MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The fair has something for all ages. For one 97-year-old woman, she’s experienced the fair almost every year of her life.

Most of us get annoyed with long lines and big crowds at the fair, but not Carol Sawyer.

“I just love to be with all the people and then I know it’s a success,” she said.

Today’s Minnesota State Fair is a little busier than Carol’s first trip. She’s 97 years old and has been coming to the fair since she was born.

Her father was a State Fair treasurer in the 1920s.

“He got us all kinds of free tickets,” she said.

In nearly a century of coming to the fairgrounds, a lot has changed. She had five children and is a widow now.

For the last 20 years, her son Gregg has been making sure she still gets around so she can get her favorite food.

“I like corn on the cob,” Carol said.

“She’s a hoot. She’ll go all day if you let her,” Gregg said. “We wear out before she does.”

This is actually her second trip to the State Fair this year.

She saw the horses on her first trip, and she always makes sure to stop by the Golden Gophers booth. She’s a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Carol missed two state fairs over her lifetime — once during World War II and once during the polio outbreak

“If you want to see interesting people and be with them and have good food, go to the fair,” Carol said.

That love for the fair has passed down to her children, who don’t see a 97-year-old woman.

She’s still the same kid that came here more than 90 years ago.

“She’s 97 years old, but she’s got a spirit much younger than that,” Gregg said.

Kate Raddatz

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