There are rules for State Fairs, both written and unwritten. There must be at least one awful-but-popular performer (Jason Aldean) and at least one genuine musical legend (Jackson Browne) on the concert bill. Everything that can be stuck on a stick should be stuck on a stick. Everything that can be carved out of butter should be carved out of butter—though our neighbors in Iowa discovered a rare exception to that rule after plans to immortalize the recently deceased King of Pop in dairy were halted due to public outrage. These are rules that we accept, just as we welcome the rest of the spectacle. We'll take the politicians with their relentless used-car salesmen grins (we're watching you, Franken), because at least they're out trying. We'll take the poop smells, because it's good for us urbanites to be reminded of where our food comes from, and 'cause we don't get a lot of opportunities to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a draft horse. And though it'll likely be oppressively hot and humid for the entire 12-day stretch, the sweat-slicked misery seems to melt away just as soon as you've slammed yet another cup of all-you-can-drink milk and clambered onto the Ferris wheel to float up above it all. For more info call or visit www.mnstatefair.org.
Aug. 27-Sept. 7, 6-midnight, 2009