I've come up with a list of 10 things I remember about the Minnesota State Fair from my youth.
- I remember taking the bus to the fair with my older brother. He showed me the ropes on all the free and cheap attractions, including all the milk you could drink for a dime. Now it's a dollar.
- If the races were running, I remember the sounds of the Race Track roaring no matter where you were on the grounds. When we lived on Hubbard, I think I remember hearing them at my house as well.
- Tom Thumb Mini Donuts. Nothing like them. Get the original, all the rest are fakes and will disappoint.
- I saw a couple of concerts at the fair. First was Kansas, which was a great show for the money. They started out with tuning in a cacophony which led to the Bassoonist's instrument shooting like a bazooka. Um, yeah, it scaret me real good. Second was Rod Stewart, who put on a great show as well. Kicking soccer balls into the audience.
- Irvy the Whale exhibit. "If he isn't real, we'll give you the truck!" The truck noise was piped over a speaker loudly, all day long. Super annoying.
- The good foods. Not to be missed - cheese curds, foot long hot dogs, Pronto Pups (Corn dogs but better), Milk Shakes at the Dairy Building, and Root Beer at the Root Beer Barrel stand.
- The Space Needle Ride. Rode it a couple times in my life. Not crazy about heights, but it was pretty cool.
- I remember Tom playing the cranes in the Midway trying desperately to win a Zippo lighter. Think he might have gotten one or two.
- The Ye Olde Mill ride. Everyone I ever rode it with insisted on putting their hands on the side and stopping it until the boat behind you bumped. They mostly did that because it was a rule that you shouldn't. So we did.
- Seeing Popeye at the Midway. After listening to the hawker try and get people to buy tickets for a half hour, Popeye the "freak" popped his eyes way farther out his head than was healthy. I think I skipped getting a ticket after that.
It will be good to see the old and new a the Minnesota State Fair. I plan to eat myself to the stuff point, because, well that's what you do at the fair.