9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2007
State fair buffs, cultural historians, sociologists, book designers, fun lovers, gift givers: Don't miss this Amazon-priced opportunity to buy MINNESOTA STATE FAIR, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY. It's packed with thousands of dynamic, annotated pics. It's a 213 page-turner of great Heartland Americana. It's also the perfect coffee table gift for collectors, friends, family, and clients.
We are delighted to see that the award winning Koutsky team has produced another gem in their historic trilogy about Minnesotans creating and enjoying quality of life experiences. MINNESOTA STATE FAIR preserves and celebrates the State's extraordinary heritage. This book is crafted in the outstanding design format that characterized the authors' first two books: MINNESOTA EATS OUT and MINNESOTA VACATION DAYS.
We particularly enjoy the forward by the inimitable, Garrison Keillor. Our Minnesota friends agree that this book brings back memories of their favorite experiences at the Fair, such as grandstand celebrities and bandstand performers. MINNESOTA STATE FAIR actually covers one hundred fifty years of pioneering progress and fun.
It's another visual stunner. We found pictorial chapters about harvests and technology, animals and animal husbandry, grandstand and bandstand performances, midway attractions, racing and other competitions, exhibits and education, food and dining. There's even a 24-page illustrated appendix of over 100 tested, updated recipes from Minnesota State Fair food stand classics, blue ribbon winners, and the best of Heartland cuisine, as it evolves through the Century.
We are enjoying the many facets of this extraordinary book, and think Amazon book buyers will, too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
I have two other books this author and would recommend any of her books. The pictures are great and the book is put together wonderfully. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history, vintage, or just loves fun reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
I purchased 2 of these books. One as a gift, the other for my family. This book is a keepsake-I will hold onto it for generations! My kids (Ages-16,14,12) just loved thumbing through the pages. The quality of the book is phenomenal-the pictures are wonderful-tons of interesting facts, articles and recipes (my favorite section-) Many of which have been family recipes for years, I didn't know they were Minnesota State Fair winning recipes -many yummy "Minnesota Hot Dishes"
I would recommend this book-I leave it on my coffee table, and I cant believe how many people say-where did you get this-"I WANT ONE!" Amazon has the best price I have found too!
10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2007
The pictures are wonderful but some have been repeated from another book about the Minnesota State Fair. The history is very interesting. There are two mistakes in the book. Since a good editor or prof reader would have caught the first error. The second is hidden. Both are picture errors. You would really have to know the fair pritty well to catch it. Most of the history is from 1854 to around the 1990's. Since cars are a big deal at the fair in the early years, so where is the mention of the Minnesota Street Rod Association car show at fair on the eastside of the grandstand. The cheapest thing on the fair grounds for a buck before the grandstand was remodel in 2002. The Carousel is mention in the book but very brief. A small couple of lines about it. Which is very confusing. Yes, carousels have been at the fair since 1892 when they where called merry-go-rounds, but the fair didn't have a permit one until 1914. They don't mention a fire in 1939 that distroyed fancy band organ and scroched some of the hand-carved horses, but they do mention that is moved and continues to entertain adults and children a like at Como Park. So if you where looking for info on the updates of the fair, your out of luck. Very little new pictures. The book "Blue Ribbon: A Social and Pictoral History of Minnesota State Fair has more info and some cute stories. Which the writter of blue ribbon is praising this new book. This book does do some justice to major things at the state fair. But not all. Brief info on Skyride, Carousel, Space Tower, Giant Slide and Ye Old Mill are just too brief. The buildings in the book are very interesting but to me I want to know where on the fairgrounds they where and if they where still standing where would they be today. Which some are gone like most of the church dinners are. The dairy building in the book is now the Fine Arts building. Which to some people now consider Empire Commons as the Dairy building. Empire Commons is pictured as a drawing. Which doesn't do it justice since that's where the butter sculputers of Princess Kay and her court are housed. There is no mention of the Haunted House. Even the French Fries booth has picture in the book. But even the Andy's Grill isn't even in the book and that has some history at the fair since it was a dinner across the street from where it now is. My one question to the authors are have they ever been on any of the rides that are perminatly at the fair grounds. Did they talk to the owners of the ones that are left. Dosen't seem like they did. Seams like they just used info from fair board. Why not talk to some of food booth owners, some have great stories to tell. I'm sure they wanted to add so much more but they just couldn't. Why not cut the recipes. The recipes could have been a book on it's own. Since money from the sale of the book goes to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation more people whould buy a recipe book then a illustrated history book with 214 pages. The cost of the book $35. Which is expensive book. When I bought mine it was shrinked rap. So I couldn't just look at it. For me this book doesn't do the State Fair justice. But I've worked there so I know alot by talking to people who have been there for over 50 years. If you like the fair and just want to get a brief history then I would recomend it. Or just go to the Minnesota State Fair archives and museum which is housed in Haritage Square. Open during the 12 days of the fair 9 to 9.