Everything’s better on a stick

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life49 Comments


A few days ago, we went to the Fair. And I took pictures. And here’s some of them with minimal words serving as their accompaniment.

First things first: this year, we hopped a ride on one of those bike taxis. This was our view. I wish I could share the smell here as well. Some things just don’t translate.


Oh, but it made the arrival at those Pearly Gates that much more magical. Hello, Minnesota State Fair.


First things first: you visit the Creative Arts building, and your family admires the Scrapbooking winners, and your husband says, "Aw honey…you should enter next year. You got a shot!"


Then, you eat.


Mmmm. Pronto pups.


Mmmm. Pronto Pups equal to or exceeding the length of one’s humerus. Mmmm. And don’t forget the fried green tomatoes.


As you make your way further into the fair, the familiar sights warm your heart.



A quick visit to the giant slide is always in order.


Then you wind your way down to the Mighty Midway. Behold, the Mighty Midway.



And you find magic, and high school stoner art, at every turn.


Beloved children risk their lives on shoddily assembled rides.


And not a soul would guess that just 15 minutes after this shot was taken, that Mom, in response to two whining children, would have what one might call meltdown of her own. Ah, fair. You do have a way of bringing out the best in us all.


But all was saved with the amazing concert by Miss Brandi Carlile, who really did put on a show.


One of her encores was Folsom Prison Blues. You can watch a link (not from this night) of her doing the song here. This girl is so damned talented and hot it’s ridiculous.

And so, our time at the fair has come and gone. Thanks to my trusty little Kodak Point&Shoot, I have cherished and magical family memories to add to my lifetime collection.

And, three extra pounds.


Cathy ZielskeEverything’s better on a stick

49 Comments on “Everything’s better on a stick”

  1. #4

    Once again I am laughing out loud!

    “I wish I could share the smell here as well.”

    Absolutely no need for “smell-o-vision” here, I can totally imagine all on my own and it is making my pregnant self very, very nauseous!

    The colors in these pictures are amazing!

  2. #5

    Oh, thanks for the trip back to the fair. I grew up in MN, and thus going to the fair, for the food! πŸ™‚ We went to the WI State fair this year and it was such a let down. Glad you had a good time.

  3. #6

    I’m heading to the Tennessee Valley Fair next week where I am entering two minibooks into the scrapbooking contest. One of the things on my bucket-list is to win a blue ribbon in the fair so I guess you have to enter something to win…haha

    I just KNOW you’ll be envious but I feel the need to tell you anyway…the Village People are playing our fair on September 5th. I’ve already started practicing my Y.M.C.A. moves….I’m aiming for front row, baby!!

  4. #7

    Perfect weather for the fair! Great colors that almost make your heart break!
    But I still don’t like fairs. Sorry.

  5. #8

    First, you are so lucky to have seen Brandi Carlile in person. I’m extremely jealous.
    Second, Aidan is getting TALL. Perhaps Dan is shrinking?
    Third, glad you all had fun. I miss state fairs!

  6. #10

    Wow, your fair is huge!!! Those corndogs are making my mouth water. Our town’s fair is this weekend too…our kids even get Friday (tomorrow) off of school because of it! Yay, 4 day weekend!!!

  7. #11
    Elizabeth Lombardi

    Amen Sister!! Everything is better on a stick indeed! And fairs are always about the food. Whinning kids and momma meltdowns – sounds like we experienced the same fair this year. Yet we’ll do it again next year because when else can we eat food on a stick and enjoy all of the sights (and smells.) Thanks for sharing.

  8. #12

    your fair looks so much better than our fair! especially the cool slide. and with the crazy (i say that with much love and admiration) zielske clan, it had to be a ton of fun!!

  9. #13

    You captured the fair awesomely with your trusty little point and shoot! The colors are amazing. Can’t wait to see how you scrap them. Have a great day.

  10. #14

    Cathy, would you like a recipe for fried green tomatoes? It’s so much easier than you think, and then you can have that tasty treat any time you like. Well, any time that there are green tomatoes to be had. Which is a lot more often than just fair-time.

    Dang, now I’m going to have to make some for myself since I don’t have a fair to attend and buy some fried green tomatoes of my own. Thanks a lot for slinging a craving! πŸ˜‰

  11. #15

    Well, I was kinda thinking the same thing about the poundage after witnessing the Humerus length whatever-that-scary-lookin-thing-was. But I wasn’t going to say anything, until you did. But here’s a trick. Put a deck of cards on the ground. Put one foot on each side of the deck, approximately shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and squat down to pick up the cards (one at a time, please- I know what you are thinking.) Soon, your butt will be rock hard and somewhere up around your shoulder blades. I promise. (add in high kicks between squats and it’s like doing sit ups without sitting.) I know. I’m a fun-sucker.

  12. #16

    funny as all heck Z!
    our fair? mango on a stick with chili pepper sprinkles (seriously..not bad) chased down with ‘yard long’ beer…if you time it right (ie, not lose your cookies on The Octopus), you can follow -up with a waffle cake, malox and advil.
    So jealous!! LOVE Brandi Carlile!!!

  13. #17

    Awesome pictures, Cathy. We went yesterday. So no bright blue sky to go with my pictures…

    My husband said the same thing about my scrapbook pages… and I’m not even famous!

  14. #18

    fabulous photos with even better commentary, as always. write a book already, woman! and i don’t mean a “scrap” book (which i own, thank you), i mean a funny, one-woman-show kind of book. you have a serious way with the pen…or keyboard i suppose it would be, now-a-days. i have to know, did you edit these photos at all? they are SO vibrant! glad i stopped by…

  15. #19

    obviously, all due respect with my last “woman” comment…i was being serious! you have talent…(as if you didn’t know!) enjoy the wknd!

