This will be my final post regarding the Minnesota State Fair and as promised, this one is dedicated to the animals. I do not claim to be an expert on this, but I am pretty sure that fairs originally started because of farming. It is where farmers came to see the newest tractors and other equipment and where they would show their best animals and crops. If you've read Charlotte's Web, you know but we won't talk about what comes after the ribbon ceremony. Times have changed though, and while the animals are still an important part of the fair, they now only hold a subsection of the fairgrounds and the public's attention. Yet there are still people who come to the fair for one reason only and that is to show what they have been working on all year. It could be an ear of corn, a beautiful steer or how fast they can barrel race.
Here we have a barn for the cows, the horses, the pigs, the goats and poultry. Their own separate barns. These are very, very large barns that hold hundreds and maybe thousands of animals. We also have the "Miracle of Birth" center which has only animals that are about to give or have just given birth. This is a popular building with children and adults alike. I even heard from someone who now lives in California that the California State Fair shows videotape footage from the Minnesota Miracle of Birth Center. That might make it a national sensation.
This year I made very brief stops in the cattle building,
the goat area,
That comfy bed you see back there is not for the goats. Yes, people really do sleep next to their animals. Sometimes for days on end.
the sheep building,
Cows command a lot of respect in the animal world. Horses are terrified of them and these sheep look equally concerned. Or maybe they are simply wondering if it is a relative.
the horse barn,
the pig barn,
I'm sorry pig, but the swine barn is not my cup of tea. Kind of cute, in a Wilbur sort of way, but also kind of not cute as in this is not a speckled pig, it is a pig covered in flies.
Also housed in here is the largest boar which is so big and unsightly, I did not want to take a picture of it.
and would have stayed longer except I ran out of fair time. It was beginning to close down by the time I got there since I saved my barn visits for the last day. Earlier in the day though, I lost all track of time in the poultry building. I had no idea there were so many kinds of chickens and how beautiful they all are. I only photographed half of them when I realized I was about to miss my daughter's equestrian performance team in the big coliseum.
Now this is feeling more like my cup of tea. I'm thinking my backyard has room for a couple of these feathered friends to run around. Especially the ones with the fancy hats and furry feet. Those chickens have some serious attitude! I have a feeling my neighbors might feel differently though.
Until next year, this is a conclusion of my Minnesota State Fair report. As always, thank you for stopping by and I do hope you will visit again!
©2011 Lisa M. Bond Photography
Originally published Nov. 24, 2011
I love it when the wild turkeys come by and fluff their feathers for the girls. Just look at those beautiful birds! I wonder if the hens are paying any attention? They are quite coy about it.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.