I was browsing Inforum this morning and scrolled down to where the calendar of events are posted. What was notable on the calendar was that the first three posts were all festival events: Dilworth Loco Daze, Community Days in Kindred, ND and Turkey Days in Frazee, MN. One thing I’ve noticed about the Upper Midwest is that anything can be a good excuse for a celebration and they typically involve some sort of parade, a pancake breakfast, a special event unique to only that festival and often a demolition derby. Now, if you know me at all you know that I love nothing more than a good festival or fair. Unfortunately, there are just too many festivals and so little time, so I have not been able to go to many as of yet.
As I began browsing around for other area festivals and fairs, I realized I need to change my priorities around. I composed a bucket list of all that I want to attend before I leave the Midwest. Please know that these are only a few of the hundreds that I found, and if you have any suggestions of festivals and fairs that I should add to my list, please let me know:
- Potato Days– Barnesville, Minnesota: Actually, I can check this one off my list. We moved here just in time for the 2010 Potato Days and couldn’t resist going to check out Mashed Potato Wrestling, gorge on french fries during the french fry feed and watch the Miss Tator Tot Pageant.
- Norsk Høstfest– Minot, ND: The World’s Largest Scandinavian Festival? Count me in. Norsk Høstfest celebrates the heritage and culture of the five Nordic countries with entertainment and Nordic food, clothes, art and jewelry.
- Minnesota State Fair– The fact that the slogan for the fair is, “The Great Minnesota Get-Together”, makes me fall in love with it even more than I already was. Not only is it the largest state fair in the United States in term of attendance but it is also known for having the greatest number of fair-foods on a stick and if that wasn’t enough, there is a group karaoke sing-along at one point. Oh, my heart be still.
- North Dakota State Fair– Minot, ND: Though unfortunately the fair had to be canceled this year due to the terrible flooding in and around Minot, I can’t wait to go next year.
- Lobster and Lefse Festival– Fargo, ND: A fundraiser for the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the YWCA Cass Clay organized by the FM Rotary Club, this festival combines fresh Main lobster and Norwegian style lefse. Delicious and quirky. My favorite combination.
- Mandan Rodeo Days– Mandan, ND: How can I live in the Midwest and not go to a rodeo while I’m here? This one seems like a good one. And pitchfork fondue? I’m sold.
- Polar Fest– Detroit Lakes, MN: What do you do when its -32 degrees in February? Jump in a lake of course. I’ve participated in Polar Plunge events before, but not in the Midwest. On top of the plunge, there is Turkey Bowling (what?), Ice Tee Golf, and a 5k Freeze Your Buns Run.
- Pie Day– Braham, MN: Apparently, Braham is the homemade pie capital of Minnesota. Activities include a pie eating contest, a pie baking contest, a pie art show and a pie relay. I love pie.
- Blueberry Festival– Lake George, MN: Blueberry pancake feed, blueberry ball, blueberry square dance AND an educational booth on blueberries. Blueberry heaven. Have you noticed I love festivals centered around food?
- St. Paul Winter Carnival– St. Paul, MN: Ever since watching Mighty Ducks, I have wanted to see castles made of ice. I sculpted a few snowmen and women in my youth, but nothing compared to what these artists can make out of snow.