Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Minnesota State Fair

The OH and I went to the State Fair last weekend to see the nephews last FFA competition. They did well overall with 2 seconds and a best in class. Like last year, it was entertaining to watch the OH relive the farm years with the in-laws. Although it is a amusing for a city kid like me, there is something sad about a "at heart" farmer kicking around the edges of it, knowing they will never plow a field, sweat a crop or tend a sick cow. Change is usually good, but something is always left behind.

The Minnesota State Fair has changed a great deal to match the times. Once the Fairs dominant theme, Agriculture is only a shadow of its former self in the Fairs doings. Gone is Machinery Hill. Modestly attended are the animal competitions. Hardly attended are the "odd" shows for commercial fowl, goats, sheep etc..

The state fairs core business seems to have become eating. I am dumbfounded at the number of severely obese people that seem to be eating their way from one end of the fair to the other. The aromas are sooooooo enticing with Pronto Pups, mini-donuts, Sweet Marthas Cookies, Batter Fried Potatoes, Onion Rings, Pork Chops on a stick, fried Snickers bars, and so many others I could not begin to list them. I am hoping that what we saw at the fair on Saturday is not reflective of our population in general. If it is, we are not heading for a health crisis, it has arrived.


Ed Abbey said...

One of the reasons I love going to the state fair is the eating. But unlike some people that I see, I fast a little before and after so that I don't gain any weight. I also limit myself to just a few items and save the rest for next year. Fried snickers have been on my list for many years but I've yet to try one. Meatballs on a stick beat them out last year.

Chris Hughes said...

My girls just LOVE going to the fair. Throughout the year they ask, "When is the State Fair?" and "Are you going to take us to the fair, Daddy?"

They love: watching the Dog Shows; rides - particularly the log flume; there is a stand where they can put layers of colored sand in a bottle - we spend a great deal of time there; Marissa wants to play midway games.

Five more weeks!

Grant said...

I think the obesity crisis has been here awhile, but people are still slow to acknowledge it. But as long as people keep buying products that shorten their lives, companies will keep shelling out the stuff.

Maybe they could incorporate some games into the food sales - make a person win a 100m race before they can buy a fried Snickers bar.

Senor Caiman said...


I just love the fair. Those Elephant Ears are so scrumptous.

I can watch those cloggers for hours.

The Gold Fish I win never live very long though.

Notsocranky Yankee said...

I have never heard of fried Snickers bars. Sounds gross to me.
Fried dough (or elephant ears) is my favorite though...

I haven't brought my kids to a fair yet. I only went a few times when I was a kid so it's a little off my radar.

Åsa said...

Mal! I’ve read blogs that has made the same conclusions as you. Apparently there are some scary sightings at State Fares. Although I went to one and it was sort of fun if I remember correctly.

I read in today’s paper that the British schools started with healthier food today. They will only serve fried food twice a week from now on. They won’t , have salt on the tables and ketchup and mayo will only be available in limited amounts. Jamie Oliver’s program has made the British government aware of the food problem. It’s a start.

Freewheel said...

It's as if eating fatty fried foods is a competitive sport at the fair. I have to admit that I've consumed more than my fair share of funnel cake over the years. Do you have funnel cake in Minn.?

anchovy said...

I haven't been to a state fair since I was a little kid, but it seems I've been missing out!

A city kid's perspective: "Gee dad, where are all the rides? I mean the real rides, not the carnival rides." I was expecting Six Flags and got 4-H instead. As an adult I would probably appreciate the fair a lot more, but I can honestly say I'd go mostly for the food.

Incidentally, I'm signing up for the tamale eating contest at this year's East LA's Tamale Festival.

mal said...

Ed- we limited ourselves to a Pronto Pup and a milk shake. I really wanted the pork chops though........

Chris- our girls were the same way *S* we also had them involved in 4H. Enjoy, this is a fun time to be with them

Grant- with some of the folks I saw Saturday, they would be racing their electric scooters instead.

Mr Caiman- you are not supposed to eat the gold fish

Not So- growing up in California, it was off my radar too. It is a BIG deal here in most of the Midwest though

Asa- I think the Brits may be on to something. Part of our problem is school sports programs are often underwritten with proceeds from junk food sales at those same schools. A sublime irony

Free Wheel- indeed we do and I confess to having a taste for fatty food also. See my next comment *G*

Little Fish- Tamales? Now you really have me missing So Cal. Mrs Garcia who lived across the street made the best tamales. She spoiled us, I have not had a good one since we moved.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

we werew gonna go saturday and sunday but it was cold and raining here...guess it wasnt so rainy closer to the fair grounds, but i didint know that..

aww well..

Fantastagirl said...

Loved the state fair as a kid - but as a 4H'er I think that makes a difference.

You are right - the obesity problem is not arriving - it's been here for quite some time.

Exercise, and balanced nutrition is the key - much of the problem is no one uses the key.

sage said...

gee Mal, if you're going to continue taking pics like the last one, you'll need to get a wider lens.

M(urf)! said...

Forget the obesity part. Their hair offends me. :-)

Liz said...

Yea, I just heard your SF is already over and very short also. I think ours is at the begining of October and oges maybe 2/3 weeks.

Pssstt I live for the corny dogs.

jj mollo said...

What's astonishing is just how much weight the human frame can adapt to over time. I knew a guy who weighed 450 pounds. He got a lot of exercise going to the convenience store five times a day (couldn't get in a car), but still kept getting bigger.

My friend, the EMT, often has to take large people to the hospital. Some of these people are no longer able to leave their own houses because they can't fit through the door. They live on pizza deliveries. The ambulance team occasionally has to remove windows or sections of the house in order to get them out.

A lot of the time these people are stuck because they suffer from depression. Maybe they have lousy lives. Maybe their spouses and relatives have abandoned them. I don't know. It takes a long time to get that big, though. I blame it on television and videogames.