June 13, 2017
The Corndog Kickoff is loaded with fun and excitement. Don’t miss out on any of the fun at the Kickoff, use this checklist.
1. FOOD- It’s number one on my list because food is always the most important to me. Check out all of the food venders that will be at the Corndog Kickoff here. You will not go home hungry with this spread.
2. LIVE AUCTION- There are 30 wonderful live auction packages this year. You won’t want to miss out on these great items. Support the Blue Ribbon Foundation while coming home with some pretty neat finds.
3. SILENT AUCTION- If you are more into silent bidding, there will be a silent auction at the Corndog Kickoff as well. Over 214 packages await your viewing.
4. WINNERS CHOICE- It’s a 1 in 100 chance to take home one of the first five live auction items. Each raffle ticket is sold at $100. Only 100 tickets are available to purchase. The odds are in your favor. Make sure you get your raffle ticket.
5. RAGS TO RICHES- Purchase a rag to play the game. The auctioneer will flip a coin and you raise your rag up if you think it will land heads up. Keep it down if you think it may be tails. The winner takes home half of the pot. Special thanks to our game sponsor, West Bank.
Get your tickets by calling 515-262-3111, online or at the door.
Don’t forget to check everything off of this list at the Corndog Kickoff. All of this excitement has me pumped for the Kickoff in only 25 DAYS! See you there!
June 8, 2017
Are you looking for a way to get involved with the Blue Ribbon Foundation? Check out our membership programs listed below!
The Blue Ribbon Foundation created the 1854 Society in commemoration of the Iowa State Fair sesquicentennial. Funds raised by the 1854 Society helped renovate the Richard L. Easter Museum Complex and donations continue to provide archival quality storage needed for proper preservation of the museum’s historic pieces. With a $1,854 initial membership fee to join this exclusive fundraising group, you receive elite benefits such as gate admission for 2 each day of the Fair with VIP parking, 4 priority seats to a Grandstand concert of choice, access to 1854 Society Hospitality Suite and 1854 Society Shuttle during the Fair, along with much more.
Join Jake’s Club and experience the Iowa State Fair from an exclusive vantage point! Jake’s Club, located on the 2nd floor of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center, is a member-only VIP area hosted by the Blue Ribbon Foundation. The Club features a full bar as well as a variety of food options. It’s the perfect place to watch your favorite Jacobson Center activities. With a $500 enrollment fee for the first year as well as a $100 membership fee, included is access to Jake’s Club throughout the days of the Fair, admission to all of the evening shows and more.
The Fan Fair program is your chance to help restore the grounds of the nationally-acclaimed Iowa State Fair and purchase Grandstand concert tickets before the general public. For each $150 contribution made to the Fan Fair program, you become eligible to purchase 2 Grandstand show tickets during a special presale.
Along with highlighting our membership programs, I also wanted to point out that we are one month away from the Corndog Kickoff! I’m sure the next month will fly by as we continue preparing to make this year’s event the best one yet. If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, they are available here on our website. Don’t miss out on the fun and everything the Corndog Kickoff has to offer!
Picture of Jake's Club located in the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center
1854 reception at the Fair
June 7, 2017
The smell of pigs, wood shavings and bacon around the fairgrounds this morning reminds me of home. The World Pork Expo has begun today and the Fairgrounds is full of pork-enthusiasts. The large number of people on the Fairgrounds has me feeling excited and anxious for what is to come in August!
To get your taste of Fair food and fun early, attend the Corndog Kickoff on July 8! Take home a package or item that you can’t find anywhere else. Join the live auction and bid for one of these packages:
1. Gliding By- Take home a bright orange sky glider chair that used to hang on the East SkyGlider. Donated by Sky Fair & the Iowa State Fair
2. Up, Up and Away- Enjoy a peaceful ride over central Iowa in a hot air balloon ride. Donated by Jim & Rita Fromm, Country Inn & Suites by Carlson & Mishmash Eats
3. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom- Attend the NASCAR championship races at the Miami Speedway, and before that, head to Newton, IA for the NASCAR Xfinity Series U.S. Cellular 250 at the Iowa Speedway. Donated by Housby Mach & the Iowa Speedway
4. Tell Me Something Good- Four front row tickets to see Little Big Town at the Iowa State Fair. Donated by the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation
5. Go Cubs! – Cheer on both the Iowa Cubs and the Chicago Cubs with 10 tickets to any Iowa Cubs game and two tickets to the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals. Donated by Daniel Molyneaux, Gary & Cindy Cheney, Iowa Cubs, Casey's General Store & Karen Brockelsby.
