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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Iowa State Fair

 After the big birthday party on  Saturday Willie and I took Kahlen to the Iowa State Fair. We went with our son Josh and soon to be daughter in law Caitlin.

If you have never been to the Iowa  State fair, here are a few things you need to know. First, this is a pre-caucus year. Iowa, being the first state in the nation to vote for who will run for president, gets flooded with candidates during the fair. There is good and bad in this situation. The good is that Iowa gets a lot of revenue from candidates, reporters and others following the candidates.
 The bad part of being the first in the nation caucus state, the political commercials. For every candidate there are political action groups both for and against them. For every PAC there is at least 15,000 irritating, and less than honest commercials.
 The fair is a favorite place for these candidates. They schmooze, they shake hands, they smile, and let's face it, they lie. Finally, they leave.

The second thing to know about the fair, and this is so much more important, there is FOOD. Lots of it. If you can put it on a stick, coat it and deep fat fry it, it is at the state fair. This year the new fried adventure was deep fat fried butter. I never found it, can't tell you how it works or if it tastes better than it sounds. It sounds awful to me, but I guess those who tried it liked it. My favorite fried food on a stick is fried pineapple. Ok, yeah, I go for a good corn dog as well. There are also pork chops on a stick, chicken on a stick, bananas on a stick. Oh and deep fat fried pickles! They aren't on a stick, but there are YUMMY!

The next thing to know is there is always a butter cow. There has been a butter cow at the fair for the past 100 years. How they kept it from melting before reliable refrigeration, I don't know. Iowa gets very hot in the summer and fair time is usually the hottest week of the year.  Some years the butter cow lady will also make other butter sculptures. One year she did Elvis, one year she did a tribute to the first moon landing. It is always a must see at the fair.
The fair is 100% family oriented. There is something for everyone. There are animals to see, including the big boar and big bull. Everyone likes to stand next to the big boar pen just waiting to see him get up and move. He usually doesn't. The big bull, no one messes with him.

There are chickens and bunnies and ducks and sheep. There is just about everything a little kid could want to see.

Of course there is the midway, with its rides and carny folk. I don't take Kahlen through there yet. She is a little young for that. I do look forward to taking her on the ferris wheel one day.
There is so much to do and see. There is art, music, and of course toddlers dancing in the streets. We were very lucky to have a beautiful day.  We walked and ate and watched Kahlen happily dance for 45 minutes. She had a lemonade that seemed to have sugared her up just enough to keep her going for hours. I thought for sure she would fall asleep on the shuttle bus back to the car. She didn't.
It was the perfect end to the perfect day. Once in the car Kahlen finally passed out, happy and content.

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