The State Fair Is An Agency Affair
Seems like forever ago since the last Great Minnesota Get-Together, Eat-Together and Sweat-Together. But dig up your favorite fanny pack because it's time again to pet the animal babies, get three times your people-watching fix, and take in enough calories in a day to throw your metabolism out of whack for a month. At Riley Hayes, we've always put the State Fair on a pedestal (blue ribbon and all), shutting down the office for a day and taking in all the sights, sounds, tastes and smells (eeewwww) we can. This year, for the first time ever (hold the drumroll, pass the turkey drumstick), we're sharing our favorite fair flavors and features with all of you.
Anthony Ticknor, VP Technology
"You betcha, it's the coffee. From the Swedish Egg Coffee at Salem Lutheran to the Mocha-on-a-Stick at the Minnesota Farmers Union, I'm never very far from a caffeinated treat. I'm excited for the new Maple Cream Nitro Cold Press at Farmers Union this year."
Susanna Mennicke, Designer
"I always stop first at O'Garas for the pretzel cheese curds, which are a worthy update of the classic fair fare. And I have to visit the Miracle of Birth Center every year. Usually something my fair-going companions will bow out of because they get squicked out by the birthing part, but come on, those baby farm animals are too cute."
Natalie Judd, Account Supervisor
"In my opinion, one cannot go to the Minnesota State Fair and NOT step foot into the Dairy Building to see Princess Kay of the Milky Way and the dairy princesses get their heads carved into a 90-pound block of butter. Bring your roasted corn-on-the-cob or stop for an ice cream cone right there in the Dairy Building and watch the sculptor at work in the rotating cooler. Next stop: the Creative Activities building to see Wendy Judd's ribbon winning jam, jelly, and pickles in the display case #prouddaughter #fairnepotism"
Olivia Gardner, Assistant Account Executive
"Obviously, my main priority is stuffing my face with as many calories-on-a-stick as possible but I really love the fair for all the animals! One of my must-sees every year is the llama costume contest. It's probably one of the fair's best-kept secrets—people go ALL out. It's crazy cute, entertaining and really just hilarious. This year it happens on Wednesday, August 30th at 6 pm in Agstar Arena. Don't be llame-a and miss it!"
Jennifer Zandlo, Account Executive
"It's not even close, my favorite part of the fair is the swine barn to see the baby piglets and largest boar. The babies are so adorable and... eeeeeeeeeeee... it's the best when you get to pet them! BUT go first thing in the morning so you can get up close without having to fight the massive crowds around the pen. Also, it won't smell quite as bad (but yeah, still bad)."
Kristian Mundahl, Senior Media Planner
"Few things hold up year after year at the fair quite like the Milk Booth. For a couple bucks, you get a styrofoam cup of cold, dairy goodness that pairs well with everything from a pronto pup to a mitt-full of fried pickles to a bucket of Sweet Martha's. Now mosey over to the Miracle of Birth Center where you'll see newborn calves nursing on the very same liquid you're guzzling. It's the circle of life! PROTIP: Ask nicely for half skim/half chocolate and you'll have a "Twist"-y treat that would do Chubby Checker proud!"
Sarah Lerum, Designer
"I'm not a big food experimenter, so a few corn dogs and I'm good. But I'm really into the 3rd Lair Skatepark shows at the X-Zone. Love watching the BMX athletes and skateboarders throw some big tricks (not to mention some of the big falls)! It's always a great show, and it's free. That means more corn dogs for me!"
Julie Salfer, Senior Project Manager
"My favorite part of the fair is the dog show, paws down. It's so much fun watching these awesome dogs do crazy tricks! The best part is that all the dogs originally came from shelters. I have two adopted doggos myself, so it makes me really happy seeing other shelter pups leading happy and healthy lives."
Tyler Page, Software Engineer
"In my humble opinion, the Lumberjack Show is one of the best attractions at the fair and, surprisingly, it just so happens to be free. I'd been going to the fair for years before I stumbled upon this display of world-class foresting feats. The axe-letes go head to head at events like single buck sawing, obstacle pole, logrolling, hot saw, speed climbing and more. It's farther up on the northside of the fairgrounds away from all the crowds and commotion, so it's easy to miss if you don't know about it. Go cheer on your favorite flanneled competitor!"