Corn is king in Iowa. From a single ear to a group of 30, the state showcases its heritage that began with the first settlers.
Iowa has roughly 20,000 million hogs. But Reggie, an Indiana hog weighing in at 1,335 lbs., became the first from outside the Hawkeye State to win the 37-year-old Big Boar contest.
Participation is a huge part of the fair. There are more than 8,600 contests. Longtime favorites include the ladies nail driving, horseshoe pitching, quilt bonanza, talent search, husband and adult hog calling.
Youth from the 99 counties participate in the Iowa 4-H Share the Fun Awards. A group from Clayton County gets ready to perform a skit to a popular Rock & Roll favorite, "Calendar Girl."
Photography is one of the most popular contests. Of the 1,280 photographers who entered nearly 4,000 pictures, only four individuals had all four of their entries displayed.
Jason Pirtle, who manages the General Store in Heritage Village, makes sure he has plenty of the ninth most favorite food items on the grounds.
It’s standing room only for the 4-H & FFA Sale of Champions. The reserve champion of frisky broilers sold for a record $12,200. A grand total of $300,000 was bid for all breeds.
Over 50,000 mouth-watering, delicious charcoaled chops, either on a stick or in a dinner, were served by the Iowa Pork Producers.
You’re never too young to climb on a tractor. However, picking a favorite can become a lifetime decision.
College gals from the National Student Exchange, which include agricultural universities across the nation, exchange greetings with Caption Cornelius, mascot for the organization’s exhibit, which included a mini corn maize on Grand Avenue.
The centerpiece of the “Back to the Farmer” exhibit featured a larger-than-life sculpture built entirely from canned and packaged food. Contributions and more than 5,000 containers of food products were delivered to Iowa’s food banks to help those in need.
Evie Gates feels that friendly people and the beautiful Iowa countryside are staples of the fair. She trucked in her Boer goats all the way from Vinita, Oklahoma.
You can spend hours checking out pastels, pottery, prints, watercolors, sculptures and experimental art at the cultural center. How many hours did it take to complete this train fashioned out of barbed wire?
Carnival rides, bright lights, games of chance, fabulous food and hanging out with friends offer a smorgasbord of fun and memories at the Iowa State Fair.
Photographer Harlen Persinger enjoys visiting the exhibits and meeting agriculture enthusiasts at the Iowa State Fair. Folks from across the state do their best to take home a blue ribbon. It’s fairlicious!
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