Minnesota State Fair
It's not uncommon to have mixed feelings when the Minnesota State Fair rolls around each year. The event does mark the beginning of the end of summertime, after all. However, there really isn't a better way to celebrate the twilight days of the season than with farm animals and food on a stick. This year, over 450 foods will be served to hungry fair-goers, including classics like cheese curds, roasted corn, and pronto pups, and more adventurous items like chocolate-covered jalapeno peppers, sweet-corn ice cream, and the notorious deep-fried candy bar. The Grandstand will feature big acts such as Weezer, Heart, Marc Anthony, and locals-done-good Tapes 'n Tapes. But don't fret if you can't afford tickets to the big shows, as there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy free music at the handful of stages throughout the fairgrounds. Animals are also a big draw; you can go big and mind-boggling and check out Boarzilla or go small and cute and visit the baby calves, piglets, and sheep being born at the Miracle of Birth Center. Or make friends with the goats and horses resting in the barns. If it's art that you're looking for, be sure to check out the butter sculptures and seed art displays. Kids and kids at heart will enjoy the rides at the Mighty Midway, which include rickety coasters and g-force spinners (but unless you have a stomach of steel, you'll want to avoid the fried gut-bombs until after the rides). Hundreds of things are happening at any given moment, so the more you explore the more things you'll discover. For more info, visit www.mnstatefair.org. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair)
Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 6-midnight; Sept. 5, 6 a.m.-11 p.m., 2011
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