Friday, September 7, 2018

Our Final Day at the Fair - A Soggy Photo Blog

Sunday was an intensive day - the only day when Sharon and I were joined by friends - DH and Chickie joined us for the day. The skies were threatening rain, so I brought my umbrella along with me. It was a great idea, but it turned into a driving rain around 8:30 am and the umbrella was almost useless. We all got totally soaked and, of course, by the time we had purchased a few ponchos (not expensive, but the hottest item for sale while the rain pelted down), the rain finally ended. Oh well. 

Sundays are DH's single day to walk the Fair and see what he wants, so there were repeat visits to several places. But it was really nice having him along because I needed a few skirts from the International Bazaar, and he had the money. SCORE! I got three new skirts - desperately needed. So ... here we go. Our final day at the Fair. 

We started out back at Nordic Waffles. We were so impressed with them
on Saturday, we thought it merited a second visit. Once again I chose
the "Slammin' Salmon", and I also had an "All Day Breakfast". DH tried
their cinnamon sugar variety. All so good and the line was really
short because of the threatening rain. Score! 

Walking up to deposit Sharon at her annual church
service, we passed the kid's farm section. Would
you qualify to ride one of their tractors? How many
chickens tall are you? 

Here are the tractors and some of their riders. The kids love the farm
area - they get to ride, play in the corn, and interact with chickens.
At the end they get to shop in the little store. It's an area that
demonstrates how food gets from the farm to the store to the
kitchen table. 

Our standard stop after Sharon gets out of church is checking
out the MN State Fair Fine Arts entries in the Fine Arts
building. The chosen items always are far ranging, and
there's always a people's choice award you can vote for as
well as a "resident artist of the day" who interacts with
the public and shows how they do their specific style
of art. All of us loved the neon sign above, even though
we all voted for different pieces for our People's Choice. 

DH needed a new hat or two, and he loves John Deere as
much as I do (I'm a total John Deere fangirl). We saw
this shirt, and if it had been available in adult sizes, we
would have grabbed it immediately. Unfortunately,
it was for small kids. DH ended up with a great cap
here, and two MN Vikings football caps in the
Grandstand for $5 each. He destroys his caps while
working on his landscaping and needed replacements. 

While we were in the International Bazaar getting my skirts, we
came across this guy and stopped, mesmerized. He was in a really
crappy location, but a couple had found him and had their
portraits done in air-dry porcelain. For less than $40 and
approximately 30 minutes of time each, this talented sculptor
created amazingly lifelike portraits. We watched as he
finished the gentleman's portrait. I could have watched
him for hours and the likeness was uncanny - so talented! 

Crossing the street from the Bazaar to the Agriculture building, we wanted
to check out the annual Crop Art exhibit. These are images created using
natural seeds from a variety of plants. Some excellent work every year.
It's one of the best places for scathing political commentary. Loved
this one with a piggy Trump in the center. 

The Millennium Falcon deserved its' blue ribbon. It
was fantastically well made using just black and
white seeds. Detailed, accurate, and exceptionally
straight lines, we all approved.  

There were three different crop art pieces
featuring our world-famous climbing
raccoon, often referred to as the MPR
Building raccoon. In fact, there were two
different styles of raccoon t-shirts available
at the MPR booth. Sharon ended up buying
one of those earlier in the week. But here,
our raccoon is nearing the end of her
eighteen-hour climb. 

We finally ran out of energy and settled in the
Frontier Bar for a sit-down. Here it's late in the
afternoon. We still had a bit more wandering
ahead of us, but we needed to give ourselves
a bit of a rest. 

I'm not sure if any of you have an idea of how much
land is covered by the State Fair, or how big it
is, but this is the map of the Fairgrounds, updated
as of 2018. The Hanger would be in the far upper
part, the International Bazaar is in the
lower right, and the Transportation Hub is
in the somewhat open area to the Northwest.
We know the Fairgrounds by heart - every
street and every building. 

So we bid farewell to the State Fair for a final time in 2018. I'm already
looking forward to next year's Fair. Here's Sunset on Sunday. We had
one more day of frivolity ahead - Monday at the Renaissance Festival.
That experience and photos are waiting for tomorrow's post. 

There you have it - our State Fair experiences, highly compressed. We would be awake early the next day to drive out to the Renaissance Festival - a change in venue, scenery, and era. Walking the two different events with my best friends and DH is always one of the highlights of my year. We might be exhausted and ready to call it a night here, but we're ready to go again the next day. Tomorrow's post will be our day at the Renaissance Fest with Sharon and Chickie. Until then, have a wonderful Friday and I'll be back tomorrow. 

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