Social Icons

State Fair Coverage

I’m so excited to share our State Fair with you guys today!  Now, I have to say upfront that we do not see everything, we do not take in any contests (do we have any pig callers out there??), we do not visit the Midway, and this year I started feeling icky early so we left before 2:00 which means we didn’t even see or do all we normally do.  Not cool, by the way!

But what we did see was awesome!  Prepare yourself for a LOT of pictures!

One thing the Iowa State Fair is famous for is their Butter Cow and Butter creations.  These ‘statues’ are made completely out of butter (with a wire frame underneath it).  Each and every year there is a Butter Cow, but the other Butter statues change each year depending on what anniversaries are that year.  This year it was the anniversary of the Lincoln Highway, which runs through Iowa.  Part of that exhibit was a likeness of Abraham Lincoln.


There is no shortage of ‘cut outs’ at the fair.  This year the boys were pigs.


There is a really really neat barn at the fair where they have live animal births!  Everything from cows to pigs to chickens (hatching), even ostriches!  The baby’s are there for you to see with their birth announcement hanging above their pens. And if you miss the birth you can watch it over and over again on the many TV’s they have in the barn!  And this isn’t just any barn, it’s air conditioned and super clean!  The boys love this barn.


The Little Hands on the Farm area is super cool for little kids!  You walk in and they give you a visor (provided by Pioneer Seeds, ick!!) and an apron. Then you grab a basket and follow the path to the first area.  You grab a ‘seed’ (that looks like a poker chip with a veggie picture on it), hand shovel and watering can then plant the seed and water it in.  Next stop, harvesting your produce! You can pick from plastic tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes and carrots.  At other stations you milk a cow and get your milk, you get wool sheared from a sheep, and you pick up your corn and soybeans.  Then you hop on your trusty tractor and drop off your corn and soybeans at the local grain elevator.  After that you sell your produce and goods at the Farmer’s Market, where you earn money and can buy a (real) treat.  It’s so cool for the little ones! 


One of the main reasons we like to go to the fair on the first Friday is because of the old car show.  I love old cars, someday I will have a late 60’s cherry red Mustang Convertible.  Drool! 


This is the place my family ate at every year we went to the fair growing up. The Depot.  One of the cool things about it is that a local oldies station sets up their DJ booth right there and cranks the tunes throughout the booth.  So fun!  I got a foot long hotdog every year growing up, yum!


What fair is complete without the building of businesses trying to sell their garb.  Sewing machines, hot tubs, saunas, siding… and our 2 favorite booths, the local PBS station and the Iowa Hawkeye booth!


We love Clifford, THE BIG RED DOG! Ha ha!

Brennie saw this and yelled “Barack Obama!”  So we took his picture with the president.


That’s me and the boys in the sauna.


Hawkeye tattoos!

Farm equipment, we are in Iowa after all!


Lunch time!!!  We ate at the Cattleman’s booth, so so soooo yummy! 


And now for the Hot Beef Sundae, I know you’ve all been dying to find out just what this awesomeness is!  It is .. heaven in a bowl!  You start with mashed potatoes (to resemble the ice cream), top that with hot beef in gravy (chocolate syrup), sprinkle shredded cheese over the top (sprinkles!) and top it with a cherry tomato (cherry on top!).  O! M! G!  I’m craving one already! 


We ate lunch in the shade on the grass.  The boys had a cheeseburger and Andy had a roast beef sandwich.  Neither compare to my sundae!

Not sure if all state fairs do this, but ours does a big animal contest.  Big Boar, Big Ram, Big Bull.  Here they are.



For us, our trip to the fair isn’t complete without going down the Big Slide! 


We like going through the 4-H exhibits, there are so many talented kids around these parts!  Shortly after that I started feeling not so good.  I had a headache, got too hot, had walked a ton and probably didn’t drink enough water.  We left shortly after that, which means we didn’t get to do everything we normally do.  We didn’t get any other food than what we had at lunch, although there is so many fried goodies (fried butter anyone?) and tons of food on a stick (even saw beer on a stick!).  Except for not feeling good at the end it was another great year at the Iowa State Fair! Proof that the boys had a great time:


This year’s theme is “Happiness is ____ at the Iowa State Fair”.  To follow that theme, Happiness is having all of our memories at the Iowa State Fair!



  1. This whole post had me smiling.
    The Butter Cow and butter exhibits is one of my faves!
    And the food... All the amazing food.
    You missed the ISU booth. :)
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. OMG hit me up with a 57 Ford Thunderbird. Loved the recap...

  3. Looks like fun! I haven't taken my boys to the fair because I remember being little and hated all the walking :) But one of these years we'll have to go!
    It was sad to read that the butter cow was vandalized over the weekend :(

  4. I'm sure you've already read this but just in case-

  5. I can't believe you all did all of that in 2 hours!!! I love the butter sculptures and Kendall would be so jealous you got a picture with Clifford. He's our favorite! Ha! I just bought our fair tickets this weekend and we are going to go when it opens later this week. Yay!

  6. Wow!!! What a fun time!! I am hoping we can take Nathan to the county fair this week!

  7. How fun!! The boys will most certainly have the memories of the fair when they get older. Our state fair here in Texas is something I make sure we attend each year, so my bonus son has those awesome memories as well!

  8. How on earth did I miss this post yesterday?? Weird!
    Wow, that fair looks amazing!!i love the idea of the Little Farm Hands! And the butter cow, crazy! Did it say how long it takes them to make it?
    And I stand corrected on the sundae! It looks cool, an sounds delicious!!
    I am def adding the fair on my to do list!! And visit you, of course!