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The Minnesota State Fair VS The LA County Fair

Posted by on September 25, 2012

Since the beginning of August I’ve been talking about my love of the Minnesota State Fair, and how I miss it since moving out to LA.  And how this summer I was on the look out for my very own replacement right in LA, if that was even possible.

Well, I have to admit I have found it in The LA County Fair.

But, I do want to put the two side by side for comparison sake:

1) The Animals.

LA County Fair:

The LA County Fair had its share of animals, but where the LA County Fair won out versus the MN State Fair was in their exotic animals.  I was honestly surprised to run across bears, zebras, porcupines, owls, and armadillos at the fair.  When I think of county fairs I think of barn animals.  No worries, the LA County Fair also had this.

Minnesota State Fair: 

The Minnesota State Fair is known for their Miracle of Birth center.  Newly remodeled and open in the year 2010 to an even bigger and better Miracle of Birth Center.  You see the birthing process of cows, pigs, and more, and if you’re lucky you watch the birthing action happen right there at the fair.

And you walk further into the livestock barns and you run across horses, rodeo shows, sheep, and more.  There’s plenty of animals to look at.  The livestock was far bigger compared to the LA County Fair.

The winner: Because I wasn’t prepared for the exotic animals nor was I anticipating it, it was a very pleasant surprise, and because of it, the LA County Fair won me over with their selection of animals.

2) The Food

The LA County Fair had me out for an evening of food, and I got to try a ton of amazing food, and it made me see a huge selection from what they had, and I loved every minute of it.  I found some favorites that evening too with Flavors of France, Sweet Potato Marshmellow Yammies, and The Naked Pineapple.


You can read the full review here.


The Minnesota State Fair:

Has everything on a STICK.  Although the LA County Fair had their corn dogs, cheese on a stick and lobster on a stick, there was a lot missing for me.  In Minnesota I could get alligator on the stick, jerky on a stick, pickles on a stick, fried fruit on a stick, cheesecake on a stick, and the list goes on and on.  Every year they come out with something new and different.

I’m not saying the food selection at the LA County Fair is terrible.  Trust me, I fell in love with my Deep Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich from Chicken Charlies, I’m just saying I miss the creativeness of “Food on a Stick.”

The winner: Minnesota State Fair

3) The Shopping

Minnesota State Fair:

When you go to the Minnesota State Fair your shopping is usually in one place: The Grandstand.  This huge, two level building has a ton.  It gets hot fast, but it’s fun to browse through.  There’s also the Home Improvements building.

The LA County Fair:

I honestly don’t know how many shopping buildings there are.  Alls I remember is walking into one building, coming out in one part, and running across 3 or 4 more buildings after that.  And when I thought it was done, I ran across one more building.  It was endless.  I needed a day just to hit up all the shopping spots of the LA County Fair.

Winner: The LA County Fair

4) The Entertainment

Minnesota State Fair:

One thing the Minnesota State Fair had a ton of were newscasts.  The local news station had their booths at the fair, and they’d do live shows straight from the fair.  It was a great way for the community to show support and be apart of the news, and it was a huge favorite.

There were demonstrations in the animal areas throughout the days of the fair showcasing how to sheer a sheep, etc.  There were also demonstrations at the LA County Fair too.

And then there were big concerts at The Grandstand every evening.  This past year an evening out with Rascal Flatts, etc.  It seems as if the shows continue to get bigger and bigger every year.

LA County Fair:

I feel the Entertainment is smaller scale, but the shows are more personable.  They have a bear station where they do a live event with the bears.  They have a pirate with his parrots in which there’s an entire show learning about the birds.  There’s a live circus at the fair where you can watch trapeze and other events take place.

The shows are fun to watch, they’re educational, and they bring a variety.  I spent a lot of my time at the fair enjoying these very personable shows.

There was also live horseracing taking place right at the fair.  Yes, the LA County even had concerts throughout the fair, but on a much smaller scale basis.

