Thursday, August 29, 2013

State Fair Diary: Of Cats and Kids

If you live in Minnesota you've got your own theories about our seasons. Maybe you enjoy the four seasons rationale: spring, summer, fall, winter. Maybe you subscribe to the two seasons philosophy: In Minnesota we have two seasons; snow and construction. I live by the three season code: there is Pre-State Fair, State Fair, and Post-State Fair. 

My entire year revolves around a 12-day spectacle, and I judge the annual event against past Fairs. A really great Fair will be remembered for a particular theme or marvel. There was the year I discovered deep fried ice cream back in the late 70s while walking Machinery Hill with my dad, the Huey Lewis & The News concert of 2001 when our friend S announced she was pregnant with twins, and the 2009 Milk Drinking Contest when I lost my unofficial Milk Drinking Championship title to a teen (never challenge a 14-year-old boy when All-You-Can-Drink is on the line). 

I will remember this year's Fair for its heat, cats, and 4H kids. Yesterday began with kids and ended with cats, and quickly became one of my Top 10 Ever Days at The Fair. If you ever get a chance to hang with a 4Her, take it. They are amazing. (Same goes for cats, but I figure you already knew that.) Yesterday I taught a knife-skills class to a handful of 4Hers, and afterwards helped to judge the salads they devised. The experience was successful on many levels, but mainly because no one lost a finger during class, and the salads these kids created were fantastic. 

We spent our evening finally cool and hunkered together with a few thousand of our closest cat loving friends for the Internet Cat Video Festival. It was magical. Cats are taking over the world and The Fair, and I feel fine.
 Not a Fair-er but still suffering from a heat hangover? Check out Called to the Table for Too Darned Hot Skillet Ratatouille Pizza.



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