From Dan: Sometimes I really like the State Fair--even though it makes it impossible to get around our neighborhood for 12 days. Somehow all the folksiness and strange smells make it feel much more inclusive and less alienating than Minnesota's other great get-together, the Mall of America.
We got there at about 4:30 and saw the crafts building and the 4H building (Abby's 4H club had performed their "10-Minute Hamlet earlier in the afternoon), climbed on the tractors, checked out the Eco Experience, rode the trolley, ate corn on the cob, and rode the giant slide (which has been my favorite thing at the fair since I was a kid.) Duncan didn't want to do it last year, but he loved it this year.
Near the slide is the McCain campaign booth, which looks a little like a shack. I think it used to belong to Jesse Ventura. It was none too busy. I sent Riley over to it to ask "Is this one of McCain's seven houses?" The campaign folks didn't seem to know how to answer him. We laughed for a long time about that.
Then we rode the river ride (Millie and Abby got really wet) and went to the baby animals exhibit. Riley stood mesmerized for about 20 minutes watching a chicken hatch from an egg. Then we had to see the real chickens at the Poultry Barn and discovered that cochins (of which we own two) grow really really big. One of the buff cochins was about the size of a turkey. Yikes!
Next we procured some honey ice cream and went to hear Brandi Carlile, who did a free show at the bandstand. Not a bad day at all.