My Fair Llama

Guys! I went to the State Fair on Wednesday and it was amazing. The only time I had more fun at the MN State Fair was when I went with my friend Erin a few years ago. But, seriously, it was a great time.

Unfortunately, Boyfriend had a migraine so I was flying solo for the first half of my trip. Luckily, I’m familiar with–fond of, even–going places alone. There is something about being able to go at your own pace.

Rey and BB8

It was “Read and Ride” Day, which meant (with my library card) I got a $2 discount. Nice!* I hit up the Creative Arts first, admiring the quilts and the bead art and the paper creations. So many jams! So many pies! Which, let’s take a moment and think about how gross it kind of is (and wasteful) that these delicious pies are kept behind glass for ten days. Ew/sad. Next, I went to the Education Building but I remembered that I don’t have the need/want to go back to school so I cruised through there to the Fine Arts building. For real, I am in awe at how creative and talented people are.

The World

This was created by a 9th grader. It’s nails with string. So cool.

From there, I swung past the Libby Conference Center** and through the Horticulture building to see the crop art.**** A fellow improvisor, Nick, has a piece there every year, and this year did not disappoint. Prince!

Its titled "Purple Grains." Yes!

It’s “Purple Grains.” Yes!

Another BB8.

Another BB8.

I know the person who made this (also named Sarah). It's the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge. Very cool.

I know the person who made this (also named Sarah). It’s the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge. Very cool.

After that I went to the Miracle of Birth Center. I felt okay about it because I wasn’t planning to eat for a few hours. It turns out I just missed witnessing a calf being born***** 30 minutes earlier. There were newly hatched ducklings, a lamb whose birthday was that day, and lots and lots of piglets. I felt bad for the new mothers & still-pregnant animals. Imagine being days–minutes–from giving birth and having a crowd of spectators watching: Have you had it yet? Are you in labor now? When is she going to have that baby?? No thank you. I did, however, learn what precocious means in terms of baby animals (mostly mature at birth, i.e. able to walk, etc.) vs. altricial, which is what human babies are.



Once I had seen the babies, it was time to check out the full-grown versions in the different barns. Is it me, or is there something especially cruel about having a hamburger stand across from the Moo Booth/Cattle Barn?

Hamburger Stand taken from Moo Booth. The Circle of Life?

Hamburger Stand taken from Moo Booth. The Circle of Life?

I came up with a new term for the noise in the Poultry Barn: cock-caphony.****** Seriously, it is sooooooooooooo loud. Also, BUNNIES! I wanted to pet one so badly, but I also feel weird about the animals at the fair. Like, what if they’re really introverted and they’re stuck in a pen with a bunch of other sheep they don’t even like AND they also have to deal with hundreds of people. I’m mostly an extrovert and that makes me anxious just thinking about it.

Duck, Duck, Gray Dutch. Just kidding, everyone knows its Goose.

Duck, Duck, Gray Dutch. Just kidding, everyone knows it’s Goose.

I saw SO many sheep testicles. I’ve been to the sheep barn many times and I can’t believe I never noticed the size of their…dangling modifiers? Once I did notice, I couldn’t not notice.

Sheep Balls

Not udders. Well, this is awkward.

After a free sample of cheese at the Moo Booth, and a quick run through the Swine Barn, it was time for the main event. I was a little disappointed with the Swine Barn: I didn’t find Minnesota’s Largest Boar (although I’ve heard MN’s Biggest Bore is Garrison Keillor and he performs at the Grandstand).******* There were several Grand Champion Females/Boars (and I got these great photos), but I was also sad that, for Grand Champion Boar you get $350, but for Grand Champion Bore you don’t get anything.********

Is that Zuckermans Famous Pig??

Is that Zuckermans Famous Pig??*********

Sometimes you get the perfect shot, but only when you zoom in…

Someone put Grandma in the pig pen again. At least this year she won something.

The main reason I went yesterday was to join some friends at the 4-H Lama Costume Contest. No, I did not misspell “Lama.” I found out that lama is the genus, which includes llamas and alpacas**********, so when there are more than just llamas in the show, it’s spelled lama. Fun fact! The scientific name for llama is lama glama. Sometimes scientists have a sense of humor.

This was the Reserve Champion - Junior and the first costume we saw. Everyone gasped. It cost 4.91 for the materials.

This was the Reserve Champion – Intermediate and the first costume we saw. Everyone gasped. It cost $4.91 for the materials. Yes, there is a llama under there.

Check out these costumes!


Alice in Wonderland, Cowboy and Cow, Something from Shark Tank?

And the Champion – Intermediate:

Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumped Over the Moon.

Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumped Over the Moon. There’s even a dog (the little dog laughed to see such sport) and the garbage can lid is the dish running away with the spoon. So clever!

And the Seniors/Advanced Group costumes:

image image image image

Six pack of Coke, Lucky Cricket/Mushu from Mulan, Hillary and Trump, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her cook stove, and a pirate/sea serpent

Six pack of Coke, Lucky Cricket/Mushu from Mulan, Hillary and Trump (!), Laura Ingalls Wilder and her cook stove, and a pirate/sea serpent

The pirate/sea serpent ended up caught in a compromising position. The handler and llama had taken a few steps into the arena for showing when the llama stopped…and went. And then also went #2. The handler lived up to her title and handled it well, and the crowd didn’t hold it against the two of them. They even won! Laura Ingalls and her cook stove were the reserve champions, which was a surprise (I thought they’d win because bubbles).  But I guess bubbles don’t always win.

After that we went to get food, which is its own experience. We had the roasted corn, cheese curds*********** and Sweet Martha’s Cookies. My friend Jeff bought a bucket to share. We got a not-so-sneak peek at how they make them, which ruined it a little for me, but they were as moderately delicious as I remember.

Final thoughts/things I learned/observed:

Sh*t happens, so watch where you step. Especially around the livestock area.

Speaking of, the Poop Emoji hat is the hot item this year. Yes. But also noooooooooooooo.

If you bring a double stroller to the fair, any misery you experience is your own making.

God help you if you have to drive somewhere within the fairgrounds.

I don’t understand the judging criteria for just about anything: many fairly “plain” items in the creative arts building scored very highly compared with more complex (and, in my opinion better/more interesting) pieces.

Sure ways to win at the Minnesota State Fair: make it MN themed. And have llamas.

*Not that stupid “MN Nice,” which really just means passive aggressive.

**Messaging a pic to my little sister, of course.***

***Because her name is Libby.

****Fair companion Jane and I came up with Crap Art, where people make pictures out of different scat (“Whoa, Becky used chinchilla pellets–where’d you get those?” “I know a guy.”)

*****But, really, I didn’t, if you know what I mean.

******Like cacophony. Get it? Ironically, I didn’t see any roosters, but the geese/chickens were pretty loud.

*******Not my joke. But I agree.

********Or, at least, I’m assuming, since I haven’t gotten anything. 🙂

*********No, because Zuckerman’s Famous Pig was named Wilbur and a male. Duh.

**********Although, in researching this, I found out it doesn’t include alpacas anymore…

***********Which, I would like to point out, are from Wisconsin. 🙂

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About Sarah in Small Doses

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2 responses to “My Fair Llama”

  1. Dave says :

    Looks and sounds like fun! Maybe next year . . . Dad

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