I didn’t become a State Fair person naturally. For me, not a native of the experience – the Minnesota State Fair has become more of an acquired taste. But for my husband Jed – an East Coast boy – and someone who didn’t move to Minnesota to be with me without some trepidations – he immediately became a State Fair person and should really be hired as their official spokesperson.
Jed went alone for the first few years that he lived here, while I stayed home wondering what could be so fun about crowds, animals, and overpriced concessions, but he finally convinced me to go once Eloise was born.
The pictures in my mind are still fresh from that visit. Eloise, all of eight months old in her stroller. Me, the first time mother more worried about the baby’s nap schedule and where I would nurse, than about having any fun. I spent most of the day in the air conditioned Mother’s trailer than enjoying the fair and honestly decided I would never be back.
So Jed and Eloise went without me for the next few years. I used our new baby Esther as another excuse not to attend for two more years – but when the girls were two and a half and four and a half – my excuses of schedule, nursing, and diapers no longer meant anything. And now, with four years of mothering under my belt – well perhaps it was time to loosen up a bit and see what the fair had to really offer.
AND I HAD A BLAST! It turns out that the crowds, the animals, and food are just a few of the very amazing things about why we officially call our State Fair – The Great Minnesota Get Together. Because I took the time to experience the Fair through the eyes of my children instead of through my own adult and mothering anxieties and biases.
And we’ve gone as a family every year since, and it just keeps getting better.
The fair when they were little was all about animal barns and a few little rides. But now it’s appreciating the exhibits – from education and bee keeping, and art and green living. We learn about pet training, we go on the big rides, we watch horse shows, we stay for the parade, and we try new foods. We people watch with 200,000 of our fellow Minnesotans and we celebrate our state every single year. And with our kids getting older – we stay later and longer – schedule free and relaxed with our time. And when we take the weary walk to our car in the evening – we are dirty and spent in the best kind of happy way. And we start making plans for next year.
But now as I look around the fair I take notice of the teens – and know that someday very soon our daughters will experience the fair with friends instead of with us – so until then we will celebrate together, eat too much ice cream, and say yes to them when they ask for just one more ride.
And I wear my well earned ‘label’ with pride now when I say that “Yes, I am a State Fair person.”
Are you a State Fair Person? If you are local – the Minnesota State Fair runs from August 21st until September 1st – and it’s about time you celebrate with us this year!
I’m giving away TWO Tickets to the Minnesota State Fair!
All you need to do is answer this question in the comments section – “What is your favorite fair food?” – and then use the rafflecopter for more ways to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winner will be chosen and announced on August 17th.
This post and tickets are sponsored by AT&T. The GoPhone Freedom Tour team will be at the Minnesota State Fair from August 29 – September 1, 2014. The team will be offering one-on-one introductions to GoPhone and live hands-on demonstrations of the latest smartphone devices on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Guests can visit the GoPhone 4G LTE Fast Grab Booth for a chance to win a GoPhone prize pack and be entered for a chance to win a brand new device!