Every weekend offers a festival
According to C-J Johnson, who does outdoor media relations for Explore Minnesota Tourism, Minnesota boasts some 800 festivals and events each year, which means you can always find a reason to celebrate outdoor concerts, county fairs, art crawls, ...
According to C-J Johnson, who does outdoor media relations for Explore Minnesota Tourism, Minnesota boasts some 800 festivals and events each year, which means you can always find a reason to celebrate outdoor concerts, county fairs, art crawls, historical reenactments and of course, the Minnesota State Fair.
Our area offers opportunities to take in many amazing events. Every through Labor Day has at least one nearby festival.
Johnson recently wrote about fairs. "If you haven't taken time to visit a county fair in Minnesota, well you just haven't allowed yourself the opportunity to have a great time and experience the flavor of Minnesota," he said.
As county fairs emerged on the American scene over a century ago, it was the one time of year that people could come together, mingle in one location and "get the news" from other parts of the state. In many cases, the crops were about to or had already been, harvested. School was about to begin and people just needed a time to have some fun and laugh and visit and "see what's new."
"Heck," Johnson writes, "they might even get Mom to ride that 'big thing' called a Ferris wheel way up there in the sky - maybe not. Mom was more likely to visit the home building to check out the competition to her entry in the pie baking contest. And after that she might mosey over to the 'handiwork' building to see the entries in the quilting and sewing contests. Dad always checked out the latest farm equipment and talked with others about their 'year on the land.' And the youngsters? Well, the midway offered them just about everything you could ever want from rides to monsters to feats of strength. The visit to the midway might also include the possibility of a tender stomach after ingesting something from every food vendor on the fairgrounds.
"But the memories would last all winter and many times as the wind and snow whistled by the window, they would call up a memory from their visit to the county fair. And, from time to time, the conversation at the dinner table would center around something they had seen or done at the fair and all would wonder what might be new next year.
"There might even be a Teddy Bear displayed somewhere in the house that reminded everyone of when Dad knocked over those wooden milk bottles with a baseball."
Our fair last weekend showcased the hard work of 4-Hers on their projects and their hopes of winning ribbons that would win them a trip to the State Fair. Computers give them the ability to put together sophisticated, colorful and interesting displays on topics from a pet raccoon to a message about drug abuse. Other projects show handiwork at crafts, woodworking and gardening and the photography was outstanding. Watching kids not raised on the farm exclaim over the bunnies, goats and sheep is always a treat.
So if you missed the county fair, visit one in a neighboring county and if you'd rather not drive so far, take in Muskie Days this weekend in Nevis or one of the other colorful events coming up.
The best part of making the effort to go may not be to win a Teddy Bear, but bumping into people you know or meeting people you don't know, but who are your neighbors.