Well it’s the middle of August and if you are from Iowa, or remotely close to the area, you know what that means….
Iowa State Fair Time!!!!
Now I have a confession to make. I have only been three times in my life. I grew up in Sioux City and living three hours away didn’t make it an easy trip to just head to the state fair for an evening. I remember being really excited the first time I went (which was three years ago) with my friend Mandy and reveled in eating loads of cheese curds, trying a fried snickers, enjoying a juicy turkey leg, eating those sweet mini donuts and sipping on savory homemade lemonade. Oh my mouth is drooling just thinking about all the delicious foods.
This year Jake and I will be in attendance and we have already talked about the foods we don’t want to miss out on. (Be sure to check out my blog next week as I am all about blogging about the good eats that come from the Iowa State Fair).
To kick off the season, I have decided to talk about a couple of “fun facts” about the Iowa State Fair.
1. The Iowa State Fair is well known for having over 50 “food on a stick” items to choose from. Each year they are trying to outdo the previous one and offer a new item. This year I present to you, Butter on a Stick. Are your first reactions “ewe” or “seriously”? Because I can tell you that was my first reaction. And then I got to thinking about it… butter, dipped in a honey flavored batter and then fried… maybe it doesn’t sound that bad. I am not sure about you, but there is just something about butter, the taste, the intoxicating smell, that makes me just want to eat it. So I say “bravo” to the creators of this food… I may just have to check this one out. Let’s see if Jake will be on board. 🙂
Other items of “food on a stick” include fried snickers (which I will tell you I tried three years ago and will be sure to get it again this year, SO DELICIOUS), potato lollipop, which is potatoes deep fat fried with dipping sauce, fried pickle, salad on a stick, pork chop, deep fried twinkie and fried pickle on a stick. I may just have to have a contest with myself as to how many foods on a stick I can eat this year 🙂
For a complete list, visit here.
2. Butter Cow. Unbeknownst to me, the butter cow has been around the Iowa State Fair since 1911. This year marks the 100th year anniversary. In celebration the fair will be featuring over 60 concrete cows that have been painted by Iowans. Each year the fair has a featured butter sculpture on display. After doing some internet researching I found out a couple of fun facts that include the butter is recycled year to year by being used at other state fairs and then frozen again until the next year, and that the average length of the butter is good for 10 years. Source. For a complete list of past sculpture, visit here.
3. The first Friday of the fair is considered by all as “East side night”. The true meaning behind this is that it is the unofficial East High School Reunion for alumni, friends and families that lived on the East Side of Des Moines to to get together. For all others, it’s just a fun evening to be at the fair and “people watch”.
4. There is close to 900 food categories where the food is judged and awarded. *
5. There are approximately 59 people employed year-round the Iowa State Fair, with it growing to over 1,400 during fair time. *
There are SO many things to know about the Iowa State Fair, that I could go on and on about all those glorious things. There hundreds of food vendors, every livestock/farm animal you could think of, music artist upon music artist and hundreds of even more vendors selling their crafts, goods and merchandise from small ma and pa stores to the commercial vendors.
Just talking about this makes me more than excited to visit! I cannot wait to share with you my trip to the Iowa State Fair this year!
What things at the fair do you look most forward to? Is it just one thing, or a long list like mine?
*Information gathered from Iowastatefair.org