See what Minnesota celebrities eat, drink and watch at the State Fair

The 2022 Minnesota State Fair is almost here so MPR News reached out to Minnesota celebrities for their must-eat, must-see and must-see Minnesota State Fair. Here’s what they said.

Keith Marler, Fox 9 meteorologist

  • Eat: I’m out there almost every day, I keep my “take a bite and move on” mantra pretty strong. With all the old favorites and new stuff I’m exposed to on a daily basis, I need to roll out of there every year on Labor Day if I’m going to accomplish everything I try. But, I’m always a sucker for Al’s Subs’ biscuits and gravy some mornings and Bow Bob’s Alligator Saute at least two or three times.

  • Drink: Many years ago a friend introduced me to the wonderful concept of a fair breakfast beer so at least once during the fair, when there was a morning show, he and I would meet in the morning at the Ballpark Cafe and have a toast. (But just one day I don’t have to do the 11 am show.)

  • See: I think the “must see” has been making the rounds to meet the many friends I’ve made over the last 19 years at various vendors, booths and exhibits. I only see most of these people once a year, and so the fair has really evolved into a 12-day family reunion for me.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz

  • Eat: Cut the pork into a stick.

  • Drink: Not only do I love visiting the all-you-can-drink milk booth, I’ll be chipping in as a volunteer this year.

  • WATCH: I’ll miss butter carving hall-of-famer Linda Christensen, but I can’t wait to see Gerry Kulzer take on butter!

Kate DiCamillo, author

  • Eat: I like going to the fair very much, early in the morning. I get a breakfast burrito.

  • Drink: A cup of coffee.

  • See: animal reserve. There is something absolutely heavenly about being down early in the morning. Let me quote EB White (“Charlotte’s Web”): “The barn was very big. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the sweat of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of sick cows. It was often very quiet. The smell was—like nothing in the world could be worse.”

Bad bad hat, local band

  • Eat: Sweet Martha’s cookies and roasted ears of corn.

  • Drink: The first and most interesting beer we find.

  • See: Giant Award-Winning Vegetables.

Jana Laghul, Kere 11 journalist and anchor

  • Eat: Danielson & Sons Onion Rings

  • Drink: Coldest or freshest local IPA. I will roam near and far the fairgrounds to find it.

  • Watch: Easy — Amateur Talent Show.

Fairborn and Fairchild, Minnesota State Fair mascots

  • Eat: We love all the food at the fair, but as gophers, we’re natural vegetarians—so, don’t say, but we like to mix our snacks in the crops planted nearby by Little Farm Hands.

  • Drink: We’re naturally partial to malts from Gopher Dairy Bar. The name says it all!

  • Watch: Daily Parade Must! It brings together two of our absolute favorite mascots… the US!

    State Fair mascot Fairchild in 1998

    Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair Archives

Benjamin Percy, author and screenwriter

  • Eat: The reason for going to the fair is to eat. The hot chicken sandwich at the Blue Barn is a favorite, but I’ll also throw in some Pronto Pops (not corndogs!) and cream puffs and cheese curds and buttered cobs in my mouth. We always review the food lists in advance and hit some new and gourmet offerings as well. I’ll definitely wear stretchy pants and medicate with a Costco-size helping of Toms.

  • Beverage: It is a truth universally accepted that the day I attend the fair is the hottest of the year. Which means I’m always in the mood for a cold beer. I like the idea of ​​being adventurous and trying some more experimental brews, but… I stick to my local IPAs: Surly, Summit and Mad Butcher to name a few.

  • See: My wife was a 4-H kid, so she has a long history with the fair and may be its ultimate fan. He likes to go multiple times and map out the whole day in advance. I have my favorites, like Haunted House, but I stick to her. And his last site – which he regards with almost sacred reverence – is the giant slide. He also has a t-shirt. And she claims she’s going down it until she’s 100. So we always shout and get it down.

Sven Sundgaard, MPR News meteorologist

  • Eat: I like to hit the turkey stand near the DNR area. I try to be reasonably healthy and a plain hot turkey sandwich is a must for me: tons of protein and it’s delicious! Then I feel less guilty about other things like fried pickles and mini donuts, which are also essential for me. They’re simple, but Tiny Tim donuts are a thing of the past for me, I always had them with my late grandfather.

  • Drink: If it’s midday and hot, nothing tastes as good as an ice-cold Diet Coke, but we’ve become fans of that new mini donut beer. It sounds weird, but it was great.

  • See: All animals. I think a lot of people have forgotten about the fair. Growing up on a hobby farm with horses and goats, I always wanted to see what everyone else’s goats and horses looked like and my favorite animal: pigs. I always wanted a pig but my parents never got me one…I’m still bitter…but I love meeting them.

Kelly Barnhill, author

  • Eat: Corn on the cob, or Martha’s cookies, or maybe those spicy walleye cakes I once ate at a booth I can’t remember and have been looking for ever since.

  • Drink: A bottomless cup of milk, how can it taste better there than at home?

  • New Kids at the Miracle of Life Center obviously, and maybe the MPR booth, just because.

    Two girls are sitting on grass in a cowshed with cows.

    Two girls sit on the grass with their cows in the cow barn on Aug. 23 at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights.

    Evan Frost | MPR News 2018

Jason Matheson, host of The Jason Show

Yia Vang, Chef of Union Hmong Kitchen

  • Eat: This year it’s our meal at the Union Hmong Kitchen booth at the International Market, but I also love the smoked turkey legs from Turkey to Go.

  • Drink: 1919 Root Beer, of course.

  • See: It’s great to go up on the Ferris wheel and get a full view of the fair and all the people.

Angela Davis, MPR News Host

Joe Schmidt, KSTP sports director

Lori and Julia, myTalk 107.1

  • Eat: A cheeseburger ($3.50) at the Midways Men’s Club, tied with a slice of pizza at the pizza cart ($2!), notice a trend? We know where the best cheap food is.

  • Drink: Beer at the Frontier Saloon.

  • See: Music, on any stage.

Jenny Clark, Minnesota Aurora assistant coach

Leif Enger, former MPR news correspondent and local author

  • I hate to admit it, but the last time I went to the State Fair was in the early 90s when my brother Lynn and I were writing mysteries together. I don’t remember what I ate, but my wife Robin says I smelled garlic after the gyro. Sorry, I’m a bad person to ask.

Alex Goligoski, Minnesota Wild defenseman

  • Eat: I have to get cheese curds and vanilla milkshakes from the dairy building.

  • Drinks: The Mini Donut Beer is also great, as is the Dill Pickle Beer.

  • See: We try to do a concert every year if we can and I love going down the big yellow slide with the kids.

    Drawing a large slide and crowd at the State Fair

    This sketch depicts a crowd of fairgoers walking down a giant slide and one of the fair’s oldest attractions.

    Courtesy of Amber Sausen

Alec Soth, photographer

  • Eat: Liquid nitrogen ice cream on nitro ice cream.

  • Drink: Kombucha at Product Exchange.

  • See: Miracles of the birth center, all the time (though not while drinking kombucha).

Chris Carr, K102 morning show host

  • Eat: Porkchop on a stick. Sweet Martha’s Cookies and Steak Bites at Lulu’s.

  • Drink: The chocolate malt at Al’s Subs is delicious.

  • Booth K102, of course! But the miracle of the birth center is also good.

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