Fun at the Iowa State Fair


Every year we head to the Iowa State Fair for a day.  Having lived in Illinois most of my life as a child, I have always been fascinated at how Iowans like to promote themselves, and while not adopting a total Texan attitude of everything is bigger, they do tend to believe everything is better if it’s from Iowa so they take great pride in having the best state fair.  I have not been to any other state fairs so I have no idea if it is or not, but we have a great time basically eating our way around the fair each year.  I did read a reviewer that said the Iowa State Fair is the best in the food category, but that can only be if you aren’t counting calories!

My son and his wife along with some friends of ours all met at my favorite building, the Department of Natural Resources.  The above picture is of the outside courtyard area.  Inside they have all the river fish swimming around in aquariums.


My other favorite area is the baby barn.  It’s hard to see in this picture but they are trying to get a baby goat to drink from a bottle in the above photo.


Babies, babies everywhere!  I spent a lot of time here just smiling and wanting a baby of every species.


Hubby and son had to take a break at the local Iowa beers tent where you could buy a sampler package that we all took sips from.  With so many beers to choose from, it was a hard choice, and we could have spent all our time here if they weren’t so pricey.  Iowa really does have a great selection of local brews!


We also had our turkey legs along with chocolate-covered bacon and fried pickles, but my daughter-in-law had to bypass the deep-fried Twinkies since the line was so long.  Every year the fair highlights a new food item, and this year it was a corn dog where the hotdog is wrapped in bacon and then dipped in the batter which also had bacon grease in it.  Needless to say the guys had to have one of those.  I just took a small bite.  I guess we were too busy eating because I never got one picture of any of the food.

Then there were all the big animals.  Although I am certainly not a vegetarian and I believe PETA goes way overboard, walking through the barns always makes me feel torn because I love seeing the animals but feel sorry for them all at the same time.

I would not want to run across the below bull in a pasture, however!  This bull was very mean looking, but with all the people it was too hard to get any closer for a better face shot.


They made sure to have all their propaganda signs out about how confining animals in barns really protected the animals, but still when I look at the picture below I can’t help but feel sad.


I wonder if this pig can even stand up!

However, there is so much more to offer at the Iowa State Fair with local entertainment going on constantly, and we did stop to watch a tiger show along with a demonstration on how to make a bonsai tree.  I bought some emu lotion, looked at a lot of craft art such as wood carvings, dreamed about buying a huge hot tub, and we walked until we could walk no more, about 7 hours later.

I will end on a happy note with the below picture of the life-sized butter cow and the 7 dwarfs all carved into butter by the butter cow lady who happens to be a local family that just keeps handing down the tradition through the generations.

2 thoughts on “Fun at the Iowa State Fair

  1. Our very own State Fair of Texas starts next weekend and I can’t wait. It’s a huge deal here in Dallas (and yes, it IS the world’s largest state fair, of course), and usually signals the return of cooler weather. I love the tradition of the State Fair (not to mention the food and beer) and love when it’s in town. It just seems to add a new layer of excitement to everything.

    • Ha, I knew Texas would have the biggest! I hope you blog about it afterwards. Our fair is always during the hottest days, but we lucked out on the day we went where it threatened rain all day but never really rained so was much cooler than normal.

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