Ask enough people, and you’ll hear 10,000 good reasons why anyone would want to go to the Minnesota State Fair. There’s the thing-on-a-stick camp, who believe that the Great Minnesota Get-Together’s value lies in its speared fried foods. There are the animal fanatics, all of them seemingly impressed by barn whathaveyous — right here in the city! And there are the ride enthusiasts, for whom velocity-induced squealing is a pleasure and traveling carnie-folk are trusted brethren.
But the fair is not about any one thing. It’s about the hugeness of its sum, and more important, about the event’s knack for bringing people together. At its core, the fair is 12 days of people-watching, a chance to walk around with a bucket of deep-fried somethings and actively gawk at all of the passers-by we are too polite to stare down the other 353 days a year. We set out to the fair last Saturday to watch some people and hear a few stories.