All posts filed under: Des Moines

The Iowa State Fair – Nothing Compares

“I can hear ’em callin’ hogs in the clear Ioway air, I can sniff the fragrant whiff of an Ioway rose!” So begins the theme to State Fair, the 1945 film devoted to the Iowa tradition. Each of the 50 states has a fair, and Iowa’s is consistently one of the nation’s most impressive. The fair is the largest event in the state of Iowa, thus a fitting occasion for my first visit to the Hawkeye State and my first state fair experience. Iowa’s state fair dates back to 1854, when it was located in Fairfield. The fair has been located at its present 445 acre grounds in Des Moines for the last 129 years. The fairgrounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places with many of the American exposition-style architecture buildings pre-dating WWI. Yet the grounds are just one element of the eleven day festivities. The bustling atmosphere is in constant flux with different competitions and entertainment scheduled daily. One day’s hog calling contest transitions into the next’s lumberjack tournament. Drive in from …