Fair Hounds: Leanne Danielson's onion ring booth is a family affairby Molly Bloom, Minnesota Public Radio
Falcon Heights, Minn. — Leanne Danielson of Lake Elmo started working at Danielson's and Daughters Onion Rings 43 years ago, when she was nine years old.
Her father William Danielson opened the booth in the 1950s but changed the name in the 1970s.
What's your favorite part of the fair? Tell us and see what others have to say.
"He was building a new booth and thought it would be the coolest thing," she recalled. "'Everybody says and sons. So I'm going to put and daughters. No sons!'"
Since her father passed away three years ago, Leanne Danielson now runs the booth with her two sisters. She works for the postal service during the rest of year, but takes vacation to work at the booth during the 12 days of the fair.
"It's a family business," she said. "My sister's two kids work here and my two children. It's basically mandatory."
She loves seeing the regular customers every year who have watched her and her children grow up.
"People know where to find you. People you haven't seen for years and years, high school. It's a good way to catch up," she said.
Her favorite part of working at the booth used to be running the fryer, but now she'd rather chat with the customers.
"The older you get, the more fun it is to work out here," she said.
The recipe for the onion rings hasn't changed since the booth opened. They use sweet yellow onions, which they coat with a pancake-like batter and then deep fry.
You can find Danielson's and Daughters outside the Food Building, kitty-corner from the Sky Ride.
- All Things Considered, 08/31/2011, 4:55 p.m.