Five Reasons Why You Should Visit The Minnesota State Fair Before September 7th:

It’s State Fair time in my home state and I’m flipping through food-filled Instagram photos from yesterday, wearing sweats with an elastic waistband around my still-full stomach, happily reflecting on the deep-fried food and entertainment binge and that has become my annual tradition. If you’re from the Midwest and have never been, GO! Here are five reasons why.

Mouth Trap Cheese Curds from the Minnesota State Fair

5. The Cheese Curds.

Mouth Trap has added a $15 plastic “value bucket” to its longstanding line of greasy deep-fried-cheese-filled paper curd cartons. Be sure to snatch a hefty wad of napkins if you’re planning to keep your bucket as a State Fair souvenir – unless you want the leftover oil to soak into the rest of your souvenir collection. Mmm, this once-a-year treat is totally worth the calorie splurge.

Salted Caramel Puffcorn Shake from the Dairy Building at the Minnesota State Fair 2015

4. The Milkshakes.

There are many to choose from, but my favorites are found in the Dairy Building on the back wall. My pick of the year? The 2015 special: creamy vanilla ice cream topped with caramel puff corn and a salted caramel drizzle. I may not reach for puff corn on its own, but it adds a chewy crunch to the shake without giving your jaw a workout, creating that irresistible salty-sweet formula that wins every time.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Crepe from the Minnesota State Fair

3. The Crepes.

I love French food and always kind of figured the State Fair offerings wouldn’t meet my sky-high standards.

I would’ve been wrong.

The blue cheese and bacon crepe? Oh la la! Tres delicieux. I’m already dreaming of how I can recreate it right here.

Peaches and Cream Scones from the Minnesota State Fair 2015

2. The Coupon Book.

Is it really worth it? I wonder the same thing every year. Here’s my conclusion: YES – most of the time.

Nine times out of ten, the Minnesota State Fair brings the heat. It’s not unusual to be panting and sweating your way between deep-fried food vendors, resignedly pulling out a few more bucks for another bottled water or icy root beer you were hoping not to buy. For beverages alone, the coupon book pays off right away on sunny days. Full of two-fors, discounts, and deals that are good for multiple locations, the drink coupons can easily save you a wad of cash right off the bat.

The best option? Buy yours a week ahead of time at your local Cub Foods. Just like the regular admission tickets, they’re cheaper than prices at the gate, and they not only save you more money, but they save time, as well. You don’t want to waste your day in line at the ticket booth. Get in there and get yourself a fresh peaches and cream scone!

Carrie Underwood in the Grandstand at the Minnesota State Fair 2015

1. The Grandstand.

Carrie Underwood alone?! Incredible. She took the stage last night and it was well-worth the overpriced nosebleed seats that were sandwiched between an aspiring American Idol reject and a row of tipsy college students that didn’t seem to notice their selfies obstructed everyone else’s view. Girl’s got class, character, and serious pipes! I’d definitely see her in concert again.

The Grandstand always boasts top-notch performances by well-known artists, and if you don’t want to shell out the cash for your favorite one, you can always catch a sneak peek from the Skyride or attend the free Thursday night talent show! Check out the full schedule to see what’s coming up next week.

The Minnesota State Fair has become a much-anticipated event for me each year, and I hope those of you who are nearby have the opportunity to see it all for yourself! (This isn’t sponsored; I’m just a Minnesotan who loves her state and its Fair!)


More From Get Sweet Smart