MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many fairgoers approach the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” with precision and a highly organized routine.
“I have to enter through the main gates on Snelling Avenue,” Emily Ronning said.
From there, Ronning says they head down Dan Patch Avenue for corn fritters and then it’s over to the livestock barns.
“We like to go to the first part of the fair to see the sheep,” she said.
Having a plan is comforting to many because it’s psychologically soothing.
“Going to the State Fair is a ritual for many people,” said Hennepin County Medical Center psychologist Matthew Syzdek.
He said the fact that the fair doesn’t change much over time is key.
“Sort of the overall existential anxiety that humans are confronted with,” he said, “they have that one thing that always stays the same. They will always go down the yellow slide, they will always have those mini donuts there, they will always look at the butter sculpture.”
He says when it comes to favorite foods, there is research showing that if you are taking part in a ritual, the food actually seems to taste better.
“Even when you delay the food, that delay actually increases the satisfaction,” he said. That means those long lines even play into the sense of satisfaction.
We threw the question out to our Facebook friends and got dozens of responses, each as varied as the people of Minnesota themselves.