The Minnesota State Fair is riddled with freebies. I've seen folks walking the fairgrounds schlepping enough swag to fill several garage sales, and I wonder: What are they going to do with all that junk when they get home?
But finding food freebies? It's tough. Aside from the refreshing water at the Culligan stand, I'm hard pressed to come up with many handouts of the edible variety at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
Kemp's is changing that. Every day from now through Sept. 1 the ice cream maker is offering samples of the two finalists in its Hometown Favorites Flavor contest. Here's how it works: Show up between 1 and 2 p.m. at the Kemp's stand on Machinery Hill (or what's left of it; the farm implement displays seem to dwindle each year), and sample "Land of 10,000 Licks" (sweet cream ice cream blended with caramel, toffee and sea salt, created by Jennifer Folkens of Rogers, Minn.) and "Pubcorn and Peanuts" (popcorn-flavored ice cream with crushed salted peanuts and dark chocolate, submitted by Kelly Moritz of St. Paul) and then cast a vote for your favorite. Both sound like winners to me.
The grand prize winner will be selected from a combination of fairgoer votes, an online poll and a panel of celebrity judges (including the 2011 Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Mary Zahurones) convening at the fair on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.
Now get eating.