Piecing it Together

There are a lot of different pieces that make up the Fair. Departments, staff, volunteers, exhibitors and attendees are all people who help piece together the Fair each year. As Fair time approaches (only 14 days now!) there are thousands of pieces that need to be put in place to make sure we’re ready on opening day.

Without a doubt, each day gets busier as we get closer to the Fair. The Corndog Kickoff was held just two and a half weeks ago and after we wrap up a few days following the event, it’s high speed into Fair mode. Everyone in the office has a mile long to-do list, myself included. One of my current projects: getting all of the giving programs in place, including bricks, pavers, benches, trees, and lamp posts!

One of the new giving programs this year is the donor wall, or Block by Block, in the new Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center. All of the individual plaques are ordered and we are excited to see them installed in the form of barn quilts very soon!

I drove past the Jacobson Center today and took a couple of photos of the barn quilt designs being displayed on the exterior of the building. Crews are piecing it together block by block to make this amazing facility even more beautiful with the help of each of Iowa’s counties.  KCCI did a small story on the quilt block installation yesterday- click here to see the video footage.   

We are very excited to be debuting this exceptional new facility at this year’s Fair. We invite to you join us for opening ceremonies and the ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 12th at 9:30 a.m. at the Jacobson Center. While you’re there, be sure to check out your county’s quilt block on the outside of the building!

See you in two weeks for Non Stop Fun at the Iowa State Fair!


We’re in Fair mode now

First of all, thanks to more than 1,200 people for attending yet another successful Corndog Kickoff!  This year, we raised $227,000 to help renovate and restore the Fairgrounds. But now that the Kickoff is behind us, we’re in full swing getting ready for the Fair!

Last night, we hosted our annual Volunteer Reception in the newly-renovated Elwell Family Food Center.  It went as smoothly as we could have hoped for, thanks to some delicious catering by Campbell’s Concessions and a well-organized program by our volunteer coordinator, Stefany Foster. We’ve all been keeping busy, but probably none more so than Stefany, our Special Projects Intern. She’s been given the daunting task of organizing and assigning to duty all of the Foundation’s 450 volunteers. I’ve seen firsthand how stressful that job can be, but she’s done a great job so far!

At the end of the reception, I had the pleasure of being one of the tour guides for the four trams that took the volunteers on a quick jaunt around the Fairgrounds.  I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t know enough to talk about, but I surprised myself by only having to rely on my info cheat sheet a few times!  I also knew the answer to every reasonable question, and I think our tram had a good time in the ten minutes we had to do a quick lap around the Fairgrounds.

I’ve got plenty of work to do, entering stuff in the computer from the Kickoff and gearing up for the Fair. Speaking of which, we’re only 26 days away now! Thanks to everyone who helped make the Kickoff possible and to all that support what we do!

Billy Boyle
Special Events Intern

Corndog Kickoff Tomorrow!

The Corndog Kickoff is tomorrow! Everything is coming together really well and we’re getting excited! Thought you’d like a sneak peak of the happenings:


Hope to see you tomorrow night at 6:30! You can still buy your tickets at the door.

Thanks for your part in “Building a Blue Ribbon Tradition!”

Brick Give-a-way Week 5: Livestock Pavillion

Congratulations to Ashley Burns for winning a brick at the Cattle Barn!

The Livestock Pavilion was added to the Fairgrounds in 1902 as the first masonry building.  A three-tiered roof with a memorable dome is help up with purple brick.  Ventilated with a fan system, the foul air is pulled out as fresh warm air fills the pavilion. 

An $800,000 renovation funded by the Prairie Meadow Racetrack and Casino provided a new roof for the aging building. Without the renovation, the Livestock Pavilion would not be able to be used year-round as it is today.  During the Fair it is also used for livestock competitions and judging or the Governor’s annual Charity Steer Show.

What is your favorite thing about the Livestock Pavillion?
Leave a comment on here or Facebook by Thursday, July 8 for a chance to win a brick at the Livestock Pavillion.