Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MN State Fair

Jarrad Nickolite: Facility Services Manager

Hello from the West Metro,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and have crammed in as much as you could this year.  I say this, because that's exactly what I've done.

I have lived in the state of Minnesota for 7 years now, and have done a wide variety of things since I have been here.  However, there have been a few things that have escape me during my time here, the MN State Fair and the Renaissance Festival.  -Not this year!

Around this time, each year, my customers always ask me if I am going to the State Fair.  My typical response has been no, I already have other plans and won't be able to make it.  Then, they would ask me if I've ever been?  My response, very embarrassed, "no, I have never been to the MN State Fair".  Not anymore though.  I did it and had a really good time too!

I'm originally from Nebraska, and of course the county fairs were a big thing growing up.  The thing I never realized until now, is how big of a deal the MN State Fair is.  I did a little research before I decided to check it out and I couldn't believe the things I found out!  Below are a few facts that stood out to me.

The first MN State Fair was held in 1859.  The fair has been held every year, with only five exceptions: in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to war-time fuel shortages, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic.

I believe there are over 300 different food vendors at the MN State fair, and if that's not enough, they have added 32 new food vendors for 2016!

Best Food or Beverage: The Preferred Pickle
Best Attraction: Boy Scouts of America
Best Midway Ride: New York New York Fun House (Fair Ride Entertainment)
Best Midway Game: Fish-A-Rama (Oren Concessions)

There are roughly 1,800,000 people that show up for the MN State Fair, between August 25th and September 5th.

Last Monday, I took the day off to enjoy my first MN State Fair experience.  We spent the entire day there and I feel like we barely even made a dent in all the food/vendors/activities that are offered.  First things first, we started the morning off with a giant cinnamon roll, then a foot long hot dog.  We walked through some of the exhibits.  I was almost sold by some of the best infomercials guys out there, rode several rides, and even played a few games.  We visited the animal exhibits, also checked out the DNR area with the pond and all the fish that I usually spend my summer chasing.  We stopped for a few adult beverages and finished the day on the river ride, to cool down before fighting traffic on the way back home.

Overall, I had a good time and look forward to next year!  Next up, is the Renaissance Festival!