Family Traditions

December 13, 2017
drewnorton's picture

My family, like most, has some special Christmas traditions. Growing up, my mom and I would put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, we would drive around town looking at lights, attend church on Christmas Eve, open presents on Christmas morning, and have dinner at Grandma’s later in the day.

As an adult, the Christmas traditions have adjusted to accommodate different situations and incorporate new people. (A.K.A. my sister got married and moved to Chicago!) Other traditions have been added to my life – playing musical chairs, making hundreds of Oreo balls, and drinking Colorado Bulldogs.

I was trying to think of another time of year when I follow so many traditions. A kiss on New Year’s Eve, Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard, parade and fireworks on the 4th, golf on my birthday, or turkey on Thanksgiving. What about 11 days in August filled with traditions?

Before I worked for the Blue Ribbon Foundation - my family’s Iowa State Fair traditions included a pit stop in Pioneer Hall to get mom’s pottery crock. Watching an afternoon of talent on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage. Checking out the babies in the Animal Learning Center and the giant animals in the livestock barns. We couldn’t miss the free stuff in the Varied Industries Building, looking at 4-H projects, photograph, and the fancy decorated cakes in the Elwell Building. In addition to trying any new food items – we made sure to eat a corndog, pork chop on a stick, mini donuts and a cup of cookies.

What are your family traditions throughout the year and during the Iowa State Fair? Have you ever thought about passing the tradition of generosity to the next generation? If you support the Blue Ribbon Foundation and believe in the mission to improve the Fairgrounds – encourage your children to do the same. Maybe you spend a day at the Iowa State Fair with your grandchildren – let them know your support keeps the beloved Fairgrounds in tip-top condition.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation has several family members that are part of the 1854 Society or attend the Corndog Kickoff together each year. One family donates for an engraved brick every time a new member of the family attends the Iowa State Fair for the first time.

Thank you for making the Iowa State Fair and the Blue Ribbon Foundation part your family. 

2001 Christmas with my sisters and Grandma. 


2016 Christmas - Looking forward to another picture this year. 


Anyone else have a tradition of riding the Sky Glider?