Reporting Jason DeRusha
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We start with a Good Question that’s more complicated than it seems.
Bob Knaeble from Bemidji wanted to know: How old is the State Fair?
The first fair was in 1859, in Minneapolis. Downtown, too.
They didn’t have the fair five times, because of the Civil War, the Sioux Uprising, the World’s Fair in Chicago, World War II fuel shortages, and the polio epidemic.
So, to answer the question, this is the 149th Minnesota State Fair.
Bill Schroers from Golden Valley wanted to know: Are other state fairs as obsessed with food on a stick as we are?
We do like to think we’re special, but the on-a-stick thing is pretty big at other fairs in the Midwest. I count 71 foods on a stick here.
In Wisconsin, I counted 68, including deep fried stuffing on a stick. Iowa had 57 different foods on a stick.
Paul Meyer in St. Paul asked: How much fryer oil is used during the Great Minnesota Get-Together?
The fair doesn’t track the total amount, because each vendor is an independent business owner. But the fair does collect the grease to recycle, and last year they recycled 55 tons of grease. That’s 110,000 pounds.
At the Fresh French Fry booth alone they use about 3,000 gallons of oil. That’s about 23,000 pounds.