Friday, August 31, 2007
Day 68: Minneapolis
All photos of the Minnesota State Fair and new Twins Ballpark groundbreaking ceremony available on Flickr.
You know you're from the Midwest if you're as excited to go to the state fair as we were today! The Minnesota State Fair was in town, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. I was looking forward to eating a lot and harassing as many animals as possible since I have missed the last three Wisconsin State Fairs due to attending school/work outside of Milwaukee. The only real fair comparison I have is the one in Wisconsin, and the Minnesota fair was pretty similar - tons of food, giant slide, animal barns, exhibit houses, parades, and straw everywhere. I took down some smothered 'tato skins, some corn, and a cream puff. The puff did not really compete at all with the ones in Wisconsin in terms of taste and size, but at the Minnesota fair, you can get different flavors of cream, so bonus points for that. I also acquired another non-baseball souvenir cup. Erik had another fair staple - cheese curds.
The Minnesota State Fair did not have nearly the array of animals that the Wisconsin one does, nor does it have as much live music. There also seemed to be fewer places to buy useless stuff. The worst thing though is that there was no type of animal race anywhere! The unique thing to the Minnesota fair is that you can get any food imaginable on a stick. Waffles, spaghetti & meatballs, pizza, you name it. There are also two buildings that Wisconsin does not have - a live-berth house and a ride-a-horse house. Although I was extremely disappointed that the pig and cattle barns were closed for the day, I had a great time at the fair. Unless the Brewers are in the playoffs or the Admirals have a sweet giveaway, Erik and I have already discussed me visiting in mid-October to attend the Minnesota Beef Expo, which is also held on the fair grounds.
After the fair, we headed downtown to the warehouse district to be a part of Minnesota history. We got to watch the new Twins Ballpark groundbreaking ceremony. Many Hennepin County and Minnesota politicians were there, Twins front office folk, current and former players (including a tipsy Kent Hrbek, who was handed a beer and subsequently took it down during his speech), T.C. Bear, and even the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, was in attendance. He got booed by some fans because he tried to contract the Twins a few years back, but overall it was a good ceremony. There were about 10 speeches, five groups of people who did ceremonial digging, a WWII jet fly-over, and even a 7th inning stretch where everyone sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" The event was catered and everything, and it was really cool to be there for this important event. There were some angry protesters outside the gates with signs saying that Minnesota was wasting its tax money, but I was easily distracted from their signs while I was looking at the free poster I was given featuring an awesome rendering of what the new park will look like. Erik and I are both excited for the return of outdoor baseball in Minneapolis in 2010.
After the game, we went to a bar downtown and capped our evening off by putting a few drinks back and watching the Brewers lose again. Tomorrow it's a doubleheader against the Royals! And as a side note...my mom has been in contact with Ted Perry from the local FOX affiliate in Milwaukee since the start of the tour, and he and/or someone from the network has agreed to come interview us while tailgating in Milwaukee on Sunday! Anyone in the Milwaukee FOX 6 viewing area be sure to watch the news on Sunday!