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The meaning behind the State Fair memorial benches

If you need a break from walking at the fair there are plenty of benches where you can take a rest. Some of those benches have special meaning.

ST PAUL, Minn. — If your are trying to get in your steps, the Minnesota State Fair delivers.

Ellen Humbert and her sister, Sue Betker, say they easily hit more than 10,000 steps. But all that walking is exhausting.

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“That’s why we have benches,” they said.

But some of the benches on the fairgrounds hold more than people.

“This has a special meaning,” Ellen Humbert said.

Outside of the KARE barn, there’s a blue bench honoring Ellen’s late husband, Jim Humbert. He died in 2017. Ellen purchased a bench to honor and remember him. Attending the fair together was a family tradition.

“We always talked about getting a bench at the fair someday,” she said. “It happened too soon.”

Attached to the bench, there is a written story about the couple's fair adventures. They first attended together in 1990. Jim always had to have a foot long hot dog.

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Ellen said she finds comfort and closure in the seat offering relief from walking and shade to thousands of strangers.

“It makes me feel warm inside,” she said. “This is a celebration and closure.”