As I write this, there is still a day and a half left of the 2011 Minnesota State Fair. As a huge fair fan who has attended the event every year of my life, it’s hard not to think about sneaking in one last visit. This year I’ve gone three times, though, so it’s probably better if I save what’s left of my money and do something else with the rest of the long holiday weekend.
Visit #1 was to run the State Fair Milk Run 5K, which I’ve done with kid one the past several years. This year the rest of the family decided to sign up and walk it too, which was cool. Kid one decided she didn’t want to run with me, so I was free to attempt a PR. The course winds through the hills of Saint Anthony Park and those said hills kicked my butt a little. I ran the first mile in 6:52, but slowed to a 7:24 in the second (really hilly) mile. I ran a 6:48 third mile, though, and was able to finish in 21:42 (6:59 overall pace). That beat my old 5K PR by about a minute and a half and was good enough for 7th in my age group and 69th overall (in a field of about 1400).
My dad had purchased Twins single game tickets at the beginning of the baseball season and happened to pick Milk Run day as the game to take me to for my first visit to Target Field (which I liked more than I thought I would). It was an afternoon game, so we spent a few hours at the fair after the race, then he picked us up on Como for the drive to Minneapolis. We decided to return to the fair after the game, which worked out well – plus it was a rare August 2011 Twins win too.
Visit #2 was unplanned – my mom had tickets to see Garrison Keillor perform his Prairie Home Companion show at the grandstand, but didn’t feel up to going. My dad and sister had the other two tickets, so I met them there. The seats were amazing (third row center) and the show had the added benefit of four songs by the Jayhawks (Closer to Your Side, She Walks in So Many Ways, Blue and Over My Shoulder). Sara Watkins was really good and I enjoy seeing all the regular cast members as well (Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Tom Keith, etc.). Also got to visit with an old high school friend for a bit before the show (and saw an old co-worker who plays in a band near the beer garden afterwards).
Last night we all went back as a family to see Weezer at the grandstand. Since we missed machinery hill the first day, we decided to get there around 1:30 and cover that half of the fairgrounds. It was crowded everywhere, but the afternoon went by quickly and a cold westerly wind kicked up. By the time the opening act started to play (Motion City Soundtrack), I was really wishing I had worn something other than shorts and a T-shirt. Weezer was very entertaining (Star Tribune review) and fireworks both nights seemed better than usual. Here’s the Weezer set list:
- Surf Wax America (Blue Album)
- We Are All on Drugs (Make Believe)
- Troublemaker (Red Album)
- El Scorcho (Pinkerton)
- Say It Ain’t So (Blue Album)
- Hash Pipe (Green Album)
- My Name Is Jonas (Blue Album)
- Dope Nose (Maladroit)
- Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People cover)
- Island in the Sun (Green Album)
- Perfect Situation (Make Believe)
- (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To (Raditude)
- Undone (The Sweater Song) (Blue Album)
- Pork and Beans (Red Album)
- Beverly Hills (Make Believe)
- Paranoid Android (Radiohead cover)
- Buddy Holly (Blue Album)
Contrary to my normal eating pattern, I actually tried two new foods this year: pretzel dogs (hot dog on a stick, wrapped by a large soft pretzel) and sweet corn ice cream. The former was located in a booth near the horse barn and came with optional butter and a side of melted cheese for dipping. Aside from the pretzel slipping off of the hot dog, it was really good. As for the sweet corn ice cream, I don’t think I’ll be needing to order that again. $5 lesson learned, I guess.
Kid one gets to return with her aunt tomorrow to see Train and Maroon 5. She will also be old enough to work at the corn roast booth next year, so we all have that to look forward to. Mark your calendars now: August 23 – September 3, 2012!Originally published by DK on September 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm