New Food and Fun at the 2011 Iowa State Fair
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Des Moines, IA
The Iowa State Fair will offer a smorgasbord of new attractions to try, taste and watch this year. New ticket options, Fair foods, attractions and special contests are available in addition to the many traditional Fair favorites. “Nothing Compares” to this array of new excitement that awaits Fairgoers August 11-21.
Print at Home Tickets
New this year, Fairgoers can print advance admission tickets at home when purchasing them online at iowastatefair.org. This fee free option is easy to use and offers Fairgoers more convenience than ever. Tickets may also be purchased at participating Hy-Vee and Hy-Vee Drugstores, Dahl's Foods, Fareway Stores and the State Fair Ticket Office. In addition, advance admission gate tickets will save you 50% off DART’s State Fair Park & Ride.
The Fair’s usual lineup of well-loved foods will be joined be several new and tasty offerings this year. Fried butter on a stick, a fitting treat for the 100th birthday of the Butter Cow, will tempt Fairgoers at Fyfe Concession on the Triangle at Grand Avenue. Also joining the over 50 kinds of food on a stick, chocolate covered fried ice cream on a stick will satisfy sweet your tooth at Oasis Concession on the southwest corner of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion, and peanut butter and jelly on a stick will be available at the Salad Bowl in the John Deere Agriculture Building.
Other new and tasty treats include red velvet funnel cake, available at the Triangle at Grand Avenue; BBQ ribs, available at the new Rib Shack near Walnut Square; and chicken Philly sandwiches located on the south side of the sidewalk at the Triangle, the southeast corner of the Horse Barn, and south of the Des Moines Register Service Center.
The Iowa Craft Beer Tent debuts to offer Fairgoers locally brewed rest and relaxation. Stop by to try one of the 36 Iowa beers on tap, from pale ale to lagers. Then stick around to talk with the experts about their favorite microbrews, listen to a seminar on brewing basics, or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fair. This celebration of local breweries will be located on Rock Island Avenue across from the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.
Joining the Fair’s lineup of agricultural education, Pig Place and Horse Haven will offer Fairgoers of all ages an interactive opportunity to learn about livestock. Learn what tools you need to groom a horse, try your hand at mixing feed, see how you stack up in size next to a boar or horse and learn fun facts about all things equine and swine. Be sure to stop by Pig Place in the Swine Barn, Horse Haven in the Horse Barn and the returning Cattle Corner in the Cattle Barn.
The Fair will also include Together We CAN!, an exciting new project to celebrate food and farming while helping those who are food insecure. The exhibit will use thousands of cans of food to construct a replica of the Butter Cow in an agricultural scene. Following the Fair, all the canned goods in the exhibit will go to the food insecure throughout the state. The display, located in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building, will be staffed with farmers, commodity group partners, food bank staff and others who will interact with Fairgoers and spread the word about food, farming and those in need. The exhibit is coordinated by the Iowa Food & Family Project.
Family-friendly fun will be even easier to find with the debut of the new Kids’ Zone. Located north of the Animal Learning Center, Kids’ Zone will include the Blue Ribbon Kids’ Club Tent, Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show, Little Hands on the Farm, Butterfly House and Stroller and SecuraPAL rental. In addition, Kids’ Zone will be home to foods and games designed for the young Fairgoer.
Offering even more room for heart-stopping thrills, a new entertainment venue will debut west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. Pull up a chair and grip the edge of your seat as the Fearless Flores Thrill Show delights crowds with their display of breath-taking stunts and spectacular skills. Then, hold your breath as Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi and his band of playful alligators offer up their own breed of jaw-dropping entertainment.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the Butter Cow, the Fair is unveiling the Battle of the Butter. Contestants will create a dairy masterpiece from a 50 lb. block of butter, and the winning sculpture daily will be featured alongside the world-famous Butter Cow. Catch the sculpting action each day at 4 p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage.
With all the excitement of bullriding on a smaller scale, Mutton Bustin’ lets youngsters try their hand at stock riding. Dare devils ages 8 and under can don protective gear and hold on tight to the back of a sheep to outlast other contestants and be named Mutton Bustin’ Champion. The contest will be held August 19 at 12:30, 3:30, and 6:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Complete rules are available at iowastatefair.org.
The Farmer’s Challenge will have farmers young and old vying to prove their agrarian excellence in hay bale throwing, egg gathering, gate hanging and other fun farm contests. Winners will take away hundreds in cash prizes and bragging rights as top farmer. The contest will be August 18 at 12:30 and 6 p.m. in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Complete rules are available at iowastatefair.org.
The Fair will attempt to set a new stop, drop and roll world record with more than 1600 participants this year. The Iowa State Fire Marshall’s Office is celebrating a century of fire prevention and education, so to honor their service, stop what you’re doing and drop by the Fair on August 21 at 2 p.m. on the Grand Concourse to help us break the record for the most people demonstrating “Stop, Drop and Roll” at once.
With 47 new food contests, the Foods Department is offering Iowans even more opportunities to get creative in the kitchen. Two of the new contests join the celebration of the 100 years of the Butter Cow at the Fair. The Land O Lakes Best Butter Cookie Competition (Aug. 14 at 11 a.m.) will award a year’s supply of butter to the tastiest cookies, and A Cookie Jar for the Butter Cow (Aug. 12 at 9:30 a.m.) invites contestants to decorate and bake for the Butter Cow’s birthday.
Other contests joining the Foods Department lineup this year include: Iowa’s Best Sauerkraut (Aug. 14 at 10 a.m.), Cooking in an RV (Aug 16 at 9 a.m.) and Dessert on a Stick (Aug. 17 at 2 p.m.). The State Fair Foods Department is the largest foods department of any state fair in the country. All foods department judging takes place in the Elwell Family Food Center.
About the Iowa State Fair
“Nothing Compares” to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.