On opening day of that great ol' get together we call the Minnesota State Fair, when I wasn't holding food and dining editor Stephanie March's extra turkey leg wrapped in bacon or explaining to TV hosts that there are a few things to do at the Fair that do not involve eating, I shopped! And I found many things that are not featured on infomercials and do not have magic or miracle in their name. Here are three standouts.
Gray Duck T-Shirt
Only a Minnesotan can fully appreciate the correctness of this t-shirt, and that's the total beauty of it. You can only buy it at the Fair, but after, the design will likely make its way to i like you's permanent store at 501 First Ave. N.E. in Minneapolis. $22, i like you, West End Market
Beer in a Can
It won't quench your thirst, but it will last a lot longer than the usual can, and seriously, what a fun gift. $15, Minnesota Local Brew Beer Gear, corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street
Machine Age Lamps
Shawn Carling of Lakeville designs Steampunk art light fixtures from salvaged early American factory parts. He started just a couple of years ago, and already, his one-of-a-kind lamps have attracted the attention of Gordon Ramsey, who used them in his restaurant in Hong Kong. Just don't plan to carry one of these around the Fair—they way a ton. $299 and up, Machine Age Lamps, West End Market