The Great Minnesota Get Together

A few days ago a Facebook friend of mine posted the question “Why do you go to the State Fair?”

Some said that they go for the food.  Others said it’s the rides.  I like those things, but for me the Minnesota State Fair isn’t about food or rides.  It’s the energy of the fair that gets me, that makes a trip to the fair a priority every year.  I love that we’re all there to celebrate the talented people, hard work, and creativity of our state.  Some say it’s too crowded or too expensive, but it’s worth it to me to battle the crowds and pay the money to soak up that feeling of celebratory pride in the efforts of fellow Minnesotans and to explore the best of our great state.  

I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

mnstatefair

More photos from our day at the fair here

Past State Fair adventures:

Last Chance for the Alphabet Forest (until next year)

Today is Last Chance Day at the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s your last chance to eat state fair food on a stick, to ride the rides on the Mighty Midway, or wander through the giant sea of fair-goers until next year.  Perhaps most importantly for families with young children, it’s the last day to win a blue ribbon by collecting fair words a la The Fabulous Fair Alphabet by Debra Frasier.

Ms. Frasier started the Alphabet Forest at the 2010 fair as a way to highlight literacy at the fair.  She writes on her web site,

“I write and illustrate books for children but my real work is to spread the joys of literacy everywhere I go. Developing innovative ways to strengthen vocabulary acquisition for young people is at the heart of my mission. “

I was privileged to work in the Alphabet Forest this past Friday afternoon & evening.  I watched families make banners with fair letters, color alphabet ferris wheels, and get their photos taken in the alphabet photo booth.  It was awesome.  The best part, though, was getting a chance to talk about books to parents and teachers who came to the Forest with their kids.  We paged through the picture books excitedly talking about how they could be used in a classroom and the amazing group of local children’s book authors we have right here in Minnesota, including the featured author of the day Catherine Thimmesh, whose book Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships is very adorable.  Today’s author is Catherine Urdahl.  Her book, Polka Dot Fixes Kindergarten, is a great choice for new kindy kids.

 

My little one enjoyed the activities:

 

She also enjoyed “helping” me sell the books:

All in all, it was a great day at the fair.  :)

See more about the Alphabet Forest in this video or read about my adventures at last year’s state fair.