Scene at the fair

State Fair: Views from Carnes Avenue

What do people love most about the State Fair? The food, the traditions, the animals, the performers — all strong answers. But some would say it's the people-watching, and a look up and down Carnes Avenue provides our lens for today's photo essay. 


The corner of Carnes Avenue and Nelson Street. Attendance has been lower in 2021 than in prior years with the continued threat of the pandemic.
Chase Youngblood of Robbinsdale hopped up from his table to dance with Rometta Burke of Minneapolis (a stranger to him) after she was dancing alone to Shania Twain’s Any Man of Mine sung by the band Ali and Joe at the Frontier Saloon on Carnes Avenue.
Charlotte Oscarson, 13, Jane Alberding and her daughter Olivia Alberding, 14, left to right, took a photo in a picture booth at Playland Fun and Games on the corner of Carnes Avenue and Nelson Street. For the last 34 years, Jane Alberding has taken a photo in a photo booth at the fair with her family members and friends as an annual tradition. “There used to be old black and whites. That’s what we started with,” said Jane. This was Charlotte’s first time at the fair. She came with her friend Olivia.
Harriet Brawn of St. Cloud came to the state fair early in the morning to spend some time sketching and doing a mock watercolor she intends to redo in the future. She sat at the northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street sketching the Skyride and the people walking around the fair. Last year, Brawn’s watercolor of a scene at the fair won first prize in the art’s competition. Brawn says most years many artists come to the fair early to sketch but this year many opted out because of the Covid-19 risk. “People watching is what it is all about for me,” said Brawn, about early mornings at the fair.
Eli Wiechmann, 8, of New Hope, shared a bite of his mini donut with his little brother Camden, 3, as they, along with their sister Molly, 6, at left, spent their last day of summer at the fair before they started school the next day. The family has a tradition of coming to the fair every year early and starting with mini donuts and a stop at the KFAN booth to listen to sports radio. They were at Tiny Tin Miniature Donuts along Carnes Avenue east of Chambers Street.
A view of the Midway at dusk from Carnes Avenue.
Florencio Hernandez blew up an extra alien blow-up toy while in the middle of all the toys in the center of his booth at the corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street. The alien blow-up toys are the most popular toy at the fair this year.
Ryan Petersen, 13, raised his hands as he rode the Air Maxx ride with his uncle’s girlfriend Emily Clare of Lakeville. The ride swings over the intersection of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street.
The Sam Juusisto Band got the crowd dancing, including Brittany Christenson, of Minneapolis (in sunglasses), singing “Raise Your Glass” by Pink at the Dino’s Bar Shed.
Emma Hernandez, 7, played with her baby sister Luna, 4 months old, as she waited with her other siblings for her parents to return with food at the southeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Cooper Street. This was her first time ever at the fair after moving from Arizona to Minnesota this year. Her mother grew up in Minnesota, going to the fair each year. “We had to show them (the four children) how amazing it is,” said her mother, Brianna Hernandez.
The crowd on Carnes Avenue around 6:40pm on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.
Nick McCormick kissed Kassie Murawski, of north Minneapolis, as they shared a treat and listened to music outside of Dino’s Bar Shed at night.
Lori Neuberg took a photo of her daughter Quinlyn Neuberg, 5, of St. Paul, with a fresh bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies as the sun set on the fair along Carnes Avenue.
Monica Kenton and “Magic” Brad Gudim, of Fridley, walked arm in arm along Carnes Avenue during the morning light. Kenton worked at the fair for six years when she was a teenager and was enjoying pointing out her memories to Gudim who isn’t too familiar with the fair. They decided to go to the fair early to avoid the crowds during the pandemic.
The Skyride crossed over State Fairgoers on the corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street on Monday.