Veteran news reporter Rusty Gatenby has been covering the Minnesota State Fair for 30-plus years but says it never gets old.
After a few decades with KSTP-TV, Gatenby is out on his own these days. And he'll be sharing his knack for finding the most interesting State Fair stories and people with BringMeTheNews.
Watch our site for daily videos from Rusty all 12 days of the Get-Together. He'll spend the day wandering the Fairgrounds and we'll post his favorite finds here.
And after enjoying your dose of hilarity on a stick, enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a $2,500 shopping spree from iMyne.
The lure of the familiar
Rusty says he'll keep up a personal tradition Thursday by venturing to the Fair early enough to watch the first guests pass through the turnstiles at 6 a.m. on opening day.
While there's annual coverage of the State Fair's new food, new rides, and the latest lineup of grandstand shows, Rusty thinks what really keeps people coming back year after year are the things that are not new.
"If the Fair said 'We don't have anything new this year,' I doubt people would stop coming," he says. "But can you imagine the outcry if they said 'This year we're taking down the Giant Slide?'"
Rusty's favorite thing about the Fair? The people. Especially hearing their stories about what draws them to the Fair.
One example: A visitor who was 88 years old and still loved spinning around on the thrill rides. Like the vigilant correspondent he is, Rusty dutifully spun around with the old-timer for part of the day. "He was laughing like a schoolkid and I needed to lie down and take a nap," Gatenby remembers.
Rusty will be joined on his State Fair adventures by Melinda Jacobs. She acts as his regular sidekick on the Rusty Gatenby Review, which is home to the videos he produces.
He also occasionally appears on the Skyllzone site, where folks are preparing for fantasy football season.
As for State Fair visits from his KSTP days, the vault includes a visit with 4-Hers preparing to show rabbits. There's also a lesson on the proper way to bathe a chicken before it's inspected by judges bearing ribbons.
So be sure to check BringMeTheNews.com daily for Rusty's latest update from the Fair. And if you're heading there yourself, here's what you should know.