Sunday I went to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. It was my 2nd time going, and it really solidified the fact that I’ve now established a tradition and that attending the Fair is quite an awesome adventure. Here are my highlights from this year…
5. THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE
This sounds like a cop out, but you’ve never experienced anything like the Iowa State Fair until you’ve been there. So many people, rides, animals, etc. Every year since 2002, more than 1 million people have attended. (You should be one of them.)
4. FREE SHOWS
There are countless competitions, shows, concerts, etc. at the Fair. The big names cost money, but everything else is FREE! This year I saw part of a great competition, which included two amazing Irish dancers, and heard a band called She Swings, She Sways. Both were fabulous! I highly recommend going to the band’s myspace to listen to their music. The concert was even better because the weather was amazing (complete with a cool breeze) and there was an adorable kid who got very into the music.
3. BUTTER COW
I think I’m still understanding how important the butter cow is to the Iowa State Fair. Apparently it’s a Very Big Deal, even outside of Iowa. And every year, in addition to the cow, there’s another incredible scupture. Last year was Shawn Johnson. This year was not Michael Jackson but Neil Armstrong and his famous moonwalk. (We concluded that the Fair missed out on a golden opportunity to feature 2 moonwalks by not having MJ there as well.)
EDIT: Mental Floss has posted a list of 10 past/present butter sculptures at the fair! See it here.
I think last year I did better (or worse?) in the food area. This year I didn’t eat as much, which leaves me a little disappointed now, but I think my body thanks me for it. I had fries, a donut, a cinnamon roll, fried green beans, and the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. All were delicious – esp. the cookies, green beans, and donuts. However, I did not get any cheese curds, funnel cake, or anything on a stick. I just realized that the official Iowa State Fair website has a list of all the foods at the fair. Holy crap, I wish I had seen this sooner. Next year, it is ON! I’m going to start saving my money now. (Jen, did you find that ice cream place? If not, next year!)
Last year I was introduced to the Fair by my friend Sarah and her family and friends, who have a tradition of attending together every year. (Sarah has only missed one fair in her entire life so far!) This year the group included about 15 people, including……JEN! It’s so much fun to go with friends, friends of friends, parents of friends, kids of friends, and friends who were in the same SLIS class but haven’t seen each other in ages. 🙂 So to everyone I went to my 2nd Iowa State Fair with, thanks for making it a blast! I’m ready for next year!