We’re sad to report that we are among the many, many disappointed folks who were not able to get tickets for the Minnesota State Fair’s first-ever Food Parade. Like countless others, we gave up after 90 minutes of loading and reloading the crashing website, only to be told the event was sold out. (And then to see scalpers selling the $20 vehicle tickets on Craigslist for $125? Ugh.)
So we said to heck with it and decided to design our own D.I.Y. State Fair Food Parade. Instead of eating ourselves silly in a single gut-busting day, we’re spreading our calories throughout August, using Facebook’s Fair Food Finder group as our guide.
First up: Miller’s Concessions, a popular stand to hit after whooshing down the Great Slide. Unlike its nemesis The Mouth Trap, the 25-year-old concessions company offers four flavors of hand-battered cheese curds: original, ranch, garlic, and jalapeño. We’re so into that last one, we drove an hour to a Coborn’s parking lot in Princeton last weekend to order a tray.
And since they were right there, tempting us with their sizzling eau de fryer smells and nostalgic fair vibes, we also indulged in Miller’s foot-long corndogs, funnel cake, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. We felt ashamed afterward, so we did a 2.5-mile walk through Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Zimmerman, about 10 minutes away. (Totally recommended, by the way, for its grassy paths, darting butterflies, and meadows of wildflowers!)
Wanna piece together your own Fair Food Parade? Miller’s caravans are posting up at gas stations, grocery stores, race tracks, and campgrounds throughout summer. From August 5 through 9, for example, it’ll be at the Cub Foods in Willmar, with deep-fried Oreos and soft serve on the menu.
Yes, that’s two hours from the Twin Cities, but you could always pair it with a tour of the Jeffers Petroglyphs in Comfrey (tickets should be reserved in advance), a double feature screening at the Starlite Drive-In in Litchfield, or a visit to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Darwin. (We know how to party, baby!)
To see where the trucks go after that, follow facebook.com/millerconcessions.