The Great Minnesota Get-Together, 2018 Edition

New Year’s Eve may seem like a strange time to write a state fair recap, yet here we are.

People walking and rolling down and across a street.

This year I went to the fair twice: by myself on the first day, and with my husband, my sister, and her husband on the first Sunday. On my solo day, I started with a Skyride by myself (and had a great time) because I hadn’t been able to convince anyone else to join me on previous trips:

Looking down at the west end of the fairgrounds from an elevated ride.

Then I walked through the Midway just to see what’s there. The morning of the first day was a good time to go to that section because it wasn’t very busy.

A few people standing outside the Crazy Mouse roller coaster.

Enjoyed the Creative Activities building, with its… creative arts. Like this hand-stitched virus and bacterium key:

16 enlarged viruses and bacteria, such as smallpox, herpes, and the common cold, stitched in a square frame.

And this miniature kitchen, complete with a tiny set of Pyrex bowls in the cupboard:

Diorama of a kitchen with a fridge, stove with pots, wallpaper, tile floor, granite countertops, and more.

And the National Parks cakes:

5 double-layer round cakes decorated with park themes, such as Voyageurs National Park or camping.

I always think that I’d like rosemaling, the beautiful Norwegian art. But then I remember that I would never have the patience for something like this:

A blue ribbon-winning oval basket with lid, decorated with dark swirls and flowers.

And of course, I went through the seed art collection, which as usual featured timely topics, such as the MPR raccoon:

A giant racoon holding onto the top and side of a tall building, all parts made of seeds.

On my return visit, we retraced some of the routes I’d taken earlier, but we also did some other things, like watching a raptor show:

A man wearing a green Raptors Rule t-shirt while holding a small owl on his finger.

Stopping at the onsite grocery store:

A wood building with dozens of hand-lettered ads on the sides.

Looking at the gladiolus competition, which this year had a Looney Tunes theme:

An arrangement of peachy-cream flower stems, with 2 orange stems at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, and long rabbit ears at the top.

Walking on the street where the animals also walk:

Vantage point near the ground shows mostly feet of several people, and a couple piles of poop.

The fair is better with friends because then you can try more foods but you don’t have to eat the whole thing. That would have been good for me on this UpNorth Puff Pastry, but I ordered it on my solo day. It had mustard and pickles, which I wasn’t expecting but should have because it was advertised. Other people really liked this one:

A hand holding a paper tray with a square pastry with a stripe of dark spices in the middle.

Australian battered potatoes — not new, but new to us. It was delicious, and a great example of something that needs more than one person.

A pile of flat round potatoes covered in melted cheese and ranch sauce and topped with bacon bits.

Grilled peach (which I thought tasted just like a grilled peach, but my sister loved it):

Half of a grilled peach with liquid in a compostable bowl.

Key lime pie on a stick:

A chocolate-covered wedge on a stick.

And I capped off the visits with corn fritters and delicious honey butter that I took out to enjoy on the free shuttle bus:

8 small fried dough balls with a scoop of butter.

More from the fair

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