For another chance at one of these five packages, purchase a ticket for the Winner's Choice Raffle. The winner will get to choose one of these pakcages. Tickets are $100 and only 100 tickets are sold! The winner must be present at the time of the drawing. The drawing takes place at the beginning of the live auction.
Check out the auction book for the full list of live and silent auction packages. You won’t want to miss out! Call the office at 515-262-3111 ext. 371 or go online at www.blueribbonfoundation.org to purchase tickets. See you there!
June 6, 2017
With a stroke of a brush, you can create a master piece capturing the most iconic elements of the Iowa State Fair.
The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation offers painting classes throughout the fair to help ensure the future of the fair remains colorful. All proceeds from the painting class are put towards the Iowa State Fair’s Future, the Blue Ribbon Foundation endowment fund.
The class times are daily at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (No Class on Tuesday, August 15 and the mornings of Sunday, August 13 and Sunday, August 20.) A 6:00 p.m. class is offered on August 12, August 13, August 17, and August 18. You can register online now or up to a ½ hour before the selected class begins. The class will be taught by Missy Pieters, owner and artist at Messy Missy's Painting Studio and Gallery. Space is limited to 40 painters at each class, so book your time today!
Each class will be held in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center on the 3rd flood.
To register online, click here! Or call our office at 515-262-3111 ext 371.
Stayed tuned for the canvas calendar to see what master piece you can create. Happy painting!
(Last year's painters took home a painted portrait of the buttercow!)
June 5, 2017
The Principal Charity Classic will be hosted this week at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines. On June 6 – June 11, golfers tee off for charity. The Blue Ribbon Foundation is partnering with the Principal Charity Classic for the “Birdies for Charity” fundraiser. Supporters can make a pledge based on the number of “birdies” made by Champions Tour players. There are two ways for supporters to pledge: A per-birdie amount for every birdie made by Champions Tour players during the 2017 Principal Charity Classic, or a one-time flat donation.
The Blue Ribbon Foundation will receive 100% of every donation collected and receive a 10% match for all pledges made through the program. For more information about Birdies for Charity and to pledge visit The Principal Charity Classic website. Or you can donate now to join the Blue Ribbon Foundation as we raise funds to help preserve and improve the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
You can also join Principal while they ‘take a selfie’ to do more good. Throughout the “selfie for good” promotion, Principal will award five fans with $500 in charitable dollars each day of tournament week. Each fan will then select a charity to receive a $500 donation on their behalf. To participate, take a selfie at the Principal Charity Classic and use the hashtag #PCC17 when posting to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be taking those selfies, and show some love to the Blue Ribbon Foundation! Need a selfie stick? We’ve got you covered at the online State Fair Store!
We took our selfie, don’t forget yours! #PCC17
June 1, 2017
Have you checked out the State Fair Online Store recently? Click here to see everything! Items include apparel, books, charm bracelets, collectibles, hats, jewelry, prints, and State Fair plaques! You can indulge in an 18th edition cookbook that features select ribbon-winning recipes from the 2014 and 2015 Iowa State Fairs. Also available for any State Fair lover is an Iowa State Fair charm bracelet! This exceptional charm bracelet was created especially for the Iowa State Fair and the Blue Ribbon Foundation. It comes in silver and gold and has seven charms, including the 2016 logo charm. There are also some very cool Iowa State Fair prints that are sure to nicely decorate any room!
Meanwhile in the office today, the “rags” for Rags to Riches at the Corndog Kickoff came in! They look great thanks to Broken Arrow Wear who printed them! Rags to Riches is a 50/50 raffle game sponsored by West Bank that will be played halfway through the live auction. You are invited to purchase a souvenir bandana, or “rag,” for $10 to get in the game. As a participant during the game, you will hold it in the air or keep it down at your side. The auctioneer will flip a coin—heads is rags up and tails down. If you choose correctly, you remain standing and continue to play; when you’re wrong, you sit down. The game continues until we have one lucky participant left standing. The winner will receive half of the amount made from the rag sales. Last year’s winner took home $3,465! Get tickets to the Kickoff today to get your chance to win big!
