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At the Minnesota State Fair

September 9, 2010 - Cindy Votruba

The Minnesota State Fair boasted another record attendance year with 1,776,211 and Ross and I were among that on Sunday. Getting there can be a little long and tedious and then when you are there, it's time to people watch. And boy were there a lot of people at the fair. The weather was great, not too hot and not too cool. It did threaten to sprinkle, but it never started raining.

Of course we got there just in time to look for lunch. I actually headed toward the Deli Express food stand to eat on the cheap. I know it's basically the type of sandwiches you can get at a convenience store, but I was able to get a chicken sandwich and a Coke for $3.50 compared to the $5 Ross spent on a brat, and just the brat. I was still sitting at the stand wondering where Ross was when I heard someone singing David Lee Roth's "Just a Gigolo" on karaoke next door. Yep, found him.

We mainly strolled through a few of the exhibition buildings. I wanted to see the fine arts building which I wasn't able to last year. We also watched a robots demonstration with a few high school robotics teams from around the state, including Marshall. It was fun to see them in action.

I also discovered a new favorite music group, a Swedish band called Abalone Dots. It's made up of four women on the guitar, violin, bass and cello and a couple of other traditional instruments and a guy accompanying them on drums/banjo. They had a great sound and I had to get one of the CDs. But after that, I had to relent and follow Ross to the Old Iron area featuring all sorts of antique tractors and engines. And that's where we spent quite a bit of time. But after that, I picked up a free Harlequin romance/mystery book (don't know why that was at the fair, but hey free is free).

I also wanted to see the butterfly house last year, so I was able to convince Ross to come with me this time (maybe paying his way in too helped). It wasn't as exciting as I hoped. After more than a week of being handled by young children, these poor, battered, broken butterflies were worse for wear. One did land in my hair, the thrill of admission. Ross tried to revive one of the butterflies by breaking off a piece of watermelon that was sitting under a bench and in turn, sloshing a guy with watermelon juice and having one of the workers quickly retrieve the watermelon from us.

Although we went through the food building that had such items as spaghetti and meatballs on a stick and fish tacos, we didn't get as adventurous and had a chicken and artichoke pita for dinner. Which was pretty drippy. After a while, we went to the U of M building where Ross engaged the solar car team members in conversation for what seemed like forever. I headed to the health fair building to get a free UCare bag. Finally, around 7 p.m. or so, we make it to the MPR booth where I immediately drop $42 on a t-shirt, a "Best of Car Talk" CD and a "Heard on NPR" CD. My feet were sore and I was ready to go, but we did make a few more stops after that, watched a little bit of a horse show, looked at some baby pigs and just headed on out of there.

And that's my state fair experience.


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