And I Wasn’t Even That Full Afterwards

Very little style to be found in this post, my friends. But since some of you hail from far off lands, and since I have bragged endlessly about the unparalleled awesomeness of this event, I am going to indulge in a ridiculously long photo essay about our trip to the Minnesota State Fair yesterday.

Although I am a picky eater who does her best to maintain a balanced diet, I do, in fact, have a healthy appetite. Here, let me prove it to you.

This is me with a donut batter-dipped, deep fried Milky Way served on a stick. And milk. This was breakfast. At 9 a.m.

It basically tastes like the world’s most fantastic, warm, chocolate-filled donut.

Because a candy bar covered in donuts isn’t quite sweet enough, they dip it in powdered sugar, too. And I never fail to slob it all over myself.

Husband Mike prefers actual donuts to donut-encased candy, so he grabbed some Tiny Tims. They prepare them right in front of your eyes and they are hot and sugary and melt in your mouth.

As I mentioned, Husband Mike’s photo got into the Fine Arts competition this year, which is a HUGE deal. Here it is in its fab red frame. He did not win a ribbon of any sort, which incensed me. Especially as the first place photo was a sappy image of a Halloween garland woven into a white picket fence. Bleargh. But overall, it was a great year in the Fine Arts Building. I only saw a handful of pieces that made me think, “How did THAT get in?!?”

We were pretty hungry after that, so Mike got a footlong hotdog, and I got a corndog. Then it was on to the Agriculture Building.

So, seed art, right? There was this lovely woman named Lillian Colton who used to do extremely intricate portraits of famous folk using various types of seeds as her medium. She passed away a few years ago, but her portraits are still displayed.

Some slightly cruder seed art also makes it in. The gun says, “Tasers kill,” which will, no doubt, aggravate Imelda Matt.

I adore the vintage seed sacks. So colorful. I always want to steal a few, but have no idea what I’d do with them once pilfered.

I love the honeys. Wait, did that sound creepy?

We were pretty hungry after that, so we stepped out of the Ag Building to get some batter fried cheese curds. A State Fair tradition!

Then we ducked back in to see the giant pumpkins. The prize winner was 834 pounds this year.

Then it was on to see the butter heads.

Each year at the fair, several beauty queens receive the title Princess Kay of the Milky Way. As you can see from the placard above, all winners get their likenesses carved from 90 pound blocks of butter while sitting in a rotating freezer for 6 to 8 hours.

Pretty amazing, no?

Did I mention that a lot of people attend this fair?


Next up: ANIMALS!

Mike pointed out that many of the chickens had really lovely patterns in their feathers, which would make gorgeous fabrics. And I agree.

This is from a guinea hen.

The goats had not yet arrived, much to my disappointment. We also peeked in at the cows, but it’s kind of a boring barn. The cows all face in towards each other, so it’s just long lines of cowbutts. No petting allowed. Boo.

The sheep, however, were totally pettable.

Although, some of them frightened us with their Klan-like garb.

And there was STYLE to be had in the Sheep Barn! The teens who show livestock in competition are made to dress up. We saw a very surly looking girl in a black strapless dress, but also this adorable young lady. I caught her mid-sentence so she looks a little odd, but believe me, she was cute as a button. And, of course, please note her awesome coat and scarf, which matches that of her sheep. If she doesn’t win, it’ll be a crime.

We were pretty hungry after that, and saw these gents and their minihorse racing carts on our way to the most important event of the visit.

The bucket of fries.

I really love fries, you guys.

Mind you, Husband Mike helped. But I think I did most of the eating. When you order at that counter, you can see the poor, hot, greasy teens putting fresh, whole potatoes through a mill, frying them immediately, and then dishing them out in great heaps to happy consumers. It’s a sight that brings tears to my eyes.

Not documented here: The menacing geese and highly vocal ducks in the Poultry Barn, the Swine Barn’s 1,270 pound boar, our ride on the 95-year-old tunnel of love called Ye Old Mill, weird shopping at the Coliseum where Husband Mike got some custom sunglass clips made on the spot, and the nitrogen-frozen ice cream we had at 3 p.m. before heading back to the car.

