The Minnesota State Fair! You Have To See It To Believe It! (MN) “DAY 54” – 8/27/10

August 28, 2010 - 12:06 pm - (MN) “DAY 54”

Now that I live in a hostel, every morning before 11 am I have to get up and decide whether or not I’m staying another day.  It’s only $28 per day but... it will add up quickly.  🙁

F.Y.I - I’m planning on staying here until Monday, so I’ll be in for $112.00 when it’s all said and done, not bad.

Anyway, I went downstairs and paid for another day, then got to writing my daily post: “DAY 53”.  I looked for a good writing area (the place is big) and found a older-style room with no electrical outlets, a map of the world, and candelabra in the center.

This has ambience... 🙂  I finished writing and posting around 2:30 then decided to get in shape!



I was gonna go to a gym (YMCA) and do a weight workout, but it was so nice out and I wanted to see Minneapolis so... I went for a jog instead.  I figured I could lose some weight, see the city, and if I found a barbershop... I’d even get a haircut (if he takes me all sweaty). 🙂

I asked Dave (Hostel friend) which direction which would be the best way to go as he sent me toward where the YMCA would be, if I made it that far (2.5 miles away).

I started jogging and after 10 minutes I spotted a bunch of bicycles on the side of the street.  I had to stop and check them out.  (I could cover much more ground on a bike and still get a good work out. :))

I’ve heard of this system before but never seen it.  You put pay by time and under 30 minutes is free ( I think).  Perfect!  The problem was... I didn’t bring my wallet.  I only had cash on me and it needed a credit card as a deposit ($250).  Damn!

I kept running for awhile until I was tired, hungry, and thirsty (very thirsty).  I saw a Arby’s and

Zebra Art on a Lawn

stopped there.  The perfect mid-workout meal! 😉 I got two $1 roast beef sandwiches and cup for water (free).  The meal was $2.12.

F.Y.I - If there is a soda machine in the restaurant and you can fill it yourself, I always order a cup for water and then get what I want anyway.  Nobody ever says anything! 🙂

Torres Barbershop
Anyway, after a quick healthy meal ;), I kept on jogging around town.  I was searching for barbershop because the ladies haven’t been looking much, maybe a haircut would help...  I know it can’t hurt the way my luck has been going! 😉

It seemed like I was running forever (Gump Style) and hadn’t seen a barbershop anywhere.  I saw a lot of salons and spas but no men’s barbershops.  Then, as I was giving up on the idea, I spotted one off the main drag a bit.

It was called Torres Barber & Beauty Shop.  I walked in to check out the place and prices ($14).  There was a bunch of haircuts they do on the wall, so I looked them over...  Huh???  Where’s the fat white guy haircut picture....???

At this point, I was so sweaty and didn’t think anyone there wanted to cut Tom Cracker’s hair... so I started to walk out.

Then, one of the barbers (Dre), who noticed me looking around and leaving, approached me and told me he’d cut my hair and to take a seat.  I said “Man, I’m sweaty, you OK with that.  He responded “It's easier to cut hair that way.”


I don’t know about that... but if it didn’t bother him, it didn’t bother me.  I was in.

I trusted Dre with my hair, I could tell this guy was good but... I’m a white dude from NJ... I don’t think that’s his strong suit, this maybe a 1st for him. 🙂

Dan, Jim , Me "Young Rooster" 12 yrs old

Either way, I really don’t care.  I have never cared about what my hair looks like.  Ever since I was kid, I would let my barber Vic (or Jeremy- Website/Cali.) decide what to do with my hair.  I’ve had lines, mohawks, tails, stripes, words, numbers, long hair... you name it... we did it!  Thanks Vic! (NJ Barber) (The picture to the right when I started going to Vic.)

I have always said “ My hair has never gotten me laid, I’m just not that good looking.  My personality is what is gonna have do it so... a shitty hair cut may even be a better conversation starter than a good one! ” 🙂

Back to Torres place... the people there were super cool as I enjoyed the barbershop atmosphere.

If only Eddie Murphy walked in as a old Jewish man and said “Wait a minute.  Listen.  Stop right there a minute.  A man goes into a restaurant.  You listenin'?  A man goes into a restaurant.  He sits down, he's havin' a bowl of soup.  He says to the waiter; "Waiter, come taste the soup."  Waiter says;  "Is there

Thanks Dre!

something wrong with the soup?"  He says; "Taste the soup."  He says; "Is there something wrong with the soup?  Is the soup too hot?"  He says;  "Will you taste the soup?",  "What's wrong is the soup to cold?", "Will you just taste the soup?", "All right, I'll taste the soup.  Where's the spoon?", "Ah-ha! Ah-ha!" 🙂

Anyway, I liked the guys and I got a good haircut.  Thanks Dre!  If I’m ever back in Minnesota... you’re my barber!

