A Day at the Fair

Yesterday I wrote about my annual visit to the Minnesota State Fair, focusing on the humorously over-the-top leftism of that obscure genre known as seed art. But I wouldn’t want readers to think that the Fair is anything less than one of the world’s great spectacles. So here is a more balanced look at a day at the Fair.

It actually covers only a thin slice of the Fair. I don’t do rides, and we didn’t venture into the animal barns this year. Nor did we catch a show at the grandstand. So what follows, a critic might say, is just a few random photos. Still, they may convey a sense of what a wonderful event the Fair is.

We arrived early in the morning to beat the crowds. This is what the Fair looks like when it isn’t crowded:

Notice that the booth in the middle belongs to the Growth and Opportunity Party. It was doing a brisk business selling t-shirts, buttons, etc., as well as polling visitors on issues priorities. Repealing Obamacare ranked #1:

The GOP booth includes, at the back, a green oasis that is especially welcome on a warm day. Many believe that Minnesota will indeed go red in 2018:

The Fair’s Agriculture building includes a large seed section. This wall honors Minnesota’s many hybrid seed corn companies and varieties. Most no longer exist, but all played a role in America’s stunning agricultural productivity:

Goods from around the world are for sale at the International Bazaar:

This group of indigenous folk dancers also performed at the International Bazaar. We debated whether the dance was African or Caribbean, or possibly Aztec. The weird thing was that they were dancing to the music of what sounded like a polka band:

We always visit the dairy building, where you can buy excellent milkshakes and watch someone carve a butter sculpture. If these sculptures look similar, it is because they are all of the same person: Princess Kay of the Milky Way. [UPDATE: I am told that the sculptures are not all of the current Princess Kay, but rather of the contenders for the crown, before Kay was selected. So they are, in fact, of different people. Nuances no doubt are hard to achieve when carving butter.] Princess Kay is wearing a parka in the photo, as the sculptures are kept in what is basically a refrigerator:

Even in odd-numbered years, politicians have booths at the fair. The small booth at the center of this photo is Amy Klobuchar’s. The fact that it is located in front of Bob’s Snake Zoo is coincidental:

As the morning wears on, the Fair becomes more crowded:

We ate lunch at a food stand run by the Midway Men’s Club that some say has the best hamburgers and coldest beer at the Fair:

This photo looks toward the Midway (where the rides are, not the Midway area of St. Paul where the Midway Men’s Club is located). In the upper middle of the picture you can see two people being flung into the air by a slingshot-like contraption. There is, as is truly said, no accounting for tastes:

I took a bad selfie with one of my daughters in front of the upper level of the grandstand:

As I said, bad.

The Department of Natural Resources has a nice exhibit that includes this pond, featuring many species of Minnesota fish. Actually, this is as close as I have gotten to a live fish this Summer:

We always spend a fair amount of time in the Fine Arts Building, which features paintings done with oils, etc., rather than seeds, along with sculptures and photographs. We saw a lot of things that I liked. This Minnesota landscape, for example:

This painting of a girl at the ocean reminded me of beach vacations we took years ago:

This sculpture of a dog was amazingly life-like:

This moose is executed in stained glass:

Out of the hundreds of works on display, this photograph of a Lego assembly was the only one I saw with a leftist bent:

I like how the many references to “science” are combined with “save the polar bears.” Right. From the ridiculous to the sublime, let’s conclude with this chair, made almost entirely from baseball bats and gloves:

That would be an ideal perch from which to watch the Minnesota Twins in this year’s baseball postseason. Hope springs eternal, especially at the State Fair.


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