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A Day at the Fair

Today was the final day of the Minnesota State Fair. With today’s temperature in the 60s, following a heat wave that depressed attendance during the Fair’s first week, Minnesotans were out in force:

This was the least political State Fair I can remember. Last year, orange “Vote No” signs and stickers were everywhere, foreshadowing the victory for gay marriage that followed in November. Even for an off year, 2013 was apolitical. Politicians like Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar had booths, but the politicians themselves were not in evidence and activity was desultory. I wore a “Repeal Obamacare” button that we got at the GOP booth throughout the day; it was one of the few overt political expressions that we noticed. The GOP booth, with its “Growth and Opportunity Party” theme:

Even the seed art was apolitical this year. In the past, we have noted the weird fact that commies have more or less taken over the seed art exhibit at the Fair, with portraits of Che Guevara executed in corn, flax seed and black beans, and, of course, anti-George Bush seed screeds. With the exception of one pro-gun control piece, the political stuff was gone this year, in favor of works like this Van Gogh:

Beer, too, is a popular subject for seed art. Surly is a fine local brewery:

We saw a lot of traditional state fair sights, like the building that houses newborn animals. It is called the “Miracle of Birth Center;” apparently they think they can still get away with that. Here, kids are petting a week-old lamb:

Then of course there were the butter sculptures. Just looking at them can give you a heart attack:

We walked through the real art (as opposed to seed art) building. This is downtown Minneapolis in the rain:

Paper hats are big at the Fair. You could probably pick up a hundred of them if you tried. At the Department of Natural Resources building, the girls put on invasive species hats. They depict emerald ash borers:

We saw a lot more, too, and ate some rather appalling foods, including cheese curds–a first for me–and deep-fried cookie dough (Loree and I passed). On the way home, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. I had forgotten that I was still wearing my “Repeal Obamacare” button, until the woman at the checkout counter asked where I got it. We had picked up several at the GOP booth, so my wife gave her one. She told us that she has two younger relatives who are cardiologists; seeing Obamacare coming, they took up permanent residence in Tokyo.

That’s how things are these days: not much talk about politics, but a great deal of worry about the future.

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