This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Posts about State fair

New Fair Video: One Last Look

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: September 6, 2010 - 12:01 PM

 The sixth and final video of this year's Fair - a look back at the Fair and the obligatory twilight shots of the Midway on a gorgeous late summer evening. Click on the headline of the post, and you'll be whisked off to the video. Thanks, and enjoy the rest of the weekend. 

New Fair Vid: The Old and the New

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: September 3, 2010 - 2:52 PM

 Shot on a  warm sunny day - which seems like a million years ago - here's a basic, if obvious, primer on the difference between old homey fair and the shinier new additions. 

Cold Fair

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: September 3, 2010 - 1:57 PM

Coldest Fair day ever? I’ve no idea, but I’m guessing no; we’re known for freak snaps. 2007 started out with temps in the 50s plus rain, for added fun. People’s teeth were chattering so much you needed the Jaws of Life to get their mouths open to accept a corn dog.


A reader asked if Fair attendance was adjusted for temps, and in my capacity as a journalist I’m here to say that’s a very good question. It probably all evens out; the cold days keep away people, the blast-furnace days keep away people. But in my capacity as an opinion journalist I would also like to make a mealy-mouthed equivocation on that last assertion, and say cold weather is worse for attendance than hot weather. When it’s hot you think: shade. Indoor attractions. A snow-cone applied directly to the forehead. When it’s cold there’s no relief. It’s everywhere. Who wants to get wet all day, after all?


Yes, I know, you do. If you’re that kind of person. There are hearty fair-goers who cannot be denied, and walk around in giant plastic sacks with freebie bags on their heads, having a grand time, thinking: Should have brought a cat! We could bring it to the Merchandise Mart and swing it around by the tail and not hit anyone! But that would be cruel, and Cat-Swinging Day was discontinued in 1967. In any case, if you’re one of those who go to the Fair regardless of the weather, we salute you.


Here’s a picture I took the other day: haven’t seen these before.


Keep in mind that A) he was pushing an enormous plastic bin of fair garbage, which can get rather aromatic, and B) it was still probably true.

Horticulture Bldg. Makeover

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: September 3, 2010 - 10:31 AM

This was the old Horticulture building:




Here it is now:





I like it, and I don’t. If you liked the old uncolored stone and find this gaudy, well, for heaven’s sake do not get in a Time Machine and head back to Rome or ancient Greece. They painted their temples too.

At least now we know what’s up at the top: corn.






Also changed: the letters. They’ve lost that blue-white-green look that used to be a Fair trademark. I’m guessing that’ll be phased out everywhere. If it hasn’t already.

New Fair Video!

Posted by: James Lileks Updated: September 2, 2010 - 2:30 PM

 Meet the Fair's oldest long-time attendee, and see Fairchild react with horror, here


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