16 Reasons I WILL go to the Iowa State Fair
By Kat Darling from The High Crest
1. The Music - I go to see the FREE music and every year my band, The High Crest, performs on one of the newly renovated free stages. The High Crest will perform again on Monday Aug. 17th at Noon on the Bud Light Stage. The free stages keep the entertainment running all throughout the fair. You have dancing, music, and street performers from local, regional and touring acts. I’m not a huge fan of the Grandstand selections but they always draw a crowd.
2. The Eastside – Yep, come to the fair because it is on the Eastside of Des Moines and there is nothing you can do about it. This is the time of the year when the eastside just blows up. Even the night before, families are prepping this side of town for parking, vending and more, all so you can park close and have fun at the fair. This is the best the Eastside’s got, so quit using it to slam the state fair.
3. Food On a Stick – There is a reason it is on a stick. Have you ever walked around in the 90 degree Iowa heat trying to eat anything? It isn’t easy. Food that is easy to hold for any age, in any capacity, is brilliant. We are not talking gourmet, here, just fried yummy easy to eat food.
4. Iowa Craft Beer – How about Iowa craft EVERYTHING! The Iowa State Fair is the best Iowa’s got to share with you.
5. The Heat – It’s Iowa! You are really going to let the heat deter you from enjoying the fair!? Don’t let it. There are many cool spots to stop and take a break. You are not going to see the whole fair so let these cool air-conditioned spots help your opinion of your trip. Drink lots of water and just sit back and watch the fair roll by you.
6. Free stuff - Free entertainment, free goodies for the kids, giveaways…so many companies are advertising for you at the state fair. Grab a bag and fill it up!
7. The Animals – If it smells like the fair, it must be the fair! So many Iowa families work hard all year round to represent at the State Fair. I tip my cowgirl hat to all that have dedicated themselves and wish them a great showing. Good luck on winning that Blue Ribbon/ Best of Show!
8. 4-H Projects and the Arts – What creativity!!! Competing to show at the fair isn’t easy. Over 1,000s of people of all ages compete. The winners are a great cross section of Iowa’s talent.
9. The Butter Cow – Imagine the time and passion to keep this piece of Iowa’s history alive! One woman is crafting this cow every year and she is really cool (and not just because she has to work in the walk-in cooler). We got to meet her!
10. Iowa History – Iowa’s years past are featured all over the fair. Learn a little bit about this great state of Iowa. It is fantastic!
11. The Classic Rides – I love riding down the sky glider from the top of the hill toward the midway at sunset, Des Moines sky line in the distance, lights from the midway, rocking high above the crowd, in a little moment of peace. That is my state fair moment.
12. The Volunteers and Staff – It takes a village! Even though there are 1,000s of people streaming through the gates, somehow these people remain friendly and helpful, all to make this huge event run smoothly.
13. Family and Friends – It is a time to come together for all ages. After walking through the crowds you might find yourselves apart, but there are plenty of familiar landmarks where you can reconnect.
14. The Fair Grounds – This huge area is opened and staffed all year round. It is always being renovated and updated. Its campground, during the fair, hosts 2,400 campsites (with expansion in the future) and has 500 people on their waiting list to get in. It is a true Des Moines landmark.
15. The Pain – You will come out of the state fair bearing some sort of pain: sunburn, blisters, headache, etc. You’ll be dusty and dirtier than you could’ve imagined and your skin will salty and your shirt will be wet from the sweat. But you will have done it – You survived the Iowa State Fair! And you can do it again and again for 11 days in a row.
16. Iowa State Fair Passion - You can’t help it! If you love it, you love it. And there are plenty of people who love it, so if you don’t…don’t feel bad about yourself or feel sorry for the people who love it. We know what we are getting into and that is the fun of it!