Thursday, September 03, 2009

A revolution needed at Minnesota State Fair

I think I agreed last night to go to the Minnesota State Fair on Monday. Yes, I think I actually agreed to spend a precious Monday off, a holiday to boot, walking around a crowded, semi-paved temporary city in the middle of St. Paul. Not even a free thing. No, instead I'll have to pay eleven bucks for the privilege to walk around a bunch of crowded streets populated for only twelve days each year.

I've never understood the concept of paying to gain admission to a place where everything you want to do inside costs yet more money. What is free inside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds? There is some interesting entertainment. I know of a few free stages where you can watch bands. A few radio stations and TV stations are at the Minnesota State Fair. I, for one, always make it a point to stop during lunch time at the KFAN display because that's when Dan Cole The Common Man is on the air and despite the station being billed as a sports station - he doens't talk much sports and he's actually entertaining because he's so self-deprecating. He makes people think he's the joke but in reality the joke's on them.

I guess I could park my ass on the curb and watch the daily parade. Maybe I'll pick up another yard stick or check out some of the quarter-million-dollar farm equipment on the ever-shrinking machinery hill. But the real draw of the Minnesota State Fair is the food. Face it, you know the only reason you go to the fair is because it's an escape from your never-ending diet and the simple fact that everything is fried is just another excuse to let go for a day. But the cost of the food is harder to stomach than the gut full of greasy goodness you'll have at the end of the day.

I'm listening to the radio right now and the host is mocking his intern for having paid four bucks for a cup of root beer. That makes the all-you-can-drink milk for a buck a great deal (if you don't end up puking later). There is a place serving a relatively decent breakfast for three bucks but something like that is the exception. Oh sure, I complain plenty but I'll be waiting in a line of twenty sweaty fair-goers as I eye some six dollar cheese curds. I'll reluctantly pry open my wallet when, at the end of the day, my old lady looks longingly at me as she suggests getting a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies - for just $14. I'll hold back even though I desperately want to tell her that $14 would make about sixty dozen chocolate chip cookies at home and they'd taste just the same.

Maybe it's time for a revolution in fair food prices. Hey, everyone deserves to make a living but do you really need to charge five bucks for a soda so you can send your kids to Harvard? I have a kid too (at 9 months she should get int eh gate at the fair for free, right?) but she's destined for Hennepin Tech only because I don't have a food booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

By now you should know the drill. Check out the latest in Minnesota happenings - via photos - at MinnPics!


buffalodick said...

Well, go and enjoy, or don't go. Americana is represented by these events! They're hokey, overpriced, but a great photo op, buddy! Take pictures, and capture the rubes, the bored, the stupid, the rich people slumming, and make it a post! Good photography practice, and possibly a buck or two to be made!

Beth said...

as far as I'm concerned, the ONLY reason to go to ANY state fair, is the food. the food is freakin AWESOME! I don't care if I have to pay $8 for a small cone of fries....throw some vinegar on those babies, and they're the best fries you've ever had. Funnel cakes? YES! Gyros? YES! italian sausage w/peppers? YES!!! GOD YES!!!!

Rick said...

I guess in Canada the equivalent would be the "provincial exhibition". I expect they're very similar to a "state fair." Rides, games, food, "Miss ____" contest, tractor pulls, farm animals, 4H-ers, etc.

I used to love them when I was a kid, and my own kid enjoyed going to one the last time I was home in Nova Scotia (it's quite different from anything I've seen in Japan). It also reminded me that, yeah, I used to have a mullet, too, once upon a time...

I know what you mean about the price-gouging, though.

Moe said...

As much as I love the food at the fair, I could go and not spend a dime and still have a lot of fun.

Largest Pumpkin in the State
4-H kids
Giant Boars
The animals in the barns
Grandstand crap
Free music
People watching
Crop Art
Fine Arts Building
100 different kinds of jam competition
Walking the Midway at night
Looking at the different tractors available

Stuck In MN said...

Im w/moe- I don't go for the food (and yes it is obscenely overpriced, and generally crappy w/exception of the fried cheese curds).
I go to stare dumbly at the animals. I keep thinking a horse will kick me one of these years