One of the many prints you can buy at the State Fair Online Store!
The new "Rags to Riches" rag!
May 31, 2017
Can you believe it is already the last day of May? The Fair will be here before you know it, and construction is underway for the new Thrill Parks. The Fairgrounds are full of visitors and workers getting the Fairgrounds prepared for the Fair to bring you an even better Fair experience!
The Midway is being transformed into a more family-friendly environment. Thrill Ville, Thrill Town and Thrill Zone will bring attractions for all ages to enjoy! Thrill Ville will be your home for the Fair if you enjoy wild rides and a good thrill! Thrill Town is for little Fairgoers to enjoy with kid-friendly rides. Thrill Zone will be full of adventures that will keep you talking about the great, Iowa State Fair! New pavers are being installed to provide a walkway in the entrance, as well as to better manage rain water. The new area will be beautified with landscaping to brighten up your experience. New to the Midway is a new admission gate and sidewalks along East 33rd Street to improve the flow of traffic. Construction is set to be completed in time for the 2017 Iowa State Fair.
Construction at the West Plaza continues. There will be upgraded landscaping, lighting and parking to provide easier access from the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building to the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center and to bring a fresh, clean look to the area. Additional parking is also being put in place for events through out the year.
The maintenance crew has been busy creating new displays in the Agriculture Building, as well as new windows on the south and east sides of Pioneer Hall.
If you are in the area, take a drive or a strole through the Fairgrounds to see the improvements that are being implemented. The improvements throughout the Fairgrounds wouldn't be possible without the donations from Blue Ribbon Foundation supporters!
See you in 70 days!
May 30, 2017
Fair food. Two words, deep meaning. DELICIOUS. Whether it comes on a stick, covered in powdered sugar, or smoked to perfection, it’s all amazing. Your mouth is watering just thinking about it, isn’t it? Why wait to bite your teeth into that golden corndog or warm soft cookie? Come to the Corndog Kickoff and quench that craving before the Fair even begins.
Returning for another year at the Corndog Kickoff are Applishus’s caramel apples, Barksdale’s hot chocolate chip cookies, Beattie’s Melon Patch melon cups, Brewer Meat’s turkey legs cooked on Hardenbrook Concession’s grill, and Campbell’s corndogs. It doesn’t stop there because Carl’s Gizmos sandwiches, Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters hot beef sundaes, Nut Roll Stand’s nut rolls and fudge, Dawghouse Concession’s pickle dawgs, and Hill Concession’s cotton candy will all be making an appearance again too. Blue Bunny’s ice cream, Cherie Schuler Concession’s sno cones, Iowa Pork Producer’s pork chop on a stick, Jalapeno Pete’s funnel cakes, McConnell’s Concessions A&W Root Beer floats, Turkey Time’s kettle korn, and Parlo Pizza’s wood oven pizza can be found again as well. If you get thirsty, your favorite Pepsi beverage or Mountain Valley Water can be sipped on as you enjoy the food spread.
NEW this year:
Thelma’s ice cream sandwiches
The Rib Shack Bacon Brisket Mac and “Chip Off The Ole Block”- raw edible cookie dough
Tiny But Mighty Foods popcorn
Iowa Turkey Federation thanksgiving balls
Fyfe Concessions cheese on a stick
For more fun at the Corndog Kickoff, check out the Altoona Lions Club’s spin art or IOWAX’s wax hands.
Thank you to all the food concessionaries for supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation. We couldn’t do it without you!
If you weren’t hungry before, I bet you are now. Get your tickets today for the Corndog Kickoff so you get the chance to taste all of the delicious food before the fair even begins. MMM MMM!
May 25, 2017
The Blue Ribbon Foundation has been a key component of the Iowa State Fair since 1993. The Blue Ribbon Foundation was created by the Iowa State Fair Board in an effort to help save the Fairgrounds. They hoped the Foundation could raise the millions of dollars needed to restore the Fairgrounds. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has raised an amazing $135 million.
In celebration of our anniversary, we are hosting a 25th Anniversary Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to celebrate our history while creating awareness about our mission for the future. Make a personal contribution of $25, $250, or $2,500 to join the Foundation and the growing base of donors and volunteers in our charge to renovate and preserve the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds. Your donation, no matter the size, will have a