State Fair Swag

March 20, 2017

Today is the first day of spring but the Blue Ribbon Foundation staff started our spring cleaning around the office weeks ago. With the clutter cleaned up, a few treasures were discovered. Stored in the back of a closet were two merchandise items, a tote bag and sweatshirt - Iowa State Fair swag from 1994!

The canvas tote bag has the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s first campaign logo, “Treasure Our Fair” while the crew neck sweatshirt highlights Fairgrounds’ buildings. Merchandise sales have been a successful avenue of fundraising for the Foundation from the very beginning.

You can buy almost anything during the Iowa State Fair – a mattress, a hot tub, a mop that will change the way you clean. But remember when you purchase a souvenir from the Blue Ribbon Foundation; you are supporting the Iowa State Fair’s future. The proceeds from merchandise sales go right back into Fairgrounds’ renovation projects.

The Foundation has sold series of merchandise items – cookbooks, pottery pieces, lapel pins, and Christmas ornaments. Each year there are t-shirts, charms, hats, prints – some commemorate the year and specific Fair theme. With the State Fair more than 100 days away, we are already searching for new souvenirs to sell in August.

Broken Arrow Wear created and printed the sweatshirt in 1994. The Foundation still partners with this Des Moines company for t-shirt designs - remember the Butter Cow Security shirts? Thank you Broken Arrow Wear for your continued creativity! The Blue Ribbon Foundation has partnered with several other Iowa businesses for merchandise.

The State Fair Plaques are created by Sticks. John Bosley, Bozz Prints, produced a print of the Iowa State Fair fireworks sold during the 2016 Fair. The Blue Ribbon Foundation will continue our partnership with Isabel Bloom to sell a custom piece. Willow Avenue Pottery from Panora makes our annual pottery piece. Competitive Edge prints t-shirts and Sigler produced the latest edition of the cookbook.  Our lapel pins are made in Mt. Pleasant Hill by Staats. There is something incredible valuable about supporting a business from your home state. It makes the merchandise even more special.

If you have a merchandise suggestion, please share it with us! We want to know what Iowa State Fair swag is your favorite. 

Check out the State Fair Store online or stop by our office if you are around Des Moines. We are located in the Earth Home (under the wind turbine, by the Cultural Center and Fun Forest). We are open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.