Opening Day is August 11 for the 2011 Iowa State Fair. It runs August 11 to 21 this year at the State Fairgrounds on the east side of Des Moines.
You're invited to join in the fun as we throw a 100th birthday party for the Butter Cow! Come see the unveiling of the 2011 Butter Cow and companion sculpture and enjoy a free slice of birthday cake for the first 1,000 people. The festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Agriculture Building.
From 6 a.m. to noon fairgoers can take advantage of half-price admission with a coupon featured in the Iowa State Fair daily program special section of the August 7 issue of The Des Moines Register. There are a number of new activities and attractions at this year’s fair. Here’s a sample of some of them:
* Battle of the Butter. It’s not too late to sign up! The Iowa State Fair is searching for the best butter sculptors in celebration of 100 years of the Butter Cow. Each team will receive one 55 pound block of butter and have 30 minutes to sculpt. Three teams will compete each day at 4 p.m. on the Riley Stage. Winning sculptures will be displayed alongside the world famous Butter Cow in the Agriculture Building. Click here for more details.
* Daily Schedule, Walking Tours & New Foods. The complete daily schedule is available online. Or check out our walking tours, highlighting “must see” places and events on the Fairgrounds. If you’re feeling hungry, browse our list of new foods at the Fair!
* The Way We Live Award Winners. This award recognizes industrious Iowa families who demonstrate a daily dedication to animal agriculture and exemplify farm values derived from hard work and a love for the occupation of farming. Each family will be honored at an award ceremony during the Fair. Visit our website for photos and bios of all the winners. Congratulations to these six award-winning families!
* Discount Advance Admission. Don’t forget to pick up your advance admission tickets before August 10, or try the new print at home option! Click here for more details. This year, show your advance admission ticket at one of DART’s three State Fair Park & Rides and receive 50% off the roundtrip fare.
* State Fair Express. The State Fair Express is stopping at a town near you! Ride to the Fair in style on board a luxury Windstar Lines charter coach and “leave the driving to us.” The State Fair Express provides round trip transportation to the Fair, without the hassle of driving. For route information and pricing, visit our State Fair Express webpage.
* Party at the Fair! Plan a company or large group outing at the Fair! The Polk County Farm Bureau Shelter is located east of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion and can be rented a half or full day. Time slots are still available. Contact Jenna Reece at 515.262.3111 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.