Tawnja’s Treasures: Blinding Lights Forgive Any Fashion Blunder…Almost

On The Runway Section

Yes, Minnesota Babies, it’s State Fair time—or the kickoff of my 43rd year on our planet. I am blessed with two claims to fame: I am the same age as the Super Bowl; and my birthday coincides with the yearly launch date of our Great Minnesota Get-Together. Ah, the State Fair—our yearly escapade into the artery-clogging eat-fest and ale-fest, as well as all-around charming and precious family adventure.

Back in the ’60s, when I was a youngster, I was obsessed with the Grand Forks, North Dakota, County Fair. I spent weeks of sleepless nights tossing and turning—dreaming of pink-aliscious cotton candy, winning giant teddy bears that were the same size as me, and the bright lights. I loved the bright lights—still do to this very day.

That fair always meant the manifestation of a $5 bill provided by Grandpa Bob. He was my hero. His yearly gift was the equivalent of $2 million in US funds in today’s economy. I was rich!

My goal was to make that $5 last for three days—three days—a weekend of bright lights, candy nirvana, and banter with the carnies. I really loved the carnies. I thought they were just really friendly teddy-bear vendors. It was fascinating to me the way they could convince me to depart with a portion of my precious $5.

Back to the bright lights: Minnesota parents should make a note that the breathtaking beauty of the Minnesota State Fair Midway at night will resonate with your precious little ones forever. Have you noticed the way Hollywood recreates state fairs and carnivals to exemplify romance, a touch of Americana, and all that is magical about being human?

My column is supposed to be about fashion, so let’s talk State Fair garb. This could be a very short discussion.

Some strange thing happens when we depart for St. Paul in late August. We slam shut the closet door our full-length mirrors are mounted on—twice. Why not? Life is too short. The time to exercise self-control and moderation is not at the State Fair.

The first of my three State Fair fashion tips is painfully obvious: High heels suck rocks. We all have observed those sexy women hanging next to the beer garden with that look on their faces that said, “Dammit, I wore the wrong shoes—but I’m still hot.” When I recently was filming my show in a Rochester mall, I stumbled across a Croc Kiosk. I fell in love with a $39 pair of Croc high heels. Yes, Croc high heels are the perfect State Fair crossover from flip-flops to comfortable and fashionable heels.

My second State Fair fashion tip is more of a desperate plea for help than a tip. Please, dear Jesus, can we lose the fanny packs? I know they deter pickpockets, but they are silhouette-destroying, and reiterate the concept of our full-length mirrors being hit by lighting.

Finally, each of us State Fair patrons wanders down the same cleverly named avenues, so let’s agree to wear our glasses, contacts, or bifocals—whatever it takes to see where we are going. Playing bumper cars with people just isn’t Minnesota nice, and thus not very fashionable.

Always remember: God loves all his children, especially you, and especially the ones who take their precious families to our Minnesota State Fair!

Visit www.Tawnja.com to send birthday presents.

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