Well in a matter of days, the Minnesota State Fair will open its doors. For those of you who live in a state where the fair isn’t a big deal, picture this: a record 1.8 million attendees over 12 days (making it the second largest state fair in the country). It is a place where Princess Kay is crowned each year and she and her court are carved into a 90 pound slab of butter. This is something Minnesotans do every year and LOVE it. Even our TV stations deliver the local news from the fairgrounds each day of the event.
But bottom line, people love to go for the food and to see what else could possibly be put “on a stick”. More than 450 foods are available at 300 food concession stands. So you can imagine the disappointment it was years ago when going to the fair either meant starving for folks with celiac disease or non-celiac related gluten intolerance — or it meant them taking a chance and getting sick.
That changed a few years back when the Northland Celiac Support Group took the bull by the horns and found out from the vendors what foods were safe for people who eat gluten free. This year’s list is out just in time for the start of the fair on August 22nd. It boasts 32 different vendors from which you can get foods ranging from a turkey stick to hot dogs, fries and tacos. Plus there is a lot of gluen-free beer around. Click here to see this year’s list.
If you get to the fair and suddenly realize that you forgot your printed gluten free list on the counter, you can still pick one up at the fair. The Northland Celiac Support Group has a booth in the HealthFair11 building and will have copies of its lists each day. If you live in the area, NCSG could really use your help at their booth. By volunteering for a three-hour shift, you get into the fair for free! Click here to find out how to volunteer.
We have volunteered before –back in 2010. Here’s what is great about it, you are giving back to the organization that took months to track down all of this gluten-free food for us and you get into the fair for FREE! It is a win-win in my book. My job has not really allowed me to do it the last few years (we have two back-to-back races coming up on Aug 25 and then the race I am in charge of is on August 31st). So my state fair experience has been minimal to non-existent since 2011. I am looking for that to change in 2014– but I digress…..
So you have your list and maybe you signed up to volunteer. So between the rides and shows you might sit in on, take a look at the entrants for the gluten-free baking contest in the Creative Activities Building. There are a few different categories:
- Quick bread loaf or muffins
- Cookies or bars
- Cake (8 or 9 in. cardboard round)
- Yeast bread
Thank you to the Northland Celiac Support Group for making all of this happen at the Minnesota State Fair!