the basil lemonade!
I've tried to make this list as long as the other one but I just can't do it. I'd say all in all, it was not a bad day, just long. I'm a person who doesn't like travel, traffic, crowds, and loud noise but I survived...mind and body in tact. Here's to the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
This is my lunch. Summit EPA and crab cakes. It's also where I spent most of the day.