The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 23, 2013

Area residents play supporting roles at State Fair

(Continued)

Governing

Several area lawmakers will be greeting people passing by the Minnesota House of Representatives booth, encouraging them to fill out a survey on issues facing the state and offering them the opportunity to give opinions or seek information.

Rep. Kathy Brynaert, DFL-Mankato, has volunteered three times for the fair duty and will be there again on Friday.

"It's a fun and lively place full of energy," Brynaert said.

Maybe a half-dozen times during a two-hour shift will a fair attendee want to get into an intense political discussion, but the bipartisan booth isn't about politicking.

"It's really just an environment to say, 'Hey, government wants to get into the state fair atmosphere, too,'" Brynaert said. "'We're part of what makes Minnesota great, too.'"

She usually brings a family member along, but they tend not to stick around the House booth. The fair offers more compelling options than two hours of civics, so Brynaert sends the husband or daughter off with her blessing and an assignment: scout out the food options.

Chowing

This year, Brynaert's already put a new fair item on her must-try list.

"Chocolate-chili ice cream," she said. "I thought, 'I have to track that down. That sounds interesting.'"

Schwartz and Booker, after providing educational information and a soothing solo, respectively, will also go in search of food before leaving the fairgrounds.

Schwartz, traditionally a cheese-curd guy, has a new favorite.

"Australian batter-fried potatoes are even better," he said.

And Booker said his choice is always the same.

"I'm a big fan of corn dogs," he said. "Every fair, I've got to get a corn dog."

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