"Our State Fair is a great State Fair,
Don't miss it, don't even be late!"~ Rogers & Hammerstein
Of course, I'm talking about the granddaddy--the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in all of America...
The Iowa State Fair!
A bit of trivia:
Originally published in 1932, Iowa native, Phil Stong wrote the novel "State Fair", inspiring three movies, one written by the famous duo of Rogers &Hammerstein.
Moved to its current location in Des Moines in 1886, it encompasses 445 acres, 160 of which are beautiful, wooded campgrounds.
The Iowa State Fairgrounds were added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987.
The fair is held during the second week in August annually and kicks off with a spectacular Fair parade in downtown Des Moines, the Wednesday before the opening day.
The majority of the schools in Iowa do not start until fair time is over--in part, due to the high numbers of families participating in the fair in various competitions.
|Over 40,000 ribbons, banners, and rosettes are handed out during the fair from sheep, pigs, horses, and rabbits to photography, art, pies, jellies and jams!|
|This year the State Fair boasts over 70 foods on a stick! From giant pickles to fried twinkies and hard-boiled eggs to turkey legs as big as the Rock's bicep!|
|The Iowa State Fair is listed in the N.Y.T best-selling book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die|
|Butter sculptures have been a part of the Iowa State fair since 1911. Fun fact: The former butter sculptor, Duffy Lyon was nephew to Phil Stong, author of the book, State Fair.|
And as the sky turns a cotton-candy pink and blue, we'd sit on the retaining wall of at the end of the Midway savoring a pork chop on a stick dinner washed down with an icy cold sarsaparilla from the old time market.
|Now my kids are grown and I have the privilege of watching my grandchildren's eyes wide with amazement at the sights and sounds of the fair and enjoying those same cookies as much as ever.|
For others memories may include competing in the fair queen pageant, performing on the Bill Riley stage, competing in the pie-eating contest, the beard growing competition, or the cow chip throwing. Oh, and there is the pig-calling contest! Of course, if you miss a day or two you can always catch up with the IPTV recap of the fair, including visits by political candidates and on occasion, over the years, our nations presidents have flown in to check things out.
The sights, the smells, the fireworks blasting in the sky after the grandstand performances is all part and parcel of the Iowa State Fair experience! I invite you to our Iowa State Fair. I promise its worth the trip!
Do you have a favorite fair time experience?
Share here for a chance to win your choice of a digital or print of the book, "State Fair" by Phil Stong!
*Winner announced here on August 21st!
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