The Minnesota State Fair comes around once a year at the end of August and runs through Labor Day. It’s the largest state fair in the U.S. by average daily attendance, and that’s why it’s known as “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.”
Residents flock to St. Paul from all over the state to enjoy music, art, rides, farm animals and butter sculptures, featuring the faces of princesses who promote the state’s dairy industry.
But let’s be real. Most folks come to eat food—the majority of which is served on a stick—from hundreds of vendors. This includes walleye, deep-fried cheese and the beloved Pronto Pup, which was first introduced at the fair in the 1940s.
Other tasty must-haves include roasted corn, cheese curds (that pay homage to our neighboring Wisconsinites) and deep-friend pickles. The most popular dessert spot, Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, churns out 24,000 cookies in 12 minutes—and fair-goers can’t get them fast enough. Next stop? The all-you-can-drink milk stand.
As if things aren’t interesting enough, new food is added every year. I surveyed a group of Room & Board employees to see what people are most excited to try. Iron Range pierogies, waffle ice cream sandwiches and beer-flavored gelato topped the list.
To celebrate the festive affair, we’ve introduced a series of framed photographs that were shot on location in 2008 by David Bowman, a Minneapolis-based artist whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, TIME, ELLE Decor, National Geographic and Dwell. The images were featured as part of National Geographic’s 125th anniversary edition in 2013.
If you can’t make it to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to experience the fair firsthand, take a trip to the carney, ride-filled Midway with these four prints (Zipper, Crazymouse, Fighter and Rollaball).