I remember going to the Fair as a kid back on the farm by Leota, Minnesota. The county fairs. Nobles, Pipestone, Murray, Rock.

It was a major deal! Dad and Mom would go through the farm barns, the cattle, the hogs, and the sheep. The cages of chickens, rabbits, and hamsters. But the big deal? I mean the nirvana of the fair?

The midway! The Tilt-A-Whirl, The Scrambler, The Octopus, and of course the Ferris Wheel. The more they turned, twisted, went higher and higher, the faster the better.  Turn you upside down? You betcha! Spin me, curl me, sling me around.  This is fantastic, I mean it doesn't get any better than this!

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Okay then, let's fast forward a few years. Well, maybe more than a few years. Oh, half-century or so.

Now that little boy has mystically magically changed, turning into a bald, skinny guy with a new name. Grandpa Randy. And he loves it.

It was, well, some years ago and I'm back at the Fair, except this one is called the Sioux Empire Fair. Is it bigger than those County Fairs of yesteryear? I suppose, although when you're 8 or 9 years old, those County Fairs were plenty big.

READ MORE: What You Need To Know About The Sioux Empire Fair 2022

Anyway, now Grandpa Randy has Grand young 'uns with him at the Fair. And they're just about the age I was 'back in the day'.

An afternoon at the Fair was a whole new ballgame now. Riding along with the youngest seemed to be going alright. There's the Merry-Go-Round.  I can handle that.  The little trains and boats. Oh yeah, I can do those just fine, thank you.

But the just-a-little older Grandkids? Well, they had reached the age of what I call the 'bigger rides'. And the conversation with Grandpa Randy goes something like this:

'Grandpa, will you go on the Tornado with me?'

'No, I don't think so, you go ahead.'

'Grandpa, will you go on the Hurricane with me?'

'No, I don't think so, you go ahead'.

'Grandpa, will you....'

'Nope'.

There was one ride, I don't know what it was called, but I called it the Spinning Whirling Wheel of Death and Puke Machine. There was a line of young folks laughing, waiting in line.

'Grandpa, will you ride that with me?'

'No kids, that one makes Grandpa woozy just looking at it. You go ahead.'

Bu finally......finally!...I was talked into a ride called...well, whatever it was called, it was a 'lay-down-spin-around-go-up-go-down-soar-flutter-shake' fun-o-rama.  Yeah, it was. I keep telling myself that.

I tried to hide the terror on my face behind a sickly smile.

The good news: I didn't throw up. I might have staggered a bit, but that's OK. Grandpa staggers a bit quite often anyway.

And the Grandkids? They had a great time!  And that. of course, is what a fair is all about, whether a County fair all those years ago, or the Sioux Empire Fair all those years later.

Plus I was able to lose a few pounds. My wallet became a bit lighter.

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If you live in South Dakota chances are you've eaten many of the items on this food list.

But if you are visiting our state or if you just haven't gotten around to chowing down on these great eats, you need to get on it.

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