Minnesota State Fair, New York Style


The Minnesota State Fair starts next week, but not every Minnesotan will be able to get there, of course.

In New York, a group of ex-pat Minnesotans will, instead, celebrate the State Fair in spirit with dangerously fatty food. They’re holding a Minnesota State Fair Day in New York to recreate the real deal, by touring the city, looking for food on a stick.

Three ex-pats are the brains behind the effort. Jen Wise from Mitchell, South Dakota; Nina Panda from New Brighton; and Laura Carter from Forest Lake. None seems interested in moving back and on the occasion when they are, it seems mostly to be around the beginning of September.

“The three of us met because of our University of Minnesota connection, Jen and Nina graduated from Carlson in 2005 and I graduated in 2007. I was good friends with Jen’s sister who introduced us; I moved to New York just shortly after Jen arrived,” said Carter, who works in marketing in the design industry.

Wise moved to New York after working in downtown Minneapolis for two years but, according to Carter, was unhappy with her job and moved to New York on a whim, and loves it. “However, she is extremely proud of her Midwest roots, and she will always be a Midwesterner at heart,” she said.

Nina Panda says she was sure Minnesota was “the greatest place ever,” but “in order to put some credibility behind that statement, (she) decided to move away.”

Here is their blog, which includes a history of State Fair foods for the unsuspecting New Yorker who just wants a, errr, taste of Minnesota summer. Here’s a slideshow of last year’s event. It appears we need to send them some pickle hats, or perhaps this year’s stunning MPR State Fair T-shirt.

(h/t: Molly Bloom)

  • Bob Moffitt

    What a fun idea! I used to go to the Indiana State Fair, but I have to tell you, Minnesota’s is better.

  • Jordan

    Sounds like a lot of fun, calories and walking just like the real thing.

  • Drew Salisbury

    This will be my first year not attending the Fair in my 25 years, except for maybe one summer when I was 13 and thought I was too cool for the State Fair (sigh). Unfortunately I am just now seeing this, otherwise I’d be out there with them. (And I’ve had Fat Annie’s cheese curds… they’re just not the same.)

  • Barb Thompson IA

    Hi Katie! You are all looking good with fanny packs attached and dreams of deep fried delights. Thanks for the laugh.