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Iowa State Fair fun

August 14, 2013 - Pam Rodgers

Going to the Iowa State Fair has finally become an annual tradition for my family. When we were growing up, we never seemed to make it down to the fair because that was when we went on vacation, usually out of state.

Now for the past several years, I have been able to get to the fair at least one day a year, even if it isn’t for a full day. Tuesday was that day for me this year. We arrive in the middle of the afternoon, and it was beautiful day outside.

Our first stop was the Agriculture Building to see the butter cow. It was business as usual without a hint of disruption from the vandalism. Unless you knew what had happened, you wouldn’t have known anything had occurred. Seeing Abe Lincoln in butter was neat too, and the having Tama’s Lincoln Highway Bridge was a nice tribute.

Next we went by the cattle barn and check in with my two cousins who brought heifers to show. Lexie had just finished, placing in the top five of her class. Clayton will show on Wednesday. He was the Grand Champion of his class at the Keokuk County Fair so he’s excited to show at the state fair. Well, as excited as a 14-year-old boy can be.

We saw the “Super Bull” Squirt. I wouldn’t want to mess with him. He’s huge. Photos don’t do him justice. We also saw the big boar, and I couldn’t get Pumba and Timon hula song from “The Lion King” out of my head for an hour*. We tried walking through the horse barn but most of the rows were blocked off for show prep. It was still great to see the big Belgian horses tied in the aisles as their owner began braiding their manes.

We stopped for a snack at that point. I went with my usual turkey leg. It’s messy and unflattering to consume, but it is delicious. At some point, I had a corn dog too, but I can’t remember exactly how that fit in to the day’s food adventures.

Next we made our through the varied industries building, a fete that can’t take less than two hours. Then we walked back to the animal learning center to see the newborn calves, piglets and lambs. I saw two baby chickens hatch. It’s always cute to see the little babies figure out the new world around them.

Next, we decided to go back to the horse barn to see how the Belgians were faring for show prep. We timed it just right because the horses were out in the street being hitched for the show. I got some great up close photos and video of the magnificent team of horses.

From there, we ambled around as we pleased. We stopped by the cattle barn again to say hi to the family again. This time my uncle was there so we got to catch up with him. Then we just took in the experience, with no real plan in mind. We did stop by the Cattlemen’s Quarters and got a hot beef sundae. There’s nothing quite like them!

Finally, we relaxed in the horse pavilion. We watched the open class society horse shows. It was a great way to wind down the day and see horses strut their stuff for the judges.

It was a perfect day at the fair. I’m proud to be an Iowan.


* In case you aren’t familiar with “The Lion King” here’s the song I was referring to:



I am looking for:

Blog Photos

Some of the beautiful Belgians.