2011 Iowans of the Day Selected

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and Cookies Food Products are pleased to announce the recipients of the Iowan of the Day award for the 2011 Iowa State Fair.

 Each Iowan of the Day receives VIP treatment on their respective day! Starting with recognition on the Anne & Bill Riley Stage at 2:30; use of the Iowan of the Day golf cart; gate admission and grandstand tickets; VIP parking; $200 cash; and accommodations at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott.

 The Blue Ribbon Foundation began the Iowan of the Day award in 1997 to honor those Iowans who have truly made a difference in their communities. This year, the judges reviewed hundreds of nominations selecting those that show examples of integrity, Iowa pride, hard work and dedication.

“We are pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals as Iowans of the Day,” said John Putney, Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Foundation. “Their volunteerism, dedication and service to their community and the state of Iowa makes each one deserving of this honor.”

 The 2011 Iowan of the Day recipients are:

Louise Unkrich of Swedesburg

Robert Smith of Sidney

Pauline Flamme of Gladbrook

Julie Beitelspacher of LeMars

John Rains of Urbandale

Ruby Bentley of Macedonia

Milton Menefee of Denver

Mickey Thomas of Osceola

Bill Forbes of Correctionville

Leo Chisholm of Osage



It’s beginning to look a lot like…the Iowa State Fair!

With only 9 days, 15 hours and 48 minutes left until the opening of the 2011 Iowa State Fair, the grounds are starting to look a little different this Monday morning. Normally when I come into the office each day, I may see a car or two pass by, someone walking their dog or the maintenance people driving by in a truck. This morning it was a little different…

Right when I turned off of University Avenue through Gate 2, I noticed the newly paved ground and beautiful landscaping surrounding the street. As I drove in past Little Hands, there is the Butter Cow image in the flowerbed right out front. As I made my way to Grand Avenue, that’s when things really started looking different.

Applicious, cheese curds, corndogs, cotton candy…the food vendors are all moving in! The Triangle is almost full  – even though it was before 8 a.m. when I passed by, I started getting hungry for cheese curds! They have always been my favorite, so of course when I saw them I was instantly excited.

I then turned left on Grand after I let all the traffic pass by me. On my way up the hill to our office, I drove by the Agriculture Building. I noticed last week that there was a strange vehicle parked there…Sarah Pratt, maybe? Well of course! With the Fair being less than 10 days away, I’m sure she is hard at work sculpting the Butter Cow.

Since her sculptures this year are a secret, it’s very tempting to go down to the Ag. Building to measure the spot I am placing a banner (no one needs to know that I already have the measurements).

All of us are getting really excited. I have a feeling this year is going to be a really great year for the Iowa State Fair. Please make sure you get your tickets and make a trip to the Fair! Our ticket office is open at the Administration Building every day, and if you get your tickets now they are only $7!

9 days, 15 hours and 31 minutes now!


Friends. Family. Food. Fun.

Although I have been a resident of Ames for the past three years, I was born and raised in southeast Iowa.  This is the beginning of a special week back home. An event that I plan on attending this coming weekend and haven’t missed since I was a little girl. The Davis County Fair.

County fairs across the state are a time to celebrate! It’s a time when friends and families can get together again in the summer. It’s a time when 4-H’ers can show off what they have created and learned all year.  It’s a time when food and entertainment can appeal to all ages.

When I was younger, my fun came from the Midway and riding the tilt-a-whirl as many times as I could. As I got involved with 4-H, it was much more exciting to see if my projects made it to the State Fair. I used to attend the concert, races and demolition derby each year. Now after a few games of bingo and the famous Cattlemen’s taco salad, I just enjoy the atmosphere.

I would encourage everyone to attend their county fairs this year and get ready for the 2011 Iowa State Fair.  To me, the Iowa State Fair is a combination of every county fair in Iowa. It is a time when everything about our great state is brought together.

This year’s theme of the Davis County Fair is: Friends. Family. Food. Fun.  It’s a pretty simple theme but I think is captures exactly what any county fair is all about. I plan on enjoying my family and my favorite fair foods this weekend before I get busy in August. I can’t wait to be part of the Iowa State Fair.  23 days!


The Davis County Fair

Thanks to the Nominators

The deadline has pasted… the nominations are in… get ready to celebrate the Iowans of the Day at the 2011 Iowa State Fair!!

The selection committee is excited to learn more about the outstanding volunteers across the state of Iowa. The top ten nominations will be picked later this week and the 2011 Iowans of the Day will be announced very soon.

To show our appreciation for the deserving Iowans of the Day, each will receive:

  • An introduction on the Anne & Bill Riley Stage
  • Four Grandstand show tickets for their day
  • Use the Iowan of the Day golf cart
  • VIP parking
  • Accommodations at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott hotel
  • $200 cash

I would also like to take this time to thank all of the Iowa of the Day nominators.  We appreciate the time you have put into your nomination.  You are the reason the Blue Ribbon Foundation can honor these people. The Iowan of the Day program’s success would not be possible without people like you!

I hope to see all of the nominators and other community members at the Fair to celebrate each Iowan of the Day winner.

And remember if you didn’t get your outstanding volunteer nominated for this year’s Iowa State Fair, there is always next year! 🙂


One month until the 2011 Iowa State Fair!

I can hardly believe the Fair is just one month away from today! It feels like summer just started not too long ago. After winding down from the Corndog Kickoff this weekend we will continue working hard at preparing for the Fair. I have always loved the Fair and am excited to see all the work that goes into it after being an intern with the Blue Ribbon Foundation. This internship has been great so far and I’m sure it will only get more exciting as August 11th approaches.

Check out more pictures from the 2011 Corndog Kickoff on our facebook page.


The Final Countdown

I can hardly believe the Kickoff is 1 day away! All our staff and volunteers have been down at the Varied Industries Building the past few days preparing for tomorrow evening. Things are coming together perfectly and we are so excited! I took a few pictures yesterday while we were setting up. Here is a glimpse into the 2011 Kickoff that will hopefully get you excited for tomorrow!

Here Comes the Kickoff

Here it is, the week of the Kickoff! Our office is already bustling today with things to prepare for the big event. If you haven’t ordered tickets yet you can still do so online or at the door.

Here are some more fun facts about the Butter Cow:

Butter Sculpting at the Iowa State Fair began as a way for the dairy industry to promote itself. The Midwest Dairy Association provides the butter used to sculpt the Butter Cow.

John K. Daniels, the first Iowa State Fair butter sculptor, lived to be 103 years old!

 There was not a cow sculpted in 1946.  World War II was just ending and butterfat prices were too high.

The butter used to create the 2011 cow will be 6 years old. It will almost be time to get a fresh batch of butter after this year.

The Butter Cow ornament will be available for sale again at the 2011 Iowa State Fair. Be sure to get in line for yours!

Butter sculptress Sarah Pratt