Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thrifty Thursday! {State Fair Edition}

Thrifty Tip #36: Visit the Iowa State Fair and mark off one of the top 1000 Places to See Before You Die! For you non-Iowa readers, here's a really thrifty way to experience all the excitement...a pictorial tour of our day  and a little trivia!

What is the theme of the 2010 Iowa State Fair?
 Non Stop Fun

When was the first Iowa State Fair held?
The Agricultural Building
 The first Iowa State Fair was held October 25 to 27,1854, twenty years before America’s great westward movement began.

How old are the Fairgrounds?
 The Fair moved to its present site at East 30th and East University in 1886. 
Therefore, the Fairgrounds are 124 years old in 2010.

When was the first Iowa State Fair cookbook published?
 (Getting an autographed blue ribbon for my copy of the cookbook!)
1983 and 14 editions have been printed to date. 
A new cookbook is now published every other year, with the next book making a debut at the 2010 Fair.

In what year did Fair attendance first top 1 million?
 (Hold on tight, kiddos!  BIG crowds!)
In 2002, Fair attendance was 1,008,174. 
The Fair has surpassed the 1 million mark each year since 2002.
In 2008, the attendance was a record-breaking 1,109,150. 

What are the record weights of the largest animals at the Iowa State Fair?

Big Boar 1259 lbs., 2008
World Super Bull 3404 lbs., 2009

How many food classes are judged annually?
 Winner of the Gingerbread House category!
The Iowa State Fair features the largest state fair foods department with nearly 900 classes.

How many cows are milked daily during the Fair in the milking parlor?
24 cows on average (many more during the first weekend when Dairy Cattle are showing).

How many buildings are located at Little Hands on the Farm?

Seven buildings:  Starting Barn, Grain Bin, Poultry Barn, Tractor Shed, Sheep Barn, Dairy Barn and Grocery Store.

*This is the most fun place in the entire fair for our children!  They get to go through every step of farming and then in turn sell their produce to earn some "cash" for the grocery store!

What was the hottest temperature recorded at the Fair?
 108 degrees on Older Iowans' Day, August 16, 1983

What happens to the butter from which the Butter Cow is sculpted?
 The BUTTER COW!  One of our favorite sites of the fair!
It is frozen and stored during the year and reused for three or four Fairs. 
Butter sculpture has been part of the Fair since 1911. 
It takes an estimated 600 pounds of butter and 16 hours to craft the Butter Cow.

In addition to the Butter Cow, what other sculpture also graces the Agriculture Building coolers?

50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham
All butter sculptures are exhibited in a 40-degree showcase cooler in the Agriculture Building.

About how many exhibits are entered annually?
 There go my kids...geeking out in the 4-H building!  
I participated in 4-H for nine years and spent a lot of time in this building during the State Fair!
In 2008, more than 16,940 people entered 58,966 exhibits in various categories ranging from cattle to needlepoint to vegetables. 
A total of $397,066.90 was paid in premiums to winning exhibitors.

About how many concessionaires and exhibitors operate on the grounds?
Approximately 600 exhibitors and concessions operate daily during the Fair.
This includes nearly 200 food stands (cotton candy to corn dogs),
300 exhibitors (farm machinery to hot tubs),
and 200 merchandise booths (t-shirts to tools).

How long has Hog Calling been an Iowa State Fair tradition?
 We take our pigs seriously!
The first Hog Calling competition was held in 1926.

When was the first State Fair Queen Pageant held?
A few of the candidates in 1994.
It was held in 1964.
My claim to shame...
embarrassing on so many levels...
but yes, this lead to my true love and loyalty for the Iowa State Fair!

Approximately how many types of food can be purchased "on-a-stick" at the Fair?

More than 50 foods are on a stick. The list includes pickle, pork chop, corn dog, corn on the cob, cotton candy, veggie dog, turkey drumstick, fried pickle, hot bologna, Monkey Tails, honey, deep fried candy bar, deep fried hot dog , chocolate covered cheesecake, Potato Lollipop, pineapple, Chicken Lips, Cornbrat, salad, hard-boiled egg...

If you unrolled all the toilet tissue stockpiled for the Fair, how many miles would it stretch?

1,818 miles (That's 5 trips to Chicago from Des Moines, or one trip to Los Angeles!) 
(random unnecessary fact!)

What was the budget of the first Iowa State Fair in 1854?
Spending part of our budget for yummy rice krispie treats on a stick...a bargain at $2!
In 1854, the budget was $323. 
Crazy!  Admission is now $10 / person and food is an average of $6 an item!

How many ribbons are handed out during the Fair?
 Approximately 45,000 ribbons, rosettes and banners are awarded annually to winners.  

What are the lyrics to the song "Our State Fair" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical titled "State Fair"?

Our State Fair is a great State Fair,
Don't miss it, don't even be late.
It's dollars to doughnuts that our State Fair,


FilledToTheBrim - Kate said...

Oh my - that looks like such a great time! Gotta love that pageant pic!!

Katrina @ Pics, Pages & Purls said...

I haven't been to the state fair yet...I have been in Des Moines for almost 3 years. We were planning on going this year however we are going to Colorado in like a week for 4 weeks while Rick is doing a rotation so any available funds are going towards our trip. With my husband's allergies to most livestock we were just going to go for the discounted half off tickets...(after 5pm)

Anonymous said...

Aw, looks like you guys had a great time! We were there yesterday; I need to get my pictures up. My kids love little hands on the farm too. I think mostly because they get a popsicle at the end. ;)

Oh, and that is SOME dress, Londa. 1994 was a great year for fashion. :)

une autre mère said...

How fun! I learned so much! My favorite was definitely the pageant picture. So cute! I was glad to see you were wearing a *modest* dress. ;) And the girl on your left in the blue dress was from my school - Trent's class. What a small world.

Seeing your pictures makes me even more angry at our school district for starting too early to let our family enjoy a day at the fair together. :( But I'm so glad you guys had a good time! :)

Tracy said...

That was so much fun to read... thanks. It even brought back a tinge of homesickness for Iowa!!! I think we were at the ISF in 2003 & 2004 and we still brag about it! (BTW love the pageant picture!)

peter marie said...

Looks so fun! I love all your pictures and facts...the last shot of you and the kids is adorable!

Anonymous said...

Lovely--fun facts, sweet kiddos, hilarious fashion statement (I should show you my circa 1996 photo in teal satin, puffed sleeves, shorter-in-front-than-in-back, mm-hmm, that's what I'm talkin' about!), . . . thanks for sharing. :) --Jess

Jamie said...

That is one big fair! Looks like a ton of fun. We are gearing up for our county fair next week.

Abby said...

Oh. My. Word. I think the girl behind you (in the queen pic) in the white dress is my cousin!!!! Craziness!!

H-Mama said...

Oh my goodness... How fun!! :)