Saturday, September 3, 2011

Iowa State Fair 2011

The Iowa State Fair is one of the largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country.  Our state fair inspired the Novel State Fair, 3 movies, and a Broadway Musical.  The National Media frequently rank the fair as one of the top events in the country.
The fair grounds are nearly 400 acres and has an attached campground of 160 acres.  It used to move from city to city until it found it's permanent home in Des Moines the year of 1855.  It's more then agricultural and industrial demonstrations, way more.  It a gathering that people can socialize, of course there is great entertainment.  The Iowa State Fair is 11 days and the day before the fair opens is the State Fair parade.  My older two have been in this parade with their Cub Scout troop.  It was such a blast building the floats.  They actually won 3rd place one year. When I was in 5th grade I played the piano at the State Fair, this year my nieces and great niece danced at the State Fair.  I have had friends play in a band at the State Fair as well.

This year's attendance was a total of 1,080,959.  I have not been to the fair for the last 6 years. Living in Des Moines made it easier to attend.  Todd has not been to the fair in a while as well.  We both thought it would be great to attend the last day of the fair since the boys needed a ride to Altoona a town very close to Des Moines to meet their father for a day at Adventureland.  This is a 2 hour drive from our home.  However, the closer the day drew near the less boys would be attending this function with their father. First Joshua did not have enough time to request the time off from work and Matthew FINALLY got a job and was scheduled to work as well. This left the younger two boys, Ethan and Noah. The morning of we found out that their father canceled it because his car broke down, so we took the boys with us. The day we attended the daily attendance was 109,650.  We (Todd and I) planned on seeing many things there and walking around...however we were not prepared.  The day before we moved Matthew back into the dorm. A lot of lifting and climbing stairs.  We also watched Taj so we were tired.  The boys started to complain that their legs were tired as well.  We ended up being there only 5 hours before making the choice to come home.  Noah ended up being sick within an hour after reaching home and missing school the next day.  WE did not see much at all and hopefully I will have more to blog about the next time we go as well as pictures. We did not see any of the animals.  We did not even step foot on many of the acres of demonstrations.

We did hit two of the large buildings, the Midway, and of course we had lunch there...so many food vendors to chose from. Every year there is something new on a stick.  This year was fried butter on a stick.  I had not interest in trying it.  A few years back it was fried Twinkies on a stick and a few years after that was fried Snicker Bar on a stick.  I have no idea when they started fried Oreos on a stick.

The first building we went into was the Agricultural building.  We wanted to see this year's butter cow.  Yes, butter cow. Every year for the past 100 years there has been a cow made of butter on display.  Typically they have other displays accompanying it as well but this year the focus was more on the cow since they were celebrating 100 years.   The sculpture is in refrigerated/freezer area.  As you can tell it has great details in the sculpture.  One year there was a sculpture of The Last Supper, Garth Brooks, The Peanuts Gang, An American Eagle, Harry Potter,  A tribute to Niel Armstrong on the 40th Anniversary of walking on the moon, Dr Seuss 50th Anniversary, and many many more.  These sculptures are always next to whatever type of butter cow featured that year. This year as I stated was more about the cow.  Here are several shots because it was on a rotating disk of the other display.
This year there was a display of ice sculptures as well. I found these sculptures interesting as well. 



Inside the Agricultural building are displays of winning veggies and floral decorations.  I loved the top two yard gardens.

And here is the winner for the largest pumpkin, weighing in at 1,295 lbs!
Inside they had a display of cans.  The top 4 were on display.  The cans were to remind everyone to donate to the food bank.  I found them interesting.
A cow in a field of corn.
 
A corn field
This one was the winner...A pig. 
We found several different bee hives.
Of course the boys' favorite place was the Midway where they were able to ride some rides and where we found some Pina Coldas (nothing like Todd's recipe though.)
 

I found this butterfly garden.  Oh, I hope my fills in and is just as beautiful!



Maybe next year we will see more of the fair.  I sure hope so because this was just very little of the acres and acres of land that homes one of the largest fairs in our nation.
Photobucket

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