Bayley Rustad of Des Moines learns a little about rural Iowa farm life in the Iowa State Fair's Swine Barn, August 17, 1999. Photo: Jessica Phares
Iowa State Fair
Each August, people from every corner of the
state of Iowa flock to Des Moines for this annual celebration.
The internationally known Iowa State Fair is the state's
largest event and one of the largest agricultural and
industrial expositions in the United States. Attracting nearly
one million visitors each year, the Iowa State Fair is
extremely popular in the Midwest for its wide variety of
activities. It is a proud tradition of the state, and serves
as a vehicle for tourism, economic development, education,
entertainment and culture.
The fair's primary purse is to celebrate Iowa's
livelihood. It provides a place for farmers to meet and discuss
innovations, equipment, and successes. The fair is home to one of
the world's largest livestock shows, including exhibitions of dairy
and beef cattle, sheep, hogs, horses and poultry.
It also offers diversity, where attendees may
showcase cooking skills or compete in a talent show. In its
cultural center, it hosts the state's largest arts show, from
photography to sculpture to painting. Grandstand acts have ranged
from the Carpenters to Barbara Mandrell to Alan Jackson to the Goo
Since Iowa State Fair began in 1854, its remains a
place for Iowans to communicate innovation and methodology. New
exhibitions and attractions are added each year. Among historic
highlights have been the display of the Wright Brothers' biplanes
in 1911 and a visit by Charles Lindbergh in 1927. During election
years, political candidates are quite visible, and several United
States presidents have visited. In 1986, the Iowa State Fair was
placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its
facilities-most pre-date World War I-that are distinguished for
large scale, specialized utilization building design.
Documentation includes text report, a map, and 30
Originally submitted by: Charles E. Grassley, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.