  16. #20

    Ah yes, Pronto Pups! And the grilled corn-on-the-cob! Mmmmm…I’ve been to the MN state fair a time or two w/my cousins. It’s huge and so much fun πŸ™‚ I really could almost taste, smell & hear all that the fair has to offer through your magical point-n-shoot photos! πŸ˜‰ Looks like you all had a good time.

  17. #21
    Judy in Huntsville

    aaahhhhh – PRONTO PUPS!!!! i haven’t heard corn dogs called that since the last itme i made them at home with my mom when i was a kid – YuuuumEEE. Loved the photos too btw! ~ J

  18. #23

    Great fair pics! Love the inspiration πŸ™‚ And LOVE me some pronto pups…State fair here we come…Monday πŸ™‚

  19. #24

    So do you guys go more than once to this fair? Once a year would probably be enough for me. Thanks for sharing Cathy.

  20. #27
    Kim Chalfen

    You should definately enter the fair. You would win hands down. My husband said “are those scapbooking pages”(with a really funny look on his face) they need a bit of improvement. So by that you would definately blow them ALL away.Yes, he does know what really good pages look like we had alot of awesome employees and customers for years.


  21. #29

    It was perfectly captured. The excitement. The day glo paint. The all things on a stick feel. Good times, to be sure! πŸ™‚ We used to go every year…and I miss those days…perhaps next year.

  22. #30

    The colors in your pictures are glorious and the perspective so cool. Your kids have grown so much since I’ve been reading your blog. Thanks for the memories!

  23. #32

    “Beloved children risk their lives on shoddily assembled rides.” LOL that is hilarious! Looks like a fun time. πŸ™‚

  24. #35

    Love the hole in the back of Cole’s shirt. Such a typical boy. How tall IS Aidan? She is long and lanky! She’s gonna catch her dad soon. You guys are such a cute couple.

  25. #36
    maple jenny

    So much fun. I’m going this Sunday and hope the weather is as perfect as your pictures. I’m looking forward to the deep-fried Twinkies. Did you try the chocolate covered bacon? It sounds more like a guy thing to me.

  26. #37
    Jen G.

    you always crack me up…but what really cracks me up is your photo thumbnail titles. You are too funny.
    went to the MN state fair last week. best pork chop on a stick ever. fried snicker bar on a stick even better.

  27. #38

    Hey Cathy… LOVE the photo taken of you and Dan. Assuming that one of your darling children has picked up some great photography skills over the years? (All these years there are almost NO photos of me since I am the one behind the camera… which is OK in my book to not document bad hair and minor weight gain.)

    When we went to the fair last weekend, we did not see any building full of scrapbbook pages… I am not a fair-goer, this was the 2nd time in my life and hubby was leading the way. Hmm, he must have been holding out on me.

    I’m thinking you’d make a clean sweep at the fair if you entered your pages.

  28. #39
    Holly Denghel

    Your husband is a funny man. Ah, the fair. Your pictures bring back so many fond memories!! And state fair corn dogs!! There is not a better food on the face of the earth.

  29. #40

    only three extra pounds? you werent trying very hard!!!
    lovelovelove Brandi. My favorite is her new duet on Pat Monahan’s (from Train) solo CD that just came out. I could listen to it overandoverandover again πŸ™‚

  30. #41

    it’s ALL about the foods at the fair. I swear, that’s all my husband and I did this year… go around and sample the various foods (including one disgusting fried twinkie). And I LOVE the actions… you introducted them to me a while ago, and ever since then, I must say, I LOVE my photos a LOT more!!!

  31. #42

    Great pics – looks so fun!! And please don’t take this the wrong way, but when did your dd get a womanly figure??? My dd is 7 – and I am NOT ready!! Although I know it is a coming!!

  32. #43

    dang, no wonder my pictures never look as good as yours! today was our second trip to the fair (yes, we are insane) and right now I am soaking my feet…and wondering which house of yours we drove by in our attempt to avoid the traffic back to Highland Park.

  33. #44

    We don’t get fairs of this magnitude in these parts – thanks for sharing the pics.
    But what is a ‘pronto pup’? I’m guessing a corn dog of sorts -? Never mind, sign me up for one with a side of cotton candy (diabetes be damned!)

  34. #45

    So how does the bike taxi smell compare to the state fair metro transit bus smell? Because I got a good dose of that yesterday…

    Did you happen to catch the deep fried fruit on-a-stick? Nothing like the fair to take something that COULD be healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

    Oh, and have you ever met Mr. Ellie Pooh with elephant-poo paper for scrapbooking and paper crafts?

  35. #46

    Great pics of the Fair Cathy! I was there last week to see my layout (it won a ribbon!!) that I entered on a whim. Thanks for sharing!

  36. #47

    Cathy, I was going to write this last year, but forgot until it was too late. My mom had a cousin who lived near the MN State Fairgrounds. He was actually one of the ones who ‘sold’ parking spaces in his yard during the fair. He made a chair out of beer cans and would sit in that chair while out in the yard doing the car parking thing. Many, many people wanted to buy that chair, but he wouldn’t sell!

  37. #48

    Could you please offer a photography class or photoshop 101???Your pictures are downright ‘gorgeous’ I can smell the food, and the carnies from Wisconsin they are so great!!!

  38. #49

    Brandi Carlile is indeed a fabulous singer – lucky you to see her live. Sound like a great time at the fair. I wish our little pissant fair were 1/10 as good. πŸ™‚

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