The Great Minnesota Get Together.

Order of cheese Curds - $4.00
Foot Long Hotdog (smothered in fried onions) - $4.00
Large glass of soda - $2.00
Order of Gator Tader (Fried Alligator nuggets) - $5.50
Tiny Tim Mini-donuts - $3.50
Soda refill - $1.00
Mike’s Hamburger (also smothered in onions) - $1.25
Kettle Cooked Kettle Corn - $6.00
Blackberry Milkshake - $4.50
Watching your husband eat his way toward cashing in on his life insurance policy - Priceless!

Well, that would be my wife’s MasterCard commercial (at least after Friday’s visit to the Minnesota State Fair).

We (as in the whole family, as in my wife, myself, and ALL FIVE kids) made a family event out of attending the Minnesota State Fair! It also seems that I was not alone representin’ the dad-bloggers - Dad Stuff was also at the fair on Friday… Sorry I missed you (in the vast crowds) Dad Stuff!

The day was PERFECT!

Like Dad Stuff said in his posting, you could not ask for better weather. For having had rain for the past week, it was the first dry day in a long time. The temperature was ideal. I was in shorts, while the oldest of five was wearing long pants. Even with the variation in clothing styles, not once did anyone complain about being too hot or too cold! Weather like this is what makes Minnesota the BEST!!

The absence of bugs was also noted, and appreciated… Well, except the ever present bees, but after last week’s successful campaign against them, I sensed the evil bee hordes were licking their wounds, and simply too frightened by my “commanding presence” to make a significant attack upon us.

The night before we went to the fair, the stars and planets must have all magically aligned. This could be the only explanation for ALL FIVE of the kids having behaved so perfectly! There was not one meltdown, tantrum, or crying fit. There was no hitting, punching, pinching or slapping – No eye gouging, hair pulling, or butt kicking. There was not even a scratch, or even a bite… Not once incident of tattling, whining, or even any complaining. There was nothing! Nada! Even while in the car BOTH there AND back was perfectly without incident! The gods smiled upon me this day, and I was pleased!

(Regardless of what you may be thinking - I did >>NOT<< use ether, or any other chemical to make this happen. It was truly "kismet")

Usually (when only two or three of us go to the fair), we eat our own individual “choices” in food. This year (since all seven of us would be present) things needed to be approached a little differently.

Feeding a family of seven at the Fair would require a decent sized home equity loan.

We decided to “sample” our way thru the fair. After arriving, we started out the culinary depravity by sharing two trays of “Cheese Curds”. That does not add up to much once you divide them by seven – in fact, it only awoke the appetite within.

It was time to feed people, so we each picked out a “lunch” (and I use that term loosely). “Foot longs” (two “plain, one “mild onion” and one “super-heavy-duty-smothered-slathered-and buried under a mountain” of onions for half the family (guess who got the “onion special”?)), and the other half “Pronto-Pups” (corn dogs deep fried in oil that would be considered “too dirty” to put in the crankcase of my 1994 “on-its-last-legs” Escort, then cooked just a wee bit too long) for those that were not interested in the foot longs!

Again, I could weave a tale bore you to death with the details of the rest of the day (culinar-ly that is), but you have seen the list. The only other delicacy that was completely and entirely eaten by “your truly” was the Mike’s $1.25 hamburger (also smothered-slathered-and buried under a mountain” of onions) (Hmmm… my wife seemed unusually distant from me throughout the day… I wonder why….). The rest of the day found the family (happily) sharing gorging upon our bountiful feast!

Last item of food worthy notation: My wife REFUSES to eat alligator. I have tried every year we have gone to the fair, since "Bayou Bob's Gator Shack" opened in 1997. Every one of the kids liked it, I like it, but she will not even give it a try. She also refuses to try any of the other exotic meats I would like to try one day – like Snake, Bear, Ostrich, Loon, Trumpeter Swan, or Bald Eagle. (Ok… The Loon, Trumpeter Swan and Bald Eagle are all “hunter” jokes, but the rest of the list (among a couple of others) are on the “I’d like to try before I die” list).

The first of the other two “highlights” of the day for me was watching the girls take part in the “Little Farm Hands” exhibit. It is a mini-farm, where kids (under ten) are invited to partake in several farm activities like collecting feed, gathering eggs, planting seeds, and harvesting vegetables, collecting wool, and picking fruit. After collecting all the fruits of their labor – they take the items to a “farmers market” where they receive a “money” for their work. The kids then go into a grocery store and purchase food with their “money” (They got to choose from several canned vegetables or a single serving sized box of cereal.)

And (even though I have seen it numerous times) we had to stop at the Stihl & Cabela's Ironjack Lumberjack Show. Four lumberjacks compete in teams of two in the springboard chop, chokerman’s race, axe throw, speed birling, tree topping, hot saw, stock saw, speed climbing, and log rolling. This was right up Zachary’s alley, and because we were all so tired – we found great seats (front row center) and settled in for a rest until the show started. (I even fell asleep sitting up for OVER thirty minutes…) The kids really enjoyed the show, and Jonathan even got to hold a winning “token” after our team won an event.

The boys did visit the Haunted House – I have been there, done that… (i.e. – Not interested) But, since Ben was there, we let the three boys go on their own. Ben and Jonathan will revisit the haunted house next year, Zachary will not.

The day ended with a stop at the cotton candy booth on the way back to the car. If you take a close look at the “MasterCard” list at the beginning of this post, you do not see cotton candy on the list. I can not stand the stuff. Never liked it much, and as an adult – I despise it. That leaves all that much more for the kids to rot their teeth on share.

Remind me one day to tell you another memorable “State Fair” tale from back in the day... I’ll put it in my list of “Blog ideas” that I keep.

Our State Fair Family Day 2007 was a complete success. From the food, to the kids, and the events… This is one fair day that will stick with me for a long time.


  1. I just had a partial heart attack reading it!

  2. I always feel like I've been deep fried after walking around the fair for a few hours.

    nice job on the kids behaving - you sure no chemicals...?

  3. Great Day! Wow. No whining? Maybe you would like two extra 'farm hands' to join you next year?

    Thanks for the link.

  4. Sounds like my kind of day, if you hold the onions.


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