If the above embedded video doesn't work please view my trip to the Cannon Falls Valley Fair on YouTube.
On July 1, 2012 my friend Linda and I headed out on a short road trip south to Cannon Falls. Linda has it in her mind to go to as many of the regional fairs as possible. I simply like fairs and road trips with Linda.
Note: The Cannon Falls Valley Fair ends today but you can keep it in mind for a trip next year. Meanwhile you can organize your own county fair road trips (or as I like to think of them: State Fair Practice Runs) for the rest of the summer by going to the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs website's listing of dates and locations.There are still a lot of fairs coming up!
We left at about 8:45 a.m. and arrived at 9:45 a.m. The fair was to open at 9 a.m. As you'll see from my short slide show, we were just about the only people there. When we did find someone who was on staff they couldn't really answer our questions as to when the concession stands and rides would open; or more important to me—when the animals would arrive.
We found it very puzzling. But there was plenty to entertain veteran fair goers such as ourselves in the 4H building and the petting zoo.
In the former we got to enjoy the creative outpourings of both youth and adults. I am always inspired by the way the urge to create manifests.
In the latter we learned a little bit about wool, and Linda learned a lot about meat breeds.
Some sheep had already moved into the sheep building so I was even able to get in a quick sketch (which you'll see on the video).
We then walked around the still mostly deserted streets of the fairgrounds and talked to the vendors who were setting up. Since it was already over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a little bit humid we rested up with a bit of lunch (Lions club bratwurst). I couldn't resist a very refreshing grape sno cone. (It melted way before I could finish eating it.)
A quick tour through the commercial building where the local police department had a display introducing their force and their drunk driving inititative and other folks were selling convertible bags and hydrating beads (for potted plants) and…well you get the idea. I didn't take any pictures in that small building so it's not including in the video.
Also not included in the video is our ride up the hill to the parking lot in a 7-passenger golf cart! Linda sat in the middle seating and chatted with the driver, but I sat in the rear facing backwards. An awning type roof protected us from the sun and even at 2 miles an hour, when you are facing backwards, it's quite a ride up a steep hill. It was the perfect fair ride for me. And it was a complimentary service supplied by the fair!
We took off at about 2 p.m. and on our drive back to Minneapolis we stopped at various other points of interest I'll write about on another day. Despite the fact that the fair wasn't in full swing we managed to have a great time. We laughed a lot! I'm actually glad that the fair got off to a slow Sunday morning start—it gave us clear and unhindered access to exhibits and animals.
I was also able, despite the heat, to get in a practice sketch.
Have you been practicing? The Minnesota State Fair runs from August 23 to September 3, 2012.
The Fourth Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out is on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. Don't miss it.