You don't mess with Minnesota State Fair tradition, according to a petition launched this week to save the Original Deep Fried Cheese Curd stand from closing.
Owners Dick and Donna Mueller and Audrey Skarda announced last week they'd decided to hang up their aprons after 42 years selling cheese curds at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, much to the horror of fans including celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern.
The Muellers said they had tried to pass the Dan Patch Avenue stand on to their son, but were told by State Fair officials this wasn't an option, with deputy fair general manager Jim Sinclair telling KARE 11 transferring businesses had become a rare occurrence and the fair wants to look in a new direction.
That hasn't gone down well with some State Fair goers, among them Thomas Unise, who started a petition calling on the State Fair to reverse what he considers to be an "absurd" decision.
"For many people, the state fair is about tradition, and the original cheese curd stand has been a staple in that tradition for 40 years," he writes.
"This place is iconic to the fair and if their son is happy to take it over, We believe he should be able to. So today we're asking for your support to help the Mueller's son take over the stand and stay open."
The petition as of noon Tuesday had just over 800 signatures and when it's completed will be sent to State Fair executives.
It's the latest example of Minnesota food-lovers turning to petitions to make their voices heard.
After GoMN reported on the City of Maple Grove's decision to reject an application from Chicago hot dog chain Portillo's to open a restaurant nearby Arbor Lakes, a petition was started calling on council members to approve it.
The council changed its mind on Monday, and the city is set to vote on May 1 to confirm Portillo's can open after all.
GoMN has contacted the Minnesota State Fair for comment.