The Old Fashioned Root Beer and Shaved Ice stand, a fixture at the Minnesota State Fair for more than 40 years, is back for the 2012 Great Minnesota Get-Together.
And this year, the concession stand that has a Roseville connection has a new wrinkle: $1 root beer for a 12-ounce cup.
"If you want to bring in people, you have to flow with the times," said Kevin Elm, a member of the family-owned business. Elm, whose day job is as the facility manager for the Roseville Skating Center, said he knows the economy remains tough for many people, a key reason why his family is offering $1 root beer, the cheapest option available compared to the 2011 fair when that choice was $2 for a 16-ounce cup.
Although he doesn't know how much root beer they will sell during the 12-day fair, Elm told Roseville Patch he expects his stand to go through 1,600 blocks of ice.
Elm said his grandfather Richard Elm started the stand in 1969. Then, some years later, his grandfather turned over the business to son Richard, Kevin Elm said.
Kevin said he has helped at the family concession stand since he was 10 years old. Even though that means he has been involved with the business for more than 25 years, Kevin said he still finds it’s exciting to be a part of the fair. Together.
“I love being out here (at the fair)," Kevin said. "If I was sitting at home, I'd feel I'd be missing something."
The root beer and shaved ice stand is near the horse coliseum at the fairgrounds. Besides selling root beer and different flavors of shaved ice, the Elms food stand also sells popcorn, using real butter to help flavor it.
Kevin’s wife Kim also works at the root beer stand. She said she likes the location because they get a lot of 4-H kids coming by looking for a treat.