- The first state fair was held in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1854. Since then it has been held in Muscatine, Oskaloosa, Iowa City, Dubuque, Burlington, Clinton, Keokuk, and Cedar Rapids.
- In 1879, the state fair found its permanent home in Des Moines.
- Admission to the 1854 fair was 25 cents.
- Fairgrounds take up 445 acres, of which 160 is campgrounds
- Attendance in 1854 was 8,500. The largest fair attendance was in 2008 at 1,109,150.
- First butter cow was sculpted in 1911.
- Food on a Stick – 59 foods on a stick are available, including a fried stick of butter. I think you can get toppings. Do you have a favorite?
- There are more than 45 contests this year, including best mullet, rubber chicken throwing, a checkers tournament, benchpress/deadlift contest, cow chip throwing, beard growing, and mutton bustin’ (safety gear provided for this event). See them all here.
The Iowa State Fair by Earle D. Ross, republished in The Palimpsest, July 1954.
Historical Highlights of the Iowa State Fair by Marion Lucas, 2010.
Iowa State Fair, http://www.iowastatefair.org/