We're midway through the fair and I can safely say that it has been one of the hottest fairs I can remember. Yet we're still having fun -- participating in competitions, watching shows, sampling free food, and enjoying this unique slice of Americana. At the same time, there is always something bittersweet about the fair. For us, it signals the end of summer and the passing of another year.
DD's baked goods were judged yesterday. This year, she won an Honorable Mention for her caramel chip bars, but no ribbon for her chocolate crackle cookies or zucchini bread. The Iowa State Fair food competition is actually the largest in the entire country: more cooking items are entered here than at any other state fair, so you know the competition is quite stiff. The good thing is that DD always has plenty of leftovers.
Both DD and DH also have photos on display in the photography salon this year. (I submitted one but it wasn't selected.) The salon receives over 4,000 entries each year. Only half are displayed, and just a handful receive awards, so having a photo exhibited is a big deal.
Here are a few glimpses from the fair so far
(left to right):
1) Colorful gourds in the Agriculture Building
2) View from upstairs in the same building, widely considered to be one of the finest examples of exposition architecture in the world. Definitely my favorite building.
3) Cow - isn't she beautiful?
4) Various junior-division breads ready to be judged
5) Sheep in spandex
6) Baby goat - awww!
7) Baby pig, just hours old
8) Garden area outside the Agriculture Building
9) Harry Potter and Hedwig, sculpted from butter
10) Apples in the Agriculture Building
11) Interesting gourds
12) Piglet nap time
13) Butter cow - a state fair classic
14) Colorful vegetables
15) Jams to taste and purchase
16) Lily at the cat show competition
So here's to a few more colorful and memorable days of the fair. More photos to come.