Iowa State Fair open thread

The State Fair opens on Thursday morning and runs through Sunday, August 17.

This is an open thread for sharing any advice or memories related to the Iowa State Fair. What’s your favorite thing to do at the fair? What food can’t you resist at the fair?

As I wrote earlier this week, my number one tip is to buy lemonade from the Iowa honey producers on the second level of the ag building. They usually charge about half of what the kiosks around the fair charge.

For ice cream at the fair, hit the Bauder’s truck that is parked near the ag building.

I also like the popcorn with real butter. Food on a stick is not my thing.

The fair is an ideal place to carry your baby or toddler instead of using a stroller. First, your baby will get a better view of everything when riding on your back, front or hip.

Second, you won’t have to worry about animal excrement getting on your stroller wheels if you take your kids to the animal barns (always a highlight of the fair for my family).

Third, you won’t have to worry about your preschooler stepping in poop when you’re in the barns. Just bring a soft carrier (like an Ergo or an Asian carrier) in your bag. It doesn’t take up much space. Your child can walk around the fair for most of the day and just ride on your back while you’re in the barns. A lot of young kids get tired anyway and appreciate the break from walking.

Speaking of the fair, I got this e-mail from the Polk County Democrats today:

A group of Democrats are informally organizing a protest for the McCain event at the state fair and asked that we send this out:

Sen. John McCain will be speaking at the Iowa State Fair on Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. He will no doubt proclaim that he is a friend of rural Iowans in spite of his opposition to the farm bill that Sen. Harkin recently worked so hard to pass in addition to his well-known opposition to ethanol production, which has become a major Iowa industry.

If you’re planning to attend the fair on Friday, or are able to do so, we’d like to invite you to show up at the Des Moines Register’s “Soapbox,” located at the Northeast corner of the Varied Industries Building, with an appropriate sign.

A few ideas:

McCain Rejects Farmers, Iowa Rejects McCain

McCain is No Friend of Iowa’s Farmers

We Don’t Need A Third Bush Term

John McCain — Just Like Bush, But Older and Shorter

Be creative and have a little fun!

Thanks for your help.

  • The Fair!

    I love the Fair! I’ve planned to go Saturday, so I’m bummed I’ll miss out on giving McCain a chilly reception.

    The honey lemonade from the honey producers is fantastic (and cheap), and I guess the secret is out. I’ll probably end up buying something on a stick–probably a corn dog or something. There’s nothing distinctly “Iowa” to me about eating a gag-inducing deep-fried Twinkie, so I’ll steer clear of that. There’s a stand somewhere there that just sells steamed ears of corn…yummy and decently healthy.

    I always make it a point to see a “biggest” something (bull, pig, horse, ear of corn, ect.) and to take the SkyRide, even if I don’t really have anywhere to go. 🙂

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