Minnesota State Fair. It’s a yearly tradition. A love affair of gargantuan proportion. There are the animals; the crowds; the food; the lines for the food; the kitsch; the corny; the downright weird; the horrifying; the fascinating; the delicious, and the beautiful–all chopped and whipped and blended together, like one of those fruit smoothies for sale on the corner of Judson and Liggett.
Yesterday someone asked me what my favorite part of the fair was. I paused, struggling for words. Honestly, there is no one thing I love about the fair. I don’t go to see pigs giving birth, or to eat hot, greasy, fried foods. I don’t go for the freebies, or the creative and educational displays. I don’t go to people watch, to get a sunburn, or to wander the midway. It’s none of those things. Yet, it is all of those things. Choosing one highlight would be like choosing a favorite note in a dearly loved symphony. To me, the fair is a discordant and stunning cacophony of chaos. It’s a nerve-rattling, jangling, irritatingly intoxicating melody. I hate it. But I love it. And chances are, I will never quit coming back, year after (hot, tiring, sweaty, greasy, crowded) year, to hum the tune again.