Local Current Blog

Live from New York, it’s… the Minnesota State Fair?

Credit: EssBe Art

With the Minnesota State Fair opening this Thursday, many of us have corn on the cob and the Giant Slide on the brain. (Or maybe that’s just me.) But what if you moved out of state and couldn’t make it home for the Great Minnesota Get-Together? What if you had to miss out on the cheese curds??

A group of Minnesota natives-turned-New York City residents set out this week to solve just that dilemma. They banded together to create their own version of the State Fair, mapping out several different restaurants and bars that served classic fried and on-a-stick favorites: corn on the cob, corn dogs, curds, and even buckets of Sweet Martha’s cookies. Not to mention pints of Minnesota-brewed beer.

The MN State Fair Day in NY took place this past Saturday, and by all reports the well-attended crawl went swimmingly. Here’s a first hand account from event co-founder Laura Carter, with photos courtesy of EssBe Art:

“We had a successful Saturday afternoon with over 220 Minnesota State Fair Day participants in NYC. 

“It was a beautiful day full fried food and fun. We started the day at Pop Pub for fried pickles, mini donuts, and corn on the cob. Participants arrived with unbridled enthusiasm for the day to come. Name tags with ‘Name, From, and Favorite thing about the Fair’ started conversations throughout the crowd. Not everyone hailed from the Midwest, many participants from previous years brought East Coast (and overseas) friends for a taste of home. We had people flying to attend from Minnesota (including the parents of participants), San Francisco, and Berlin. Fanny packs and vikings hats were worn. T-shirts of Minnesotan pride ranged from sports favorites (Twins, Vikings, Gophers, even the late North Stars) to ‘six one two’ and ‘Somebody in Minneapolis loves me.’

“After Pop Pub, groups were split into two to reduce congestion at the next locations. The groups headed first to The City Tavern where freshly baked Sweet Martha’s cookies and milk were served. Trivia questions were provided to groups to challenge their Minnesotan sports and movie knowledge for the chance of winning Star Tribune t-shirts. 

“Then the crowds moved to Woody McHale’s for the most anticipated item on the tour: cheese curds. Also present at Woody McHale’s was Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat on tap, a rare find in Manhattan. Last week Woody McHales received a special delivery, a wooden paddle signed by none other than Jacob Leinenkugel thanking Woody McHale’s for their support which now hangs over the bar.

“From Woody McHale’s the crowds split up to pick up french fries, fried Oreos, funnel cakes on their way to the last bar, Bar None. Bar None year-round is a Vikings Bar. Here MNSFD organizers delivered Pop Bar gelato on a stick and Crif Dog corn dogs. Pop Bar was especially enthusiastic about participating because the actual Minnesota State Fair asked that they would participate at last year’s Fair, however Pop Bar was unable to do so. The night ended well after the crawl with Minnesota music favorites blasting throughout Bar None, of course Prince was a popular request.”

For more on MN State Fair Day in NYC, check out the interview the Morning Show’s Jill Riley and Steve Seel did with co-founder Samantha Willems, and visit the MN State Fair Day website.