We’ll be going back on Thursday to visit the goats and see the llamas run the obstacle course. My friends A Click in the Dark and No Name Slob tell me that there will be a fake forest and fake rain and other such scary crap for the llamas to contend with. I can’t WAIT.

  • Cal

    I <3 state fair food. Cheese curds are always a must for me, too, and I'm surprised you didn't swing by Sweet Martha's Cookies. Two random tidbits: My (distant) cousins own the fry stands and Sweet Martha is an actual person, Martha Olsen. I went to high school with her daughter. I don't think I've ever actually paid for fries or cookies…everyone working at those stands is either a relative or a former classmate. Ha! Good stuff!

  • drwende

    We’re going on Thursday, so if while in the goat barn you see this strange tall woman with a bearded guy staring at you like she thinks she might know you, that’s us.

    There’s a lot more pseudo-gourmet food to try this year than I remember back in the 1990s…

  • Sharon Rose

    Wow, what a fun packed day out you had, plus all those goodies!! Although I adore practically all foods, I’m not sure I would want the deep fried milky way bar, but the cheese curds sound very yummy-we don’t have anything like that over here!! The pictures you took were stunning and also the art you viewed was great!!

  • enc

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so happy. What a great smile!

  • enc

    I wrote my last comment after the first photo, and before I’d finished reading, just so I could get one in before 400 other people did.

    Now, I have to add, butter sculptures? Wow.

    And I can’t believe your hubbo didn’t get proper recognition for his photography. What a rook.

    AND, I keep noticing this in your running commentary “We were pretty hungry after that . . . “

    I love it.

  • K.Line

    Food on a stick – I love it!

    And butter sculptures – love them too!

    What a fun post!

  • Hammie

    I’m so jealous. I want food on a stick, Butter sculpture of what looked like Chelsea Clinton (I reckon they changed it after Obama won pre-selection), SEED PICTURES Of Tazers And a girl and goat in matching outfits. Tell me: did they have any dyed colored chicks? Or is that just an Ekka/Melbourne Show tradition?
    Oh thankyou, but now I gotta have an alker seltza…

  • skgillespie

    oooh, butter sculptures. I want one. Nothing like shaving a a little off Princess Kays bangs for your crumpets.

    Glad you had fun :)

  • Imelda Matt

    OMG!!! It’s even better than I could have imagined! I’m firing up the G5, roll out the sleeping bag…Imelda’s coming to the fair!

  • Ally

    Oh how I love a good state fair. Kentucky has one of the best but it’s always so freakin hot (95+) and I’ve not been in two years. They’re also committing highway robbery by charging $8/person plus $5/car to park AND you might not even get a spot – wtf?

    This post summarized everything I love best with the exception of quilts and handknits – I’m a sucker for those too! Thanks for sharing this :)

  • Budget Babe

    good stuff! reminds me of the Big E here in new england. last summer we had fried dough (which i think we call funnel cake in the midwest), fried vegetables (so healthy, right), and sampled goodies from each new england state (lobsta roll, clam chowder, fried clams, salt water taffy, fudge, the list goes on and on). oh, and LOTS of beer :)

  • Pamcasso

    fun! I haven’t been to a state fair since I was like 12. I forgot to pick up the goldfish I won at the end of the day, sorry fishy!

    That milky way thing is making me salivate like Homer Simpson, and also, the butter people- didn’t know about that until like two days ago, I’m reading a book by Bill Geist where he wrote about butter cows made for Iowa’s state fair. Apparently they also made a Butter Shawn Johnson (that gymnast) this year!

  • Kelly

    I’m so confused with the world. I’ve had your blog in my google reader for some time now, but when I came to your actual blog page to comment on todays’ entry, I find some (like this one) that I’ve never even seen before. Why must you ruin me, Google Reader?!