After getting up early this morning we got the truck loaded to bring William’s things that he needed for this semester of classes at college. All I can say is Thank Goodness for trucks! We were able to get everything loaded and packed in and soon we had a bungee cord on it and we were off!
We got a little bit later start than we wanted (we left around 7:30) but expected to meet up with him around 10:00 or so. Then if we had time we were going to go to the Iowa State Fair. We haven’t been to the fair for about 4 years now and that sure sounds like a good time if we could make it work.
We did get to Ames around 10:00 and it didn’t take too long to get the truck unloaded and we headed to the fair. What a perfect weather to be outside. It wasn’t too hot and even though it was breezy, it kept the air cool. First thing first – get the lay of the land. We started out with a couple of the cattle barns and to tell you the truth, I would stay in there for most of the day if I could. In the one barn we couldn’t figure out why there was such a line and what we found out later that they were waiting to milk the cows. There’s about 25 to 30 cows milked daily and they let the fairgoers help.
Here’s a picture of some of the cows in the steer barn. They were getting ready to show their cattle and this one girl was standing and just smiling at her calf. I asked her if I could take a picture of her and her calf and she said sure! She first straightened her shirt and bib and then she did a once over look at her calf to make sure that it was also looking good.
There is tons to see and do while at the fair and I’m sure we didn’t see it all. But we did see the wood carving guy and of course the Butter Cow! Now if you’ve ever been to the Iowa State Fair and didn’t go see the Butter Cow, well shame on you. (sorry!) But this is one of the main attractions for the fair. When we first got to the line to see it up close, we were a little sceptical but decided to wait anyway. I ended up timing our wait and it only took 20 minutes which wasn’t bad at all! I thought for sure it would be at least twice that much. Here is some facts about the Butter Cow: The first cow was made in 1911, each cow takes over 600 lbs of butter to make her, 16 hours to carve, and the lady who carved this cow has been doing the carving since 2006 after 15 years of being an apprentice. Other than the cow, the other carving theme this was Monopoly this year and here’s a couple of pictures of what was carved
While we were waiting in line I took a couple of quick pictures of the many, many, many exhibits. And knowing that a couple of years ago there was over 14,500 people entered 9,000 + exhibits in categories ranging from cattle to needlepoint to vegetables, I knew that we wouldn’t be bored waiting.
But I do have something that I would like to share. This is the the Super Bull that they have in one of their barns (picture below)and after taking a look at Ed OUR bullwell I’m just saying that maybe Ed is the Winner!
Now the biggest challenge we did have is just what should we eat? With around 70 foods that is served on a stick and over 200 food stands, this really is a challenge. So for dinner we decided on a breaded tenderloin which we cut in half and was more than enough for both of us, we also ate some smoked brisket and mac and cheese which was deliciousand when it came to our unique item – we were looking for some breaded taco’s and guess what? With over 106, 642 people at the fair on Saturday, most of them must have thought the same thing because they were out! Oh well, we weren’t that hungry anyway and decided on a root beer float for the way home.
And with the fair going on since 1854 and with the Iowa State Fairgrounds being on the National Register of Historic Places – seriously how can you go wrong?
The picture of the day is one that I took when we were walking around the fairgrounds. I think just the posting is really funny because they must have had trouble in the past to have to tell people not to do it, but take a look if the livestock actually went on the sidewalk. They would have to weave in and out of the crowd and benches. Just too funny!!
Well that’s about it for us at the Iowa State Fair this year. Hopefully we’ll be able to go again real soon!