Minnesota Traditions – Labor Day 2018

This is a [late] podcast and post about Minnesota Traditions on Labor Day 2018. These traditions include the Exodus to Lake County and the Minnesota State Fair.  I had the opportunity to spend four days at the State Fair in a booth, so I had a different experience than many who went as spectators.  I will also talk about my Weekend 3 Things and give you an update on Operation Outreach as well.  Stay tuned, there is a lot to talk about as I head south in the Mobil Small Scale Life Podcast Command Center!

Special Note:

I have to apologize to all the listeners out there: I did not intend to publish this podcast and post without any content!  Yikes!  As an aside, it is interesting that some folks shared this without any content….hmmm….Anyway, thank you for your patience!

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Introduction to Minnesota Traditions – Labor Day 2018

Rapids and waterfalls on the Net River in Holyoke, MN – August 2018

I recorded this episode driving home from Northern Minnesota, and the sounds at the beginning of the podcast are taken from Holyoke, MN:

  1. Edge of a woods in Holyoke, MN
  2. Rushing water from the Net River rapids and waterfall in Holyoke, MN (pictured above).

In this podcast, I discuss two huge Minnesota Traditions: the Labor Day Exodus to Lake Country and Minnesota State Fair.  While these are not the only Minnesota Traditions that we have (remember Tommy Cakes talking about the Super Bowl and Winter Carnival), these are the two Minnesota Traditions that signal the end of the summer season.

Exodus to Lake Country

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Life is better at the Lake – August 2017

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and on any given summer weekend, people head north from the asphalt jungle in the Twin Cities and head to the Lake Country.  Labor Day is the big finale: everyone head’s north to enjoy that last weekend before school really starts in earnest.

One of our best Labor Days was spent at my mom’s place in Northwestern Wisconsin with my dad.  It was his last Labor Day, and we had just moved back from Florida.  It was special for my small family to spend time with him, and it was a really beautiful weekend.

While I was driving south, I discuss all the toys and gear that people are pulling up north: from campers to kayaks to four wheelers to boats.  I find that you can get some great ideas about gear and toys by watching vehicles head to the Lake Country.  Of course, I had my hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while recording this podcast!

If I was going to The Lake this weekend, I would be:

  • Fishing,
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Enjoying each other while sitting around a fire

Instead, we’ll be home.  For those folks left in the urban area, we will have free reign of the bars, restaurants and other facilities since everyone is gone.  We will enjoy having the urban space to ourselves as well!

Minnesota State Fair


Minnesota Traditions, Labor Day 2018, community, Minnesota Fair Food

Entering the Minnesota State Fair – August 2018

The last two weeks of August through Labor Day marks the “Great Minnesota Get Together”, otherwise known as the Minnesota State Fair.  This is a huge Minnesota Tradition for millions of people as they converge on the fairgrounds to eat, drink, show animals and things, sell products and have a great time!

Minnesota Traditions, Labor Day 2018, community, Minnesota Fair Food

This year’s Taste of the Fair in the Dairy Building – August 2018

The Fair has all kinds of food: everything is on a stick!  From pronto pups to walleye-on-a-stick, the Fair has it all.  Favorite foods include the pronto pups, French Fries, corn, milkshakes, and Sweet Martha Cookies.  Our friends at Yellow Hutch Farm enjoyed their first Sweet Martha Cookies this year, and now they consider themselves official Minnesotans.  I think they were Minnesotans a long time before the Fair!

Minnesota Traditions, Labor Day 2018, community, Minnesota Fair Food

The Bee Display in the Horticulture Building is one of my favorites – August 2018

I enjoyed touring the Horticulture Building and talked about the Minnesota Horticulture Society with one of their volunteers.  I also spent some time looking at the honey, bees and all the goods made with honey.  The Minnesota Brewers were in the Horticulture Building as well; unfortunately I could not listen to their presentations.

Minnesota Traditions, Labor Day 2018, community, Minnesota Fair Food

Princess Kay of the Milky Way is definitely a Minnesota Tradition – August 2018

One other Minnesota Tradition at the Fair is the Princess Kaye of the Milky Way and her court.  As part of the Fair, Princess Kaye and her “court” go into a special refrigerated chamber in the Dairy Building, and a sculptor carves a 90-pound block of butter into a likeness of the Princess.  A lot of folks enjoy watching this, and I have to admit that it is fun to see the final product.

Minnesota Traditions, Labor Day 2018, community

Scott and Laura Burns stopped by the Operation Lifesaver booth; selfie time – August 2018

I worked at the Fair for four days this year at the Minnesota Operation Lifesaver Booth in the Dairy Building.  I had a good time talking with thousands of people about rail safety.  It was fun talking with young kids and teens, and several “old timers” who had retired from the railroad or worked on the railroad back in the good old days.  It was pretty hot in the building, but we survived!

One drawback this year was the bus driver shortage for Metro Transit and all the transit companies in the Region.  One of my Minnesota Traditions is taking the bus to the Fair.  Traffic and Parking is a pain and expensive, and the State Fair has created a very efficient system to handle that amount of buses.  The problem this year, however, is the bus driver shortage.  Since there were not enough drivers, the bus companies reduced service. This made getting to the Fair a little more difficult this year.


Weekend 3 Things

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Weekend 3 Things: lots of work in the basement – August 2018

For those of you new to Small Scale Life, my Weekend 3 Things is a way to help Small Scale Lifers to prioritize their projects, focus on them and get those projects done and off the to do list.  Every Friday, I ask Lifers to list their Weekend 3 Things in the Small Scale Life Facebook Group, and then I check in with folks on Monday after the weekend to see how they did.  As an aside, you do not have to pick three things; sometimes one or two things are big enough for the weekend!  Also, your three things can be fun items too!  After all, its your Weekend 3 Things!

For this Labor Day Weekend, my Weekend 3 Things agenda are:

  • Basement Project
    • Framing – Finish any framing
    • Drywall – Start the drywall
    • Insulation
    • Painting – Julie to lead this effort
  • Small Scale Life Forum Development
  • Grilling something delicious

Healthy Lifestyle

 I am going to start focusing on rebooting my healthy lifestyle efforts again, starting right after this Labor Day weekend.  More on those efforts in a future podcast!

Operation Outreach

Man is not meant to live alone!  At Small Scale Life, we believe in the importance of building a community around you and your family.

This year, I want to put my resources (time, money and effort) into meeting folks and building that community.  To do that, Julie and I are reaching out and connecting with people.

This week, we had a really great dinner and fire with some friends.  It was great having some laughs, sharing a meal and enjoying the time with each other.  Even though we were almost in downtown Minneapolis, it felt like we were around a fire in Lake Country.

As Greg Burns said in the Homestead for Beginners Podcast, you need to cultivate humans and relationships before you make a community.  We are starting to make some deposits in our “relationship bank account” by spending time with other people.

Hopefully, we will be getting together with you in the near future!


Thank you!

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I got everything I need; nothin that I don’t! – August 11, 2018August was a fantastic month at Small Scale Life.  It was our best month ever!  Please feel free to share this post and podcast with your family, friends and community.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to send feedback to me at realsmallscalelife [at] gmail [dot] com or hit the Contact Us page on smallscalelife.com