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4-H

A Minnesota Tradition

Written by Hannah of Rise and Shine.
It's an exciting time in Minnesota when we hit the dog days of summer. Our dog days are not defined by a period of lethargy. When we aren't [whining about] mowing the lawn or squeezing in every possible drop of fun before the snow flies, we are bringing in the harvest. The county fairs are in full swing and we put in for our vacation days to migrate the short distance to our own state fair. The roots of farming and agriculture run deep here. It's no surprise our Minnesota State Fair has grown to be one of the biggest in the country, 2nd only to Texas, with a current annual attendance of nearly 1.8 million people.

Exhibitors fill the expansive grounds with their best handicrafts and craftsmanship, proudly displaying the fruits of their farms and gardens. Fair goers fill a day walking many miles in their best broke-in tennies and spend a small fortune to sample some of the 500 food offerings. We might try one of the 40 new foods of this year. Beef tongue tacos with bacon ice cream for dessert, perhaps? Or some local fine dining such as Sweet Corn Chowder, Heirloom Tomato Salad and Lake Superior Smoked Whitefish. We may have a loyalty to some of the 70 different items on a stick. Maybe we'll pass on the sickeningly sweet chocolate cookie dough deep fried on a stick. On second thought add an order of all-you-can-drink milk and count us in. Then we'll head over to get our picture taken biting into our deep fried Twinkie on a stick, dropping powdered sugar and strawberry sauce down our shirts as we do. And surely we'll grab a Pronto Pup at some point, very often opting for that and other foods from a prescribed list we have refined over the years.

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