Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Fair thoughts September 2, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Isabelle's first official Minnesota State Fair photo, taken here with her daddy (my son-in-law), Marc. Photo by Amber.

Isabelle’s first official Minnesota State Fair photo, taken here with her daddy (my son-in-law), Marc. Photo by Amber.

LAST WEEK MY NEARLY five-month-old granddaughter attended her first Minnesota State Fair with her parents. The proof is in the image of Isabelle snugged in her daddy’s arms and posing next to a Gopher sculpture. She seems oblivious. Some day Izzy will care about the Great Minnesota Together. Just like her parents. But not like her grandma. I haven’t been to the State Fair since my college days.


Food vendor wagon


The nearest I came to a fair this summer was during a walk around my granddaughter’s neighborhood in a north metro ring suburb. About a month ago as her grandpa and I wheeled Izzy in her stroller, we happened upon a shuttered food vendor wagon parked in a driveway next to a boat.

This vendor pedals a range of fair foods. But not my favorite, mini doughnuts. I love the sweetness of that warm, sugary treat. Mini doughnuts link to childhood memories of small town carnivals and the county fair back in my native Redwood County. That rural rooted fair appealed to me. The oppressive crowds of the Minnesota State Fair do not.

TELL ME: Do you attend a county or state fair each summer? What is your favorite fair food? What do you most enjoy about the fair?

Β© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


36 Responses to “Fair thoughts”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I love state fairs and those Tom Thumb donuts area wonderful, I agree. We wanted to go to the one in Asheville but it is when we have company and I am not sure if they are fair lovers like we are so it is looking like we won’t be going this year. Our first company of the fall will be none other than Doreen and Tom! πŸ™‚

  2. I have very fond memories of the MN State Fair growing up and into my adult years. It was a tradition to attend at least one day. I loved the exploring and of course eating. I usually went for the corn dog, mini donuts and cheese curds. We went to the Dakota County Fair too. My dad liked the demo derbys and the tractor pulls.

    Love the photo of Izzy – she has a look of not so sure what this is all about, but I am with daddy so I am good – ha!

    Happy Holiday Weekend – Enjoy πŸ™‚

  3. Marneymae Says:

    I have yet to attend the New York State fair…

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    I try to attend every year to try all the latest and greatest concoctions on a stick, in a bowl or whatever. The people watching is a plus, but the crowds that come with it not so much. Mini doughnuts are also a fav or mine. I got my annual fix at River City Days in Red Wing this year as I was not able to make the Great MN Get Together this year.

  5. treadlemusic Says:

    Ahhhhh,,,,,THE Fair!!!! Reading the post, I wondered exactly what it is that triggers all my growing up memories. Yup….those donuts are THE BEST!!!! But, I noticed that the aroma(?) of the hot grease results in the same trigger!!!! And w/o the calories!!!! Yes….yes….yes—–not near the wonderful-ness of carefully slipping 2 fingers gingerly into a bag of these “delicacies”. A bag that is rapidly becoming translucent as the freshly fried, sugar coated rings of yummyness settle in to their brief resting abode. Lest I overlook the fried cheese curd-obsessed “hordes” who snake their way up to the serving counter…..visiting and making ‘friends’ with others in this continuous moving flow of folks focused on that molten hot flowing cheesiness encased in crispy goodness that will soon be handed across that aforementioned counter……………………….OK…..I’ll stop now!!! LOL!!!!

  6. –Sadly, I never make it to the state fair,
    but I’d love to go see the farm animals and eat all the great, fattening, greasy foods one day.
    Hope you are well, dear. xx

  7. Jackie Says:

    We always say we should go to the MN state fair, but never seem to find the time. I know our “twin cities” kids go every year. When I was dating Rick I went to a couple of grandstand shows with he and his family. Other wise I havent been there since. We didnt even make it to our Rochester fair this year but when we do I love the foot long hot dogs!…yum

  8. Valerie Says:

    I’m with you Audrey…the crowds are too much for me. I enjoy smaller fairs but haven’t been to any of those in recent years either My favorite food is the mini-donuts too
    . I do get them at the Defeat of Jesse James days in Northfield. My oldest son was at the state fair yesterday…he goes every year.

  9. Littlesundog Says:

    We do go to the state fair, and even venture down for our favorite – the Texas State Fair, We always go during the week when the crowds are tolerable and we rarely take in the foods. Since we eat so clean on the Paleo lifestyle, it would mean inviting a belly ache to indulge in fair food. πŸ˜€

  10. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I’ve never been to a fair but YUM cotton candy

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