A Day at the Fair

Over the years, I have chronicled on this site my visits to the Minnesota State Fair, one of America’s great spectacles. I have photographed seed art, butter sculptures, and much more. In years gone by, I did radio broadcasts from the Fair. And for the last two years, my organization, American Experiment, has had a booth at the Fair for one Saturday. We have a prime location near the Grandstand.

The sheer volume of people at the Fair is dizzying. I don’t know how many people were there today. 150,000? 175,000? [Update: I guessed low. Yesterday’s Fair attendance was 213,000.]

We are the country’s most populist think tank. Hence our presence at venues like the Fair:

The key to traffic at a fair booth is free merchandise. So we have a wheel you can spin to win American Experiment-branded items, from key chains and corn cob holders to sunglasses and bags to t-shirts. Last year we gave away around 1,500 items. Today, the wheel spun non-stop from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I am pretty sure we broke last year’s record.

By the way, that is my seven-year-old granddaughter running the spinning wheel. She worked our booth last year and couldn’t wait to do it again.

This year, our legislature almost doubled car tab fees, probably the single most unpopular thing they did. So we drew fairgoers to our booth by giving away chances to win $250 toward their car tab fees:

Along with the branded swag, we gave away many, many copies of Thinking Minnesota, our quarterly magazine. Lots of people approached us to say how much they appreciate our work, that they recently attended one of our events, or they get our magazine. One thing about being out in a crowd of 150,000 or more is that you are reminded that our current politics are not a conflict of right versus left, but rather a conflict between normal and abnormal, or sane versus insane. And still, despite the Left’s best efforts, most people are normal and sane.

American Experiment is a grass roots organization supported by 10,000 individual donors. If you would like to support our populist mission, you can donate here.

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