• Amanda Vanderbeek

    Amanda Vanderbeek

    Class of 2012
    Ely, MN
    Elementary education

    Amanda's Bio:
    I grew up in the Twin Cities, but now live up in Ely, MN near the BWCA, where my family has been for the last 7 years. I have three brothers, who I adore, and I enjoy fishing, playing basketball, and rough housing with them whenever I can. My mom has been a daycare provider since I was born, which served as inspiration for me to pursue a degree in Elementary education. I also love to paint, draw, and DANCE! I have been dancing for twenty years and am a dance instructor in Superior, WI....I can't imagine a life without it!

  • Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

  • Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

    Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

  • Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

Top Ten Reasons You SHOULD Go to the Great Minnesota Get-Together

One of my favorite times of the entire year is when the Minnesota State Fair opens for business.  Living in Ely, I very rarely get to make it there anymore to enjoy the festivities.  However, when I was growing up down in the Twin Cities, this event was a staple for my family every year.  We would go with my dad and enjoy the vast amount of activities and sights that the fair has to offer, as well as observe the interesting individuals who were roaming the streets.  For me, it was the highlight of my summer.  Yet, many individuals do not understand the purpose of this event…or see the fun in it (although I find this hard to understand!).  I mean…how can you not?  To make for a more convincing argument as to why this event is so inspiring and enjoyable to attend, here is my top ten list of reasons why this fair is not one to miss:

10. The location

The fair takes place right in St. Paul, making it a great location for other events before or after you attend the fair, as well.  Near Ikea (which is a great location to buy college furniture..ahum ahum), the Mall of America, and eclectic venues, this is a great place to have a get away to if you are from out of town.

9. The animals

Nothing beats the opportunity to look at adorable cows, pigs, sheep, horses, chickens, and aquatic life all in one location (exept maybe the zoo).  However, what makes the fair’s animals unique is that most of them are in competition for some sort of prize, whether it is the best in show, largest, or best performing.

8. The competition

Only at the fair can you see so many individuals competing to be the best.  Whether it is wood carvers hoping to create the best wooden figures, people partaking in eating contests, or creating the best float for the State Fair parade, it doesn’t get much more competitive than here.

7. The rides

The Midway at the State Fair is home to fifty or more rides, all of which are unique to fairs.  It’s as though they take county fairs from around the state and mesh all of their rides in one place…with dozens more provisions on safety checks!  Plus, they have featured rides in the main areas of the fair, as well, such as the giant bungee jumping tower, the Big Slide, and the Space Needle.

6. The people

You never know who you are going to see at the fair.  You sometimes run into people you see all of the time (which gives you one of those “Small World” feelings) and other times you see some of the oddest dressed and most eccentric people you have ever laid eyes on.  Just makes people watching that much more intriguing! 😉

5. The music

The fair’s Grandstand boasts musical performances by famous singers and bands nearly every night of the week.  This year, some of the artists featured include Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, and Demi Lovato.  I have been to a concert here before, and you will not be disappointed!  Plenty of sitting and standing room and amazing sound quality.

4. The souvenirs

The best thing in the world is walking by booths and being handed loads of information and handy pocket souvenirs that you really don’t need!  You leave the fair with so much stuff you don’t even know what to do with.  Just makes the experience that much more memorable…and comical!

3. The themed booths

Each booth is unique and plays up to a specific product, in most cases.  Some of my favorites include the Culligan Water Stand (free water!), the milk stand (free milk!), the Charmin bathroom (cleanest and best smelling…with the softest TP!), and the KDWB stand (best music!).

2. The smells

The smells of the fair are always wafting around in giant clouds.  The best part is, you never know what you’re going to get.  Some clouds may smell amazing, like the aroma of freshly baking cookies or barbeque from a nearby stand.  The next cloud might smell like garbage from the nearby can that is overflowing.  The next may be a cloud of perfume from the mob of older ladies that just walked by.  It’s always a surprise.

1. The FOOD!

Of course, this would be numero uno.  Who could deny that the food is the primary reason why everyone attends the fair, and with reason!  Only here can you get some of the most delicious and unique delicacies of the state.  This includes some of my personal favorites: Sweet Martha’s Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Calzones, Foot Long Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Deep fried Candy Bars, Deep fried Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Axel’s!), and Frozen Lemonade.  Oh, but of course, for breakfast you have to do Tom Thumb’s Mini Donuts.  Simply the best!  Yum, yum, and yum.Care to search for one of your favorite foods?  This handy fair food finder will be happy to find a stand to satisfy those cravings!  >>>http://www.mnstatefair.org/find/food/index.html

Happy fair-going!

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