I’ve met people over the years who approach me in whispered voice, “I’m sorry but I don’t like the Minnesota State Fair.” I’m a mom who loves food, the Minnesota State Fair and all things Minnesota. But I always respond to the Fair naysayers the same way, “It’s okay, you don’t have to like the Minnesota State Fair.”
I don’t try and initially, convince them. It’s like getting involved in a divisive political debate. I know your thoughts, you know mine, and really there isn’t anything you can say to change how I feel.
I absolutely love the Minnesota State Fair.
I won’t force you to eat Lutefisk and I certainly won’t force you to love the Minnesota State Fair. What I will say is that the Minnesota State Fair is not just about crowds, spending lots of money, people watching, deep-fried foods, or state fair cookies. Which usually end up being the reasons people tell me they just aren’t fans.
Just as there are many reasons to be proud you are a Minnesotan, there are just as many reasons to attend the fair and the multitude of experiences you could have. Here are some of my reasons I love the Minnesota State Fair that make it a unique and special place that is worthy of your liking.
- Pick from over 500 State Fair food items, including 25 Minnesota wines and 150 craft beers. Some special beers are only available at the Minnesota State Fair!
- Meet a legislator from around our state and have a real face-to-face conversation about issues that matter to you.
- Witness your child’s wonder and excitement as you take a ride together on the Space Tower, Skyride, Giant Slide, or Ye Old Mill.
- Enjoy the free entertainment including 900 shows by 100 acts. There are concerts, parades, interactive outdoor learning opportunities like Alphabet Forest, Math-On-A-Stick and the Eco Experience Nature Play Area.
- Experience the performing arts and cultures of Minnesota through Somali storytelling, Taiko drumming, and flamenco dancing.
- Shop for one-of-a-kind, unique, Minnesota-made items.
- Stroll through the Creative Activities and Education buildings, checking out the talents of so many Minnesotans, exhibiting their artwork, sewing, writing, and baking.
- If you are a city family and the closest you get to a farm is the farmer’s market, witness live animal births in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center, walk through the barns, sit down for a 4-H livestock show, play farm at Little Farm Hands or check out a real tractor on Machinery Hill.
- And if you are curious about what is grown on Minnesota’s farms, check out the Agriculture Horticulture Building to eat the most amazing frozen apple slushie and check out 1,000-pound pumpkins.
When I had my daughter I thought deeply about the family traditions I wanted to start. I had a new baby, a fresh start to decide what we’d celebrate each year. We visited the Minnesota State Fair days before her birth. The fair was always special to me, but now that my daughter’s birthday is around that same time, it is a family tradition. To me, the Minnesota State Fair represents celebrating where we live, finding joy in others’ joy, trying new foods and activities just for the fun of it, and most importantly, it is our own family tradition and I love it.
It’s okay if you don’t like the Minnesota State Fair, but I hope you’ll give into the wonder, and let our state convince you there is more to the Minnesota State Fair than you think.