Iowa State Fair


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Iowa State Fair

11 days ending third Sunday in August
One of America's foremost state fairs, celebrating agriculture and featuring a life-sized cow sculpted out of 600 pounds of sweet butter, is held for 11 days at the fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Attracting close to a million people each year, the fair is famous for having inspired the Phil Stong novel, State Fair, and three movies based on the novel. Will Rogers starred in the first movie. The second and third were musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein and included the now-standard songs "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "It's a Grand Night for Singing."
The fair is also famous for its cow made out of butter. The breed represented varies from year to year. It's kept in a display case cooled to 40 degrees. The most frequently asked question at the fair information booth is, "Where's the butter cow?" (Answer: in the Agriculture Building.)
Sheep are an important feature at the fair, reflecting the fact that Iowa has more sheep farms than any other state. Sheepshearing contests are popular; champions can shear a sheep in 90 seconds. The big boar contest is also popular; the winning animal always weighs in at more than half a ton. There are other competitions as well: checker playing, horseshoe pitching, fiddling, and rolling-pin throwing.
The first Iowa state fair was held in 1854. Memorable moments in the intervening years include the spectacular crash of two trains, one labeled Roosevelt and the other Hoover, which were throttled up at opposite ends of a track. They roared down on each other, crashed, and exploded. The year was 1932, when the presidential candidates were Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The fair underwent a period of rapid change between 1880 and 1930, expanding to encompass such activities as horse and auto racing, biplane stunt-flying, high-diving horses, and auto-to-airplane transfers. The American aviator Charles Lindbergh visited the fair in 1927, soon after his triumphant nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic.
CONTACTS:
Iowa State Fair
P.O. Box 57130
Des Moines, IA 50317
515-262-3111; fax: 515-262-6906
www.iowastatefair.com
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According to O2Diesel, the Des Moines Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will unveil a CityHome wrapped bus sponsored by Lincoln Way Energy during the upcoming Iowa State Fair Parade.
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He is a two-time winner and five-time Iowa NATS finalist, and he won the $7,500 grand prize in the 2002 Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair.
Norma has carved a cow out of butter for the annual Iowa state fair every year since 1962.
The snake was scheduled to highlight a "Snakes Alive" exhibit at Iowa State Fair.
Even the pig's in love,"declares Able Frake, the Iowa farmer whose corn-fed family's innocent experiences at the 1946 Iowa State Fair make up the plot of "State Fair," by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein's movie-turned-musical.
One summer, at the Iowa State Fair, Amelia saw an airplane, a new invention at the time.
An encounter at the Iowa State Fair forever changed the company's direction.
seeing Martha Stewart in a hog barn at the Iowa State Fair.
She's carving a life-sized cow from butter for the Iowa State Fair.
Senator Arlen Specter spent an afternoon walking around in jungle-like heat t the Iowa State Fair a few months ago, shaking hands, telling people who he is and what he was doing there.

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