State Fair Staple Set to Close

Aw, man, I can’t believe the Penny Arcade at the State Fair is closing! I met my high school boyfriend there!

It was the summer before 10th grade, so I was 14, going on 15. My girlfriends and I decided to get all dressed up, and since we were teenagers and it was the early ’90s, that meant short jean skirts, tank tops, and lots of long silver necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Heh. Anyway, we had wandered around all day and finally stopped at the pizza parlor across the street from the arcade when we noticed this group of boys checkin’ us out. Long story short, we did the crazy teenage dance of hiding and spying on each other in the arcade for the next couple of hours and only made contact right before the fair was to close for the night. But I dated that guy for the next two years. And I will always remember that night. In fact, I still have the little piece of paper on which the guy wrote his phone number, which just happened to be a pay stub with his social security number on it. Heh. So if I ever need to find him…

Anyway, what was my point? Oh, yeah, there’s a little blurb in the story that I found interesting and disturbing:

The Ericksons claim long-time Minnesota vendors are being forced out by newer fair exhibitors who often come from out of state.

Hmmm…I wonder where this butterfly exhibit is from. You can bet I will be checking it out in six weeks. (OMG! Only six weeks away! Crap!)

4 Comments so far

  1. djl (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

    The fair has two arcades the one you are remembering by the pizza parlor is still here and is run by a local company. The second one that will be changing was run by the Erickson family will still have an arcade in half of the building and an expanded display by relocating the existing Butterfly exibit which was developed by a native St Paulite. Now you know the rest of the story.


  2. Heather K (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

    So if there will still be an arcade in half the building, who’s going to run it? The butterfly dude? It doesn’t sound like it’ll be the Erickson family. I’d be curious to know what the rest of that story truly is.

    Ah yes, the tank tops, the long necklaces…I remember those days! My friends and I would loiter around those mini-photo booths and watch the 14-year-old boys play video games (can’t believe I’m admitting this). I’ve even kept some of the funny photo strips taken in those booths when I was 13 or 14. Todd Erickson mentioned in the article that his photo booths are big hits at parties…I now know what I MUST have for my next big party.

    I can’t believe the Fair’s only 6 weeks away. Snickers-on-a-stick and big yellow slide, here I come!


  3. Amanda (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

    I would also like to know who’s going to run the new smaller arcade. I have no personal history with the Penny Arcade, but it’s sad to see cool arcade games like skee ball ride into the sunset.

    I am really, really, really can’t wait for the fair. I could list 100 things I’m excited about. I’ll say one thing: new animal birthing building that’s HUGE!!!


  4. Greg (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

    I shall gorge myself and not feel ashamed. Plus The Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth are coming!



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