My First State Fair & It is Big! Got tips? #IAStateFair #IowaStateFair

It was several years ago when I first realized that one of the great differences of growing up city and growing up on a farm meant very different life experiences for many of us. I am not sure there is a single thing that can be pointed to where experiences differ more than the fair.

As a Memphis girl, when the fair came to town, we got a day off school. We had lots to think about…. The rides. Fair foods. Games. And the entertainment. Those were what grabbed my imagination and excitement.

It wasn’t until I was grown that I realized friends had a very different memory of fairs. So many thought about getting projects or livestock ready.

I have written about state fairs and all before…. And whenever I talk about it, it seems most Angie friends can’t believe how little our experiences connect.

They also can’t believe I have never been to a state fair.

I have to explain that Memphis had a regional fair. Maybe it was the same, maybe not but I know I had a great time as did my farm friends. This weekend though, I am going to my first state fair. The Iowa State Fair. And I would love you to help me decide what I should see and do! I have to see a butter cow or whatever they have sculpted of butter, but what else?

What are your top tips for attending a state fair for the first time?

What should I be sure to see?

If you will be at the Iowa State Fair, how can I catch up with you?

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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13 Responses to My First State Fair & It is Big! Got tips? #IAStateFair #IowaStateFair

  1. Mike Haley August 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Three things you have to do at Iowa State Fair

    1. Check out the butter cow

    2. Stop in the Animal life building to see pigs, cows and many other animals giving birth.

    3. Eat a fried stick of butter. (to bad they don’t sell fried lard)

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 12:20 am #

      BAHAHAHAHA! Fried lard! You are funny! Thanks for the other tips though dude!

  2. Val Plagge August 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    1. Top Tips for Going to the Fair: Wear comfortable tennis shoes and if you need to rest at any point in time, grab a spot in the shade next to the Bill Riley Stage.
    2. Places to Go: I agree with Mike with visiting the Butter Cow in the Ag Building and the Animal Learning Center. I would also encourage you to visit the Iowa Food & Family project display in the South atrium of the Varied Industries Building, check out the photos and doll houses in the Cultural Building and see all the neat projects in the 4-H Building. As for foods my favorites are Pork Chop on a Stick, Dairy Barn Milk Shake, Turkey Tenderloin Sandwich, and Cookies in a Cup. I’m excited to try the Fried Pickle Dawg this year!
    3. I’ll be at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday and Sunday – tweet me or call me!

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Cool! See you in Ames Friday! Maybe I can get your help showing me a few ropes Saturday!

  3. Jan August 17, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Rabbit & dairy goats will be judging Saturday. Shorthorns, Simmentals & Charolais beef are judging, as are sheep – not sure on dairy. I think the Sale of Champions is that day (don’t scratch your nose or wave or you might get one of those $20,000 hogs or lambs!). Agree with the butter cow and comfy shoes! Catch a show of some sort – lots go into preparing those critters for just a few minutes in the ring.

  4. Brian Lantzky August 17, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    The Super bull, Big boar, big ram etc. àre usually in the avenue of the breeds on the hog barn or in the annex of the cattle barn. Pretty big critters! Have fun!

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Awesome! I have also found one of my ag education tweeps is going to be working in the ag learning center and another tweep said she was going to be around too so now I feel like if I get lost trying to figure out where to go next, I have some on-site resources to go along with the tips I’m getting here! Better rest up tonight cause tomorrow will be a busy day!

  5. Robyn August 17, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    JP, I have never been to the Iowa State Fair. My Sister works for the Iowa Sheep Industry and is in the State Fair lunch stand. If you are a lamb eater go say HI and ask for Micky!

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Love lamb and a friend mentioned they have great lamburgers at the fair so I may just see Micky!

  6. Mike August 17, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Janice – If the line isn’t long you could ride Ye Old Mill. It was originally built in 1921 and is a classic. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can enjoy some great views from the Sky Glyder.

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks! The idea of “if you’re not afraid of heights” well, it depends but I’ll check these out!


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