Broke my “no weekend rule” and ventured to the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday, August 28th, 2011. Parked my auto for free in the back yard of friends and walked two blocks to a gate. Sidewalk to sidewalk sea of humanity. Met other friends whose kids were performing. Their teenaged daughter is accustomed to the stage and glowed. Her teeth are bright enough for a Dentyne commercial. First performance for their six year old son and he was giddy. He thought that everyone was applauding just for him. Oh, the energy of youth. They departed and I walked around.
International Bazaar market is a profound improvement from the old crumbly structure that was in that location for eons. Watched the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, featuring the world’s first break-dance routine. Joyful kids in colorful costumes. Sensuality oozed from the Charanga Tropical musicians. Their group of 14 barely fit the stage. Myriad dancers moved to the Cuban-Latin beat. I wish that I had a dance partner! The Bazaar has second small performance space and it was wonderful that the Japanese dance troupe sought audience participation. Glad that the food options have expanded to include Halal, though no one can eat before sunset until Ramadan has concluded. I wonder if Kosher is available anywhere on the fairgrounds. Fruit stands available for vegetarians and vegans.
Sauntered over to the Epiphany Diner for a final meal. Sad that this is its last year at the fair. It is increasingly difficult to convince people to join anything these days or even sign up to volunteer. Consumed the roast beef sandwich. The beef was overcooked and dry but lots of flavor. Watched the parade pass by since it is impossible to move when the crowd bunches. Lots of people chugging down 5 Hour Energy Drink samples. I wouldn’t want to try it for the first time at the fair. Listened to Banjo Boys playing sprite Dixieland music in the Ramberg Senior Center. Mightily creative artwork is in the Center, I especially like the quilts.
Walked through the Food Building, overpriced for small portions. Wandered through the Merchandise Mart, surprised that people would purchase some of the items and carry them throughout the rest of their day. The Horticulture Building is a perennial highlight. Glad that seed art continues though Lillian Colter (extraordinary seed artist) has died. Fresh flowers make the building smell nice. The wine-growing branch was packed with people so it makes since that they will be moving into the old Epiphany Diner location next year.
People watching is always amusing. Some black clothed dude with six inch gold boots was clomping around with Alice Cooper eye stripes. He was in his 50s and it could not of been comfortable. Shocked that so many people let their kids go barefoot. Adults are responsible since kids may not be able to make the best judgment. The fair is a dangerous place and not clean. Why bring a kid who won't remember the experience?
Waited and waited for the Ricky Skaggs performance to begin in the Bandshell at 8:30pm. I really wish the evening performance would begin at 7 or 7:30pm. The spectacularly nice weather gave way to coolness as the sun set. He and his band give a good performance. He wasn’t feeling well and said that his sister was dying from cancer. Even though he is a professional, I’m certain that it affected his energy level. He seemed a lot spunkier the last time that I saw his show. The music was rather loud so I put in my earplugs.
Long walk back to the gate when the Skaggs show concluded at 9:45pm. If the performance had started earlier, the shuttle trolley could have taken me part of the journey. I was darn tootin’ tired by the time I got home. Took a shower and went to bed. Feeling a bit rough today. The fair is so loud that it is unnerving.
Visit #1 done for 2011.