With less than four months until the Iowa State Fair, August 10-20, 2023, make plans now to be involved in the Fair's special events and competitions. Now is the time to submit an entry for the 2023 Iowa State Fair concrete statue, enter the Iowa State Fair Parade or get your projects ready for Iowa State Fair competitions.

Concrete Statue

Past Iowa State Fair concrete sculptures have included an elephant, pig, cow, horse, retro camper, traditional barn, ice cream cone, Ferris wheel, state of Iowa, Iowa State Fair logo and blue ribbon. The featured concrete sculpture for the 2023 Fair is a tractor, paying homage to the Iowa State Fair's rich agricultural heritage.

Individuals, clubs and companies can participate by completing the application with their proposed design. Selected applicants will then pick up a statue from the concrete manufacturer, paint it and return it to the Fair for display. Be a part of the "Best Days Ever" 2023 Fair theme by showing your creativity and originality with the tractor concrete statue.

To enter, submit your entry form along with a written description and drawing/sketch of your proposed design. Novice and professional division entry forms can be downloaded from the Iowa State Fair website: https://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/concrete-statues.

All entries must be postmarked by May 15, 2023. Selected applicants will be notified by June 1, 2023; a $160 entry fee is due before statue pick up.

A panel of judges will award prizes for completed statues based on originality, creativity and overall look in both the professional and novice divisions. Participants will be judged in the "professional" category if 25 percent or more of their income comes from graphic design or art.

All statues will be on display on the Fairgrounds, August 10-20, 2023. All winners receive a prize package including an Iowa State Fair plaque, admission tickets, parking and more. The first, second and third place winners also receive $150, $100 and $50 cash prizes, respectively. Winner's names will be displayed with their sculptures during the Fair.

Send entries to:

Tonya Cook, Special and Interim Events Director

Iowa State Fair

PO Box 57130

Des Moines, Iowa 50317-0003

Or e-mail all materials to tcook@iowastatefair.org

For questions about the contest, contact Tonya Cook at 515-262-3111 or tcook@iowastatefair.org.

Iowa State Fair Parade

The Iowa State Fair also invites all community groups, special interest clubs and businesses to join the fun during this year's Iowa State Fair Parade. Iowa's largest parade and the kick-off to the Fair is set for Wednesday, August 9.

Applications for floats, vehicles and novelty units; horses; marching bands; and walking and performing groups are available at http://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/parade or by contacting Liz Ley at 515.262.3111 ext. 282 or lley@iowastatefair.org. Entry fees and applications must be postmarked by July 1, with late entry fees if postmarked after July 1. No entries will be accepted after July 15.

Entries will be judged and winners will receive plaques in each of the following categories: best use of Fair theme, most creative/original, best horse entry, Governor's Cup (marching band) and Runner Up (marching band).

The parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Des Moines on Wednesday, August 9, 2023. Spectators will be able to watch an estimated 200 floats, animals, vehicles, novelty and performing units. Staging will take place at the State Capitol Complex.

Competitive Events

Gather your best projects for entry into the Iowa State Fair competitive events departments. Enter livestock, your handmade quilt, best pie and more at the Iowa State Fair. Entry rules and information can be found at http://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/competition. Entry deadlines and fees vary by department. Online entries may be made beginning May 1 at www.iowastatefair.org.