In honor of the Minnesota State Fair starting today I thought I would throw a few random fair story starters out there to get your writing juices flowing. The fair always seems to fall on the hottest week of the summer so everyone is miserably hot but we go anyway.I have skipped the fair for the past two years so I am going this year. The sheer volume of people and food amazes me every time I go. I’m looking forward to a corn dog, fries in a yellow and black cup, and a caramel apple from the horticulture building. I can’t force myself to try some of the crazy things vendors put on a stick and fry. Everything is eaten on a stick at the fair, including grilled glazed donuts, alligator, fried Twinkies and candy bars, ostrich, elephant ears, and scotch eggs. None of which will be on my list of must try foods, but they will be for many others.
By mid-afternoon the streets are so packed with people that your walking pace turns into a shuffle of feet and a bumping of shoulders because people are shoulder to shoulder as far down the street as you can see. I learned at a young age to get in line at a restroom before it became an emergency because the lines are long. I have seen small children escorted to the front of those long lines without anyone complaining because they couldn’t wait in line without having an accident. Minnesota nice typically prevails, even when there are between 100,000 and 200,000 people on 210 acres.
- Write a story from the point of view of the giant bear that is won in the Midway by a teenager and carried around all day.
- The ketchup pump handle has quite a story to tell as ketchup is continuously dispensed on corn dogs and fries.
- There is a tank in the DNR building that contains most of the fresh water fish that call MN home. Pick a fish (walleye, northern, crappie, pumpkin seed, etc…) and write what they experience as people peer at them and tap on the tank walls.
- Tell the tale of a lamb born in the birthing center, from the lamb’s perspective, during the fair while children and adults watch.
- This year there is a Pianos on Parade piano in one of the parks for people to randomly stop and play. The piano has a story to tell about all the different people who pause to play a song.
Some interesting facts about the MN State Fair:
- F. Scott Fitzgerald described the Minnesota State Fair in his poem, “A Night at the Fair” in 1928
- On average, there are 500,000 corn dogs typically consumed by fair visitors each year
- Approximately, 22,000 rolls of toilet paper are used during the fair
- During a typical year, 20,000 gallons of milk are served at the American Dairy Association’s all-you-can-drink concession