Missing the Great Get-Together? Here are ideas to host a Mini State Fair

Cecelia and Maxwell Lichner ate cotton candy.
Cecelia Lichner, 20 months, left, and her brother Maxwell of Inver Grove Heights ate cotton candy at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul August 27, 2015.
Courtney Perry for MPR News 2015

Last night, as my three kids were eating popsicles after dinner, I filled them in on this little bit of Minnesota trivia:

“At the State Fair, all the food is on sticks,” I told them.

They, having never actually been to the State Fair (yeah, yeah… I know), were wide-eyed and in disbelief.

“Can we go?” asked my four-year-old.

Nope. Blame coronavirus.

My seven-year-old saw an opportunity: “Mom! Raise your hand if you want to plan a Mini State Fair!” Dude knows I like a good party planning challenge — and here we are.

All of this may seem like over-indulgent parenting, and it is. But my kids have been amazing through this pandemic. They wear masks without complaints. They didn’t cry when I told them they wouldn’t be going to school this fall. They understand and don’t question that there are some things we just can’t do right now. The least I can do is give them a “Mini Get-Together” during the summer of the Great Stay Apart.

They don’t know this yet, but there will be a bounce house (surprisingly less expensive than I thought). And when I put the question out to Twitter for what else I should include, one of the first responses was to rent a mini petting zoo. So that’s also happening.

Here are some other amazing ideas that came through on Twitter about how you can plan your own (socially distant) Mini State Fair. And if you do, share your pictures with us. Tag your photos on social media with #MiniStateFair, or email them to us at tell@mpr.org.

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