If you think 8:30 a.m. is too early for French fries, the Minnesota State Fair will prove you wrong.
"We had a line super early, before the booth even opened," said Cherry Fairy. Yes, Cherry Fairy. Cherry is the original French fry fairy. She's the first one who said: "You know what could really liven up the fry booth? Some glitter and wings."
She deflects any questions that might hint at her human side.
"Why, I've been a French Fry fairy my whole life!"
"My costume? You mean my magnificent fairy garb? I wear this every day!"
"I used to come to the fair with my parents — they're also fairies, of course."
For the last five years, fairgoers have been greeted by Cherry and her winged crew at the Fresh French Fries stand. The fairy folk operate the prize wheel — one of the only places you can win free food at the fair. The Potato Pirates are also on hand to help, of course.
With pop hits blaring from a boombox, Cherry climbs up to the wheel next to the stand and works the crowd, outfitted with a wireless microphone. People line up for a chance at a free bucket of fresh fries.
Being a fairy does come with its perks: Unlimited fries. Cherry estimates she'll eat five buckets this week.
But what's a French fry fairy to do the rest of the year? Cherry runs a dance and fitness studio in Northeast Minneapolis, and performs in cabaret shows.
Every year, she looks forward to the fair, where she can stretch her wings and do some people-watching. Her favorite part is "seeing the families come out and spend time with each other. Nowadays we're so busy, we hardly to get stop and hang out and mosey, and that's what the fair lends itself to."