Minnesota State Fair
It was now 6 pm and I was looking as good as I could, not that it’s gonna matter. 😉 Time for the State Fair.  I have never been to “State Fair” so to speak.  I have been to festivals, parades, huge events, but never a true State Fair.

Everybody in Minnesota I have met says... you have see it, to believe it!  OK then, I’m off to see it.  What I did find out was that over the 12 days it runs, there will be well over 1,000,000 people in attendance.  Also, it’s the 2cd biggest Fair in the country behind Texas.

I found out parking was a bitch and the best way to get there, was to take a bus.  The buses were free but only ran from certain locations.  By chance, I choose the bus area by the University of Minnesota football stadium.

The good thing about that was... parking was free there. (Other places where the buses picked you up charged $5 to park.)

I arrived at the State Fair grounds around 6:30 pm and the first thing I had to do was figure out a way to get in for free.  They were using stamps for re-entry... this will be easy. 🙂  It was, and I got in no problem.  They never even looked at my hand ($11 saved).

Now... this fair was massive!  It was so big and there so was so much to see, do, eat, play, experience... that my head was spinning the whole time I was there!  It was sensory overload!!!  None-the-less, I tried to get bearings (it never happened, to big! :)).

Farm Animals
The first thing I did was check out a farm exhibit.  Being from northern NJ, I haven’t seen many farms and don’t know much about the animals on them except... they taste good!

As you entered, you saw cows shitting and being milked. Weird combo... (I took a video of the milking, I missed the shitting... I’ll try to post it).  Then, there was baby pigs suckling at the teet!  You go baby pigs... suckle!

There was every farm animal you could remember from “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” ... eee-yi-eee-yi-oh... Turkeys, chickens, baby ducks, lambs, sheep, rabbits, you name it... it was there!

Horse Show
Next, I walked over toward another huge enclosed venue.  It was the horse show complete with steeples and whatnot.  I waited for a bit, but they were in between rides, so I checked out the area where they kept the horses for the show.

Now... there are a lot of massive attractions at this Fair.  There are numerous concerts, a regular carnival, all kinds of special shows from Sham WOO to live ESPN radio broadcasts.

The list goes on and on and on... I tell ya...the Energizer Bunny couldn’t keep up! 🙂

Food On A Stick
BUT... the biggest attraction they had, by far... was the selection of food on a stick.  It is what this fair is known for and it was like nothing I had ever seen before and will ever see again!

I can’t begin to even list all the types of food they had on a stick, but I do have pics of all of them. (They will be posted in the picture page later.)

Here are just a few, so you can get idea of have vast the selection was.

There was alligator on a stick, buffalo on a stick, mocha on a stick, bacon on a stick, candy bars on a stick, key lime pie on a stick, pickle on a stick, the list goes on and on and on........

Alligator on a Stick

Trying Food
I couldn’t try everything ($$$),  so I did my best to finagle as much free food as I could by telling vendors the truth.... I’m traveling from NJ and have never seen Alligator on a stick, can I taste it first?  Can I taste the buffalo? Etc...

It didn’t work everywhere, but I did get to try a lot interesting foods that way for free! 🙂

It was around 8 pm when I realized “Rush - Tom Sawyer” was playing at the grandstand theater.  It wasn’t free to see them, you had buy a separate ticket ($40 or more).  I tried to sneak in anyway and get a glimpse of the show.

I approached the area where you would get your ticket scanned.  The first level is security.  I got by.  They actually told me the lady scanning tickets was tough though and not to go to her.

I waited for her to get busy and made my move.  She was a sharp one and chased me down into the concert.  I got to watch for 10 minutes though as we debated about my entry :).  I only got one picture from where I was, it was pretty far away.

Even though you couldn’t see Rush from the outside, you could still hear the concert plan as day from within 200 yds of the venue.  Pretty cool!

Boyz II Men
They went on intermission as I got to talking with a few guys who were also listening from the outside. The conversation lead to them mocking that “Boyz II Men” was playing for free on the other side of the complex.

I joked with them, but in my mind... I was saying “Really!” 🙂 LOL  Come on now.. there isn’t a person reading this that hasn’t sung a Boyz II Men song while driving in their car!  If you haven’t... first, you’re lying and if you’re telling the truth... you’re missing out!

Boyz II Men

I couldn’t ask those guys where they were playing, so I asked the next most embarrassing people I could have asked, a group of macho Minnesota State Troopers.

I said “So guys... I bet you never thought you’d hear this question coming from a straight man but... do you know where Boyz II Men is playing?”  They laughed and jokingly said; “You’re going for the girls right?”  I agreed and laughed as they pointed me in the right direction.

When I got to the Boyz II Men area, it was packed with people as far as I could see.  I tried to get as close as I could to the stage, but it was tough as I only got to within 50 rows or so.

I already told you I like their music, but they did rock!  There were a few things I thought was awesome about their show.  First, they played at least 3 popular old Mo-town songs that everybody knew and sung along with.

