Meant to Be! One Last Bench Memorialized in Eleventh Hour.
For the past 15 years the Minnesota State Fair has had a bench and table program in place. It was a way of providing much needed seating throughout the fairgrounds for guests, while also giving the community a way to memorialize loved ones with a bench or table that has their name and story on it.
From the Minnesota State Fair Foundation website:
While we are sad to see this popular program end, we want to be sure to celebrate its success and express our heartfelt gratitude to all our bench and table donors through the years. Each bench and table donated adds a unique story to the State Fairgrounds and provides meaningful tributes for the donors who place them – in addition to providing much-needed seating for fair guests. Your generosity has truly enhanced the experience of all who come to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. We cannot thank you enough for your overwhelming support.
When a couple in Oakdale heard the news that the bench and table program was ending they knew they had to move fast if they wanted to honor their friend Kristine Slagle.
Couple Tina Peyton and Michelle Moran say their friend Kristine was a "fair freak". Saying that Christine loved the fair and they showed the many blue ribbons that Kristine had won. Tina & Michelle needed the $2500 to donate the bench in Kristine's name so they started a GoFundMe page.
They ordered the bench on a Wednesday night not knowing how close to the deadline they were. Sales on the bench & table program shut down the very next day. Their friend Kristine passed away just days later.
If you want to see Kristine's bench this year when the Minnesota State Fair opens again, just find the yellow bench near the quadrant of creative activities. The Minnesota State Fair will run August 22 through Labor Day, September 2nd and ticket prices will be the same as 2023.
See more about the Minnesota State Fair bench & table program in this piece I published last year.