Notable records broken in the Fair's 11-day run
From attendance to foods, livestock and woodcarvings, to new programs, rides and entertainment, it was truly a year to remember at the Iowa State Fair.
Overall, attendance in 2022 was up nearly 25,000 people when compared to the 2021 attendance number of 1,094,480 with 1,118,763 people attending this year. An all-time one-day record number of 128,298 people attended on Saturday, August 20th. The old record of 127,277 was made the first Saturday of the Fair in 1991.
Also on Saturday, August 20, the Iowa State Fair crushed the Guinness World Record for largest cornhole tournament with 730 participants. The previous record of 444 participants was made in San Diego, California in 2019.
Some highlights of the 2022 Fair include:
1. A strong Grandstand lineup with country duo Brooks and Dunn with special guest Alex Miller bringing in 15,047 fans and rising star Kane Brown, with special guest Jessie James Decker, at 14,541 fans, while chart topper Carrie Underwood, with Adam Sanders, closed out the Fair with 14,754. Nelly with special guest Ginuwine, Alanis Morissette with special guest Morgan Wade and Keith Urban with special guest Ingrid Andress all had over 12,000 too. Disturbed with Chevelle, John Crist and Friends, ZZ Top's Raw Whiskey Tour with special guest Ann Wilson of Heart, Demi Lovato with special guest Iyla and Skillet with Dante Bowe rounded out all eleven nights of concerts.
2. Food in general at the Fair is popular, but when listed as a new food at the Fair, you compete for the coveted title of People's Choice, Best New Food. The Pork Picnic in a Cup, The Finisher and OMG Chicken Sandwich recorded a record number of votes and when the votes were in, The Finisher was voted to be the winner.
3. The new Kitchen demonstration area had 5 sessions each day to full seats. Sessions included wine mixology, cooking with honey, how to construct a wedding cake, hot chocolate bombs and even a play dough/slime demonstration on Sensory-Friendly Morning. The Iowa State Culinary Science Club had 3 sold-out presentations for kids and adults. `
4. Livestock shows at the Iowa State Fair are some of the best in the nation. A record number of six-horse hitches were registered at 19, and in the end, the Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement raised a record $481,500 in the Sale of Champions. Five individual champion records were broken in 2022, including an all-time record for all species at $135,500.
5. The Woodcarver's Auction supports the Blue Ribbon Foundation, which raises funds for building improvements and renovations on the Fairgrounds. The auction raised $79,137 and announced a $25 million project plan to upgrade and improve the livestock barns on the Fairgrounds over the next couple years.
And, the numbers are still coming in. With less than 24 hours since the 2022 Iowa State Fair gates closed, we are still gathering the numbers on many of our activities, contests and events. We can't wait to see what records we can set in 2023, August 10-20.