Second, they interacted with the crowd throughout the whole show and told interesting stories about the band.  Lastly, they didn’t F%&K around and play the songs nobody knew.  They sung their hits one after another!

The crowd responded to there decisions as the whole time, people were singing, dancing, and truly enjoying themselves.  I even laughed to myself as I group of drunk guys were all arm and arm signing the songs together. ( I took a pic but it came out to dark!  Damn!)

After the show (10 pm-ish), I walked around checked out what I could.  The coolest thing I saw was a huge Robo-Cop type robot walking around signing and dancing!  Honestly, I couldn’t tell if it was operated by a remote control, a guy in a suit, or a real robot.

I'm finally the shape of a Twinkie!

I still don’t know, but it was huge (10-12 feet tall) and knew how to boogie! 🙂  (I have a video of this too.)

There were a few places where I could take a picture of whatever cut-out they had.  I love Twinkies and they had one by the deep fried Twinkie stand on a stick.

Me "Rooster and some dude?

I couldn’t resist and suited up as my favorite late night snack!

I also took a picture as carrot, with the TimberWolves mascot, with the State Fair’s mascot (beaver or squirrel), as well as many others.

Seriously, I could write forever on what I did and what I saw.  It’s one of those things in life, you have to see for yourself.

But here is a little more of what I did condensed.  I went on a huge slide, played a few carny games (milk can), checked out all the rides and kids stuff, saw a few more exhibits, shopping areas, and much much more!

Darryl Strawberry Bobblehead
One cool thing I got (being a Yankee Fan), was a Darryl Strawberry bobble head doll when he played for the ST.Paul Saints.  Really?  I didn’t even know that but it’s cool.

For $2 you could spin a wheel and win one of 5 prizes.  I didn’t want anything else except for Darryl so I negotiated with the guy.  He told me if I spun twice ($4), he would give it to me no matter what.  I spun once and didn’t win but he was nice and gave it to me for the $2.  Thank you dude!

Leaving The State Fair
The free bus that took me there, stopped running at midnight, so I headed over to the area I was dropped off at (which was impossible to find, I was so turned around).

Anyway, it was a mob scene!  There were so many people waiting for the bus, the line had to be over 1/4 mile long with over a 1,000 people in it.

With time to kill, I started up a conversation with a group of guys next to me.  They seemed like guys I would hang out with if I lived here.  We talked sports (baseball and football) as they told me they were going to the Vikings pre-season game tomorrow night (Saturday).

Ahhh.., a football game.  I haven’t been one yet, this is what I’m doing tomorrow night! 🙂
We kept talking as my journey came up.  They were interested as we discussed it up until we finally got on the bus.

Thank You Shawn!

$20 Donation!!!
When we got on the bus, it was packed, so we couldn’t really talk anymore without screaming.  Seated next to me was a nice lady named Shawn.  She over heard out conversation and asked me a bunch of questions.

I told her all the details and she couldn’t believe I only had a few shekels for the whole year.  She then reached into her pocket and handed me $20.  Come on!  People are just to nice!  She told me to get some food with it!  THANK YOU SHAWN!

On my way back to the Hostel, I took her advice and stopped at pizzeria close by called “A Taste of New York”.  Being from NJ and knowing what good pizza is... this sign usually means... “A Taste Of Imitation Shit!”

Still, I was hungry and you know what they say... Pizza is like sex... even when it’s bad... it’s still pretty good! 😉 LOL

The place had all the bells and whistles of a phony New York pizzeria complete with pictures of every mob movie every made.  Ahhh... this pizza is really gonna suck!

I got a whole a pie because I found a coupon on the counter for $4 off, making a 16 inch pie just $9.  Nice!  The right price, considering a slice was 3 bucks.

I brought the pie back to the Hostel and shared it with a few guys who are as poor as I am.  What goes around comes around!  Surprisingly.... it was very good!  It wasn’t NY/NJ good but what do ya expect... I”m in Minnesota!

Thanks for reading!


Comments (8)

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  1. Josh says:

    I’m gonna guess that the fair’s mascot was probably a gopher, as University of Minnesota’s mascot is the Golden Gopher.

    Also, if you’re going to the Seahawks/Vikings game tonight, I hope you get some good pics! I’m not gonna catch the Seahawks live this season, so I may have to live that vicariously through you.

  2. John Riccio says:

    I’m reading!! That Twinkie makes you look even more gay than that haircut!! :)- LOL! Keep trucking brother!

  3. Jose says:

    Dude, I’m going to St. Paul next weekend for a wedding. I’m DEFINITELY hitting up the state fair! Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Matt says:

    boyz 2 men is a pantie dropper.. i dont care what anyone says…and by the way about 2 lbs of hair gel and your the spittin image of pauly from ur fav jersey shore lol

  5. dave says:

    You got it Jose! You gotta see it to believe it. Everything on a stick!

  6. dave says:

    Hopefully I got enough pics for you. I have more and will post them in a few days…

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