Well, that's not something you see every day...

For the past several years, KARE 11 photojournalist Ben Garvin has been walking around the Minnesota State Fair in a giant ear costume and asking fair-goers thought-provoking questions.

Yes, you read that right -- an ear.

"It's disarming, in a way. You know, the idea is to sort of reduce visually the notion of listening to its most elemental...a big ear, a microphone, and a friendly guy. The intent is really clear when you see that walking around."

In the past, Garvin has walked around the State Fair every day in his costume, asking questions and recording the answers. This year, however, he only spent one day in the ear.

"I get hot and sweaty, it's uncomfortable. There's no comfortable way to wear it."

Still, he keeps a positive attitude.

"It weighs about as much as a small car. But I'm incredibly strong."

This year, Garvin walked around asking people "What are you proud of?"

Answers ranged from personality traits ("I'm a nerd," "I try to be nice to people no matter how mean they are to me") to people ("my beautiful wife," "my mom cause I like to hug her"), possessions ("my llama,") to personal accomplishments ("defeating a brown belt in my karate class," "overcoming an addiction and building trust again").

Watch the video for yourself here:


The ear is made of mache and made by "In the Heart of the Beast" Puppet Theater in Minneapolis.

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