Our state fair is a great fair, acclaimed in book, movies, and song. As a 4-H member I yearned to go. Alas, that desire was unfulfilled. Now that I live within four miles of the main gate, though, I never miss the annual extravaganza.
With a nod to David Letterman and the Late Show, and before August slips away, I must share my Top 10 Reasons to Love The Iowa State Fair.
Drumroll please …
10. Inquisitive goats. And pigs and horses and cows. I love livestock.
9. Joining a queue for no reason other than the possibility of free stuff. Our line led to Mixify – an initiative to help educate teens about the importance of balancing calorie intake with activity. I explained how I keep moving and walked away with a t-shirt and a frisbee.
8. Cattle Judging. Watching little kids manhandle a 1,000 pound steer around the arena is a hoot. “Just don’t let go,” is the advice one kid gave the new Drake University President Marty Martin before the celebrity steer show. Good, simple advice; I like that.
7. Giant things – Random things – Butter things – pumpkins, tomatoes, bull, boar – a hot wheels race on the grand concourse – the butter cow, joined this year by a tribute to Monopoly. It’s all good.
6. Food on a Stick – The Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb, a bacon-wrapped, ground brisket/jalapeno/cheese-filled concoction earned the public’s favorite new food-on-a-stick award, so of course we tried it. The smoked brisket mac n cheese is better. IMHO.
5. Quilts – The needlework is amazing. My friend Sheryl entered five projects and took ribbons on four. My sister-in-law Anita won a blue ribbon. These are talented folks.
4. Ice Cream. When one massive scoop costs $4 and a second massive scoop costs only $1 more, you can imagine what we chose. Even though that’s more ice cream than I eat in a normal week. And I eat ice cream every day.
3. Peanut Brittle Judging. My first experience at food judging provided 17 entries – enough to appreciate the range of Iowa candy maker creativity – and satisfy a sweet tooth.
2. A Chia Cow. I want one.
1. I avoided every single presidential candidate. Given the number of candidates and the fact that every one of them wants to see the butter cow and flip a pork chop and hold forth from a hay bale, that’s no small feat.
There you have it my friends – The Iowa State Fair. I can’t wait for next year.
What are your favorite things to do at the fair?