Wallaces Farmer

There will be a number of new and unique things to see and do at this year's Iowa State Fair August 12-22 in Des Moines.

July 20, 2010

3 Min Read

The State Fair Board has again decided to have the "Wine Experience" exhibit in and around Grandfather's Barn at the top of the hill at the State Fair in 2010.  Last year was the first year and an estimated 75,000 people visited the "Wine Experience".  "I'm sure the attendance will be greater this year," says Mike White, state viticulturist for ISU Extension. "There will be more for the kids and the adults to see and do at our exhibit this year. Also, we will have more displays, wine tasting, live music and nine grape-stomping rounds per day."

White works with the state's grape growers and the Iowa wine industry. He is currently soliciting bids to supply Iowa grown grapes ripe enough to be stomped to the State Fairgrounds every other day. "We would like the grapes to be delivered in 5-gallon pails or at least placed into 70 of the 5-gallon pails every other day of the fair," he says.   

The exhibit needs a lot of grapes, approximately 35 of the 5-gallon pails of grapes per day for 11 days. That figures out to 385 pails of grapes at approximately 20 pounds per pail, which equals 7,700 pounds of grapes. The grapes will be stored in a refrigerated semi-trailer next to the exhibit at the Fair.

The 2010 Iowa State Fair runs Aug. 12 to 22, an 11-day fair

"We are willing to consider bids to fulfill partial amounts of these requirements for the grapes, but our intent is to work with one supplier with one bid," says White.

He adds, "We'd like the bids given to us in "Cents per Pound" delivered to the refrigerated trailer with your estimate of the variety(s) of grapes you'll be delivering. We have a preference toward red grapes, though a combination of both green and red would be acceptable. All 5-gallon buckets will be returned to grape suppliers. Deadline for bids is midnight, Monday August 2, 2010. Send the bids to me via e-mail. You can e-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 515-681-7286 if you have questions."

Dr. Seuss characters In butter at 2010 Iowa State Fair

The world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will share the spotlight this year with characters from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Both the butter Jersey cow and Seuss characters will be on display in the Agriculture Building's 40-degree cooler throughout the Fair. 

Butter sculptor Sarah Pratt of West Des Moines plans to take fairgoers young and old through the story of Green Eggs and Ham, the witty children's book published by Seuss in 1960. 

The Butter Cow starts with a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and about 600 pounds of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter. Once inside the 40-degree cooler, layers of butter are applied until a life-size butter cow emerges - measuring about 5.5-feet high and 8-feet long. While a real dairy cow weighs more than 1,000 pounds, a 600-pound butter cow would butter 19,200 slices of toast and take an average person two lifetimes to consume. Much of the butter is recycled and reused for up to 10 years. Next year will mark the 100th year of sculpting the Butter Cow at the Iowa State Fair. 

The Iowa State Fair theme is "Non Stop Fun" for August 12-22, 2010. For more information, call 800-545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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