Brick Give-a-Way Week 3: Pioneer Hall

Congratulations to Lindsey Wanderscheid, winner of the Anne & Bill Riley Stage brick!

With food and entertainment, every Fairgoer walks through the gates ready for a day full of memory-making and fun.  As they stroll up the Fairgrounds hill, they find themselves greeted with Pioneer Hall, a reminder of yesterday’s Fair.  Pioneer Hall is the only building remaining of the 67 originally constructed for the permanent Fairgrounds.  With a beautiful wooden structure complete with high ceilings and its distinctive red cupola, the building debuted at the 1886 Fair where it sits today, atop the hill by the Richard L. Easter Museum Complex. 

As an exhibition hall, Pioneer Hall has served a number of purposes in its lifetime.  From a poultry building to a storage facility, the building has even operated as an employee dormitory at one point. Today, within the wooden structure, is the Museum of Iowa Agriculture.  However, as the Fair approaches, the museum is joined by antiques for display and judged competitions during the Fair. 

However, without the help of the Farm Bureau, the Pioneer Hall would have never been reopened in 1996.  The Bureau funded extensive renovations to the aging hall.  The renovation stabilized this building for the future working on the hall’s foundation and footing.

Throughout the Fair, music fills the air from the fiddlers, potters work with their clay, while blacksmiths and furniture makers diligently create.  People visit with friends over lemonade, watch women throw sand-filled rubber chickens and admire the antiques. 

What brings you to Pioneer Hall during the Fair?
Add a comment here or on Facebook by 10:00 a.m. June 23 to enter to win a brick at Pioneer Hall.

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6 Responses

  1. The lemonade sold in Pioneer Hall is the best tasting on the fairgrounds.

  2. I agree that the lemonade at Pioneer Hall is the best! I also love all the contests that take place at Pioneer Hall every year. Some of my favorites are the hog calling contest, the mom calling contest, the fiddlers competition, and the mother/daughter look-a-like contest. Can’t wait for the 2010 ISF!!

  3. Gotta be the cow chip throwing contest!

  4. I am attracted to Pioneer Hall, because of what can be learned though watching the working displays. The crafts are well represented.

    The potter throwing clay,
    The blacksmith over his anvil,
    The printer at the press,
    The tailor at his treadle sewing machine,
    The basket maker with her reeds,
    The chair maker with there cainning,
    The broom maker tying handle,
    The furniture maker with his planes,
    & and all the other craftsmen/artists that participate in the various competitions.

    A day at the Iowa State Fair is time well spent; a day at Pioneer Hall is time well invested.

  5. I have been in the joke telling contest. I didn’t win, but it was so fun to participate in. I also really like to look at the old equipment that is located outside on the lawn of the Pioneer Hall. May dad and I usually spend an entire afternoon looking at all the neat, old stuff. It’s a favorite!

  6. Pioneer Hall is the true nostalgia of the fair and life itself. Truly one of my favorite places to visit during the fair. Easy way to spend 9AM to 9PM.

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