Photos: The Minnesota State Fair is back. Just like food on a stick.

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The Minnesota State Fair is known for “everything on a stick” – from alligator to key lime pie. Marking the bittersweet end of summer, the annual event features an impressive array of these foods once a year. So many of them are fried that you can only digest them once a year anyway.

In 2019, over 2 million visitors over 12 days attended the St. Paul’s Fair – a tradition for many overseas visitors as well as Minnesotans. Although the fair is usually one of the largest in the country, the 2021 event appeared to be a smooth comeback, with almost half the usual number of visitors. But this year, from August 25 to September 5, the beloved event is in full swing.

Growing up in Minnesota, I spent my summers looking forward to the state fair — and still do. Although now living 2,000 miles away, I make a pilgrimage to the fair every year. For me, it’s more about people watching and petting cows than fried food. That’s the beauty of it: there are dozens of ways to enjoy it.

In 2020, when it was canceled, I sat on my couch in Los Angeles eating corn dogs from the frozen aisle of the grocery store and post a video of the fair on YouTube. There is some debate over which is the “best” state fair in the country, but I try not to get bogged down in specifics. Every out-of-state visitor I photographed this year said some version of the same: “I always come back. »

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