Tag Archives: Minnesota State Fair

#MnMondays: The Great Minnesota Get Together!

It’s officially that time of year…the Minnesota State Fair opens on Thursday!

Treasured by those around the state, this is a truly Minnesotan experience with bake-offs, farm animals, Grandstand concerts, tractors, and last but certainly not least, fried foods and everything on a stick!

Commonly referred to as “The Great Minnesota Get Together” this event draws people from all over the state (and the world) to come together to graze on buckets of cookies, while sipping all-you-can-drink cups of milk, then heading to the animal barns to see the largest swine, watch baby animals being born at the Miracle of Birth Center, nibbling on something fried or something on a stick, catching a live newscast by one of the local network affiliates, checking out the arts and crafts on display in the Creative Activities building, setting a spell at the bandshell for some live music, trying some MN Wines, eating some more fried foods or something on a stick, like a Pronto Pup, people watching, and maybe ending the day with a show by a favorite artist at the Grandstand, and capping off this year’s trip with fireworks. Or maybe checking out machinery, or going to the Midway, or taking the kids to ride the kiddie rides, or seeing the bees up close in the horticulture building, or checking out the 4-H displays. There really is something for everyone, and everyone really does seem to have a different favorite thing to do or experience at the Fair.

Personally, I have several favorites. I saw my first concert (Alabama) at the Grandstand when I was six, and nearly every year since then I’ve gone to a Grandstand Show. Of course I’m going again this year for the Dixie Chicks (and Alabama is back. As far as fair foods, I have several favorites including Fudge Puppies (Belgian waffle on a stick dipped in chocolate), several items at Mancini’s, the Reuben Bites at O’Gara’s and of course…corn on the cob! A trip to the Fair is not complete without it.

Another favorite thing of mine is the baking contests. Last year, I entered an original recipe for the first time, and I took second place in the Gold Medal Flour Cookie Contest. It was so exciting! I’m currently finalizing this year’s entry…stay tuned….

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2015 Gold Medal Cookie Contest Winners

What’s your favorite State Fair food or experience?

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O’Gara’s Bar & Grill

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this week’s Minnesota Mondays post is all about one of the state’s best Irish pubs!

There’s a reason this St. Paul establishment has been around since 1941—the food here is down-home-delicious and the atmosphere combines the feel of an Irish Pub with a local hometown atmosphere. The menu features a variety of American and Irish options, but my favorite is the Fish & Chips. Perfectly beer battered and served with a side of fries and coleslaw, O’Gara’s Fish & Chips are reminiscent of some of the best pubs in Ireland. Looking for something a bit meatier? The Shepard’s Pie is pretty delightful too.

In addition to the menu, the restaurant’s game room was once the home of Carl Schultz’ Barber Shop. He lived along with his son Charles Schultz (the creator of Peanuts) in an apartment above the barber shop. The restaurant features a variety of photos and Peanuts memorabilia, including a Snoopy drawing created especially for Dan O’Gara.

SnoopymemorabiliaCan’t make it to the original location? You can also grab some classic fare to go at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport—Terminal 1 or enjoy special menu items and live music at the Minnesota State Fair at the corner of Dan Patch Avenue & Cosgove Street.

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O’Gara’s at the Minnesota State Fair

What’s your fave O’Gara’s memory?