MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Fair kicks off its 12-day run on Thursday.

You may think preparation leading up to the fair takes days, but it actually takes months.

County Fair season has been underway since June and is considered great practice for their busiest 12 days of the year.

The Minnesota State Fair may get the most attention but it’s not the first of the season.

The county fair circuit offers all the attractions of the Great Minnesota Get Together but on a much smaller scale.

“The kids love it. They see the animals and the tractors are their favorite,” said Sara Dekam, who was visiting the Carver County Fair.

“It’s a prep. We can use this for training,” said Nate Dekam.

Every county fair features farm animals — 4Hers use the county fair to earn a trip to the state fair.

There’s also the same food.

Sausage by Cynthia sets up a booth at the Carver County Fair every year. She sees it as good practice before she faces more than a million hungry customers.

“We need to be up and running and fully energized,” said Cynthia Forster Cavanaugh, of Sausage by Cynthia. “It just gets you energized for it. You get in the rhythm of the fairs.”

County fairs also are good practice for those who dream of moving on.

State Fair organizers look to see if a new food vendor applicant can mass produce the food. County fairs are a perfect way to show that a food booth can handle the demand.
After more than 12 years serving pork chops and pork tenderloin, Michael Beise is still waiting to sell his products on the state’s largest stage.

“With the boar bites about four years, with the pork chops since 2005, I believe,” he said.

Beise will still get to experience the fair, but just as a visitor.

Another year to prove himself on the county fair scene, but next summer is full of possibility.

“You just live every day and hopefully you get a letter or phone call that says we need to talk,” Beise said.

The State Fair opens Thursday morning and runs through Labor Day. For more information go to www.mnstatefair.org.


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