Hello. It’s me. I’ve been avoiding blogging because — well, you all know why I’ve been absent this last year (if not, scroll down at yo own risk). ANYWHO, I had been thinking about getting back in the game and what better way than some MINNESOTA STATE FAIR LOVIN’. Last year, I attended the Minnesota State Fair Preview Blogger Event for the first time and had a blast.
Previewing new fair foods? OH HAI. YES PLEASE. Last year I wrote this post on my time, but because of my dad’s ailing health, I had to head home right after. This also meant I couldn’t attend the fair, which stunk, but it was just not in the cards.
Luckily, they asked me back this year and I am ready to make up for lost time! The theme of this fair preview was a language I have known all of my life: SHOPPING. So not only did we get to preview new foods, we also got to hear from some of the unique vendors selling at the state fair! The fair is held this year from August 25th- September 5th.
First: some food. obvi.
My favorite new food vendor is the food truck, Tot Boss. WHY? 1. Because the name is awesome 2. Because tots are awesome. A couple of delicious dishes they will be selling at the fair are their loaded tots and tater tot nachos. Both get 5 stars from me. Dan, the owner, had an awesome and outgoing personality, which makes me want to support Tot Boss even more!
I also appreciated the toasted grilled cheese bites with bloody mary marinara sauce from O’Gara’s Grill!
I was horrible at getting photographs because I was eating and having a blast with my table-mates! There is also going to be a french onion cheesy monkey bread from Blue Moon Diner and a new rustic beef pastry from French Meadow (it had GOAT CHEESE, peeps).
Another new treat at the fair is shaved ice with a twist from Minnesnowii– shaved ice treats with sweetened condensed milk! The maple bacon was a little too sweet for me, but the strawberry and root beer flavors were delicious. I have no idea how I didn’t get a pic of these because they were a) delicious and b) the guy from Minnesnowii presenting was very good looking.
Moving on! If you know me at all, you know that the Iowa State Fair has been one of the constant loves of my life. One of the things I suspect the Minnesota State Fair may have on the Iowa State Fair is their shopping options…HOLY COW. Not only do they have a varied industries building, but they have the west end market with a lot of options for guys and gals. It was fun to have this as a theme because I think lot of fair-goers are familiar with the bomb-diggity food, but are not aware of the cool shops and gifts available!
i like you is a consignment store that features artwork, goods, and clothing from local artists. i loved chatting with them and these towels below! I mean, that WI/MN towel hit me with ALL THE FEELS. They have a booth in the west end market of the fair and I will definitely be using the coupon book to get a discount on one of their MN t-shirts.
Holly House– a boutique in Uptown, also has a space for the first time this fair in the grandstand. Holly house will be selling some of their best sellers, including this dishtowel, which is hilarious.
We also heard from Birchberry Native Arts and Foods, Wish Boutique, and Machine Age Lamps. I am REALLY excited to see what Machine Age Lamps has– they specialize in lighting made from antique/vintage pieces. I was pleasantly surprised at how many shops there are at the state fair between the varied industries building, the grandstand, west end market, and other places around the fair. The fair emphasizes that there are definitely booths geared towards men and women!
So all in all, it was a good day. A huge thank you to the Minnesota State Fair, Alice from Dining With Alice, and the vendors for this awesome event. A good little re-entrance into the blogging world. I’ve missed it here, but I’ve really struggled the last year because of my profession and well, not wanting to talk about losing my dad all the time on here. It has played a constant role in shaping my new world, which somehow seems busier than ever.
ONE LAST THANG. You know I wouldn’t have left this shindig empty handed, right? Let’s do a GIVEAWAY. I was given an extra BLUE RIBBON BARGAIN BOOK (re:COUPONS!). They usually retail for $5 and have TONS of great deals for the fair. I WANT TO SHIP YOU ONE. So leave a comment with YOUR favorite state fair food and we’ll get ya entered. Giveaway CLOSES on Friday, August 19, at noon. I’ll contact the winner. GOOD LUCK and I’ll see you fools at the Great Minnesota Get Together!