Winner: They’re both winners in my eyes.  I appreciated the variety at the LA County Fair and how personal and fun their shows were, but there was also something very special about sitting in on your local news stations telecast.

5) The Alcohol

Minnesota State Fair:

In the land of Minnesota, it is BEER haven.  They have the beer gardens.  In the International Village you can even purchase your beer on a stick which is a paddle of 4 different tastings of beer from Summit! 😉 Beer is everywhere, and for those that love it, it’s a good thing, but for those of us who don’t, the selection is lacking.

LA County Fair:

The Wine Marketplace is my haven.  Over 100 different bottle of wines that have won out in the International Wine Competition, but the part I loved the most were their wine education classes.  You mean, I can go to the fair, and even learn about what I love while I’m there?  Heck yes!

Winner: I think they’re both winners.  On a personal level it’s the LA County Fair because if you have wine you’re always a winner in my eyes, but the midwest is ingrained in beer, and there’s a huge market there.

6) Length of Fair

Minnesota State Fair:

The last 10 days of summer are spent at the Minnesota State Fair.  People tend to take vacations around the time that the Minnesota State Fair takes place.  It’s great to take the time off, it’s a last summer hurrah for families, and a fun place to end the fair and summer on Labor Day considering the next day is usually the first day of school.

LA County Fair:

30 Days of Fun!  You honestly can’t beat that.  I was always curious to know why September though? =)

In the end both fairs are a ton of fun, and they’re unique to their demographics.  At the LA County Fair there are a bunch of personal touches that I really loved, and catered to me and what I like.

The Minnesota State Fair will always have my heart, but what I miss most, is the food on the stick.

I hope you enjoyed my comparison.  Please comment and tell me what your favorite things to do at the LA County Fair or the Minnesota State Fair =)

You still have until Sunday, September 30th to attend the LA County Fair.  Get out there this weekend, and avoid CARMEGEDDON 😉


7 Responses to The Minnesota State Fair VS The LA County Fair

  1. Modern Gypsy

    I loved your comparison of both fairs, and they both sound like a lot of fun! 🙂
    Modern Gypsy recently posted..Delhi lens: 7 Degree Brauhaus – restaurant review

  2. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

    Hmm, right hand, left hand, which one do I chose?? You are lucky to have been able to experience such diverse “fairs”. Congrats to you!!

  3. Alexis Grace

    It is interesting how every state fair seems to have its own character! Thanks for sharing.
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Dries Van Noten S/S 2013 Collection

  4. Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey

    I love your comparison, Jamie! They are both fun, but different is many ways. I am so with you about the food on the stick 🙂
    Bibi @ Bibi’s Culinary Journey recently posted..How To Stop Wasting Food In The Fridge

  5. Becky @ RunFunDone

    I’m a MN girl who had the unfortunate experience of going to graduate school in LA. I never went to the LA Fair. I now live in WA state and made the mistake of going to a fair here…I was so disappointed! I love the MN State Fair, and get said every year when my FB becomes crowded with my friends’ updates about their time at the fair! I’m glad you loved the LA Fair though, maybe I should have tried it out while I lived there!
    Becky @ RunFunDone recently posted..Acceptance

    • Jamie

      oooh, graduate school.. that sounds like work =)

      Sorry to hear about the fair out there… but yes, every year at the end of August I really struggle with State Fair time… I miss it tremendously…

  6. Holly (Woman Tribune)

    Great comparison. Although I have never been to Minnesota or to LA, it’s fun to be able to see your pictures and talking about how fairs are done in both places. We have a yearly fair about 2 hours away from where I live, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The Bloomsburg Fair has been going on for over 150 years, and I have been going since I was a baby, as has my dad and grandmother. It’s always a great time, but I didn’t get to go this year because on the morning I had planned to go, I woke up with the flu–and stayed sick throughout the entire week. I would love it if the Bloomsburg Fair was 30 days long, especially since I wouldn’t have missed it this year, which I am still sad about.
    Holly (Woman Tribune) recently posted..Oasap Black Round Toe Short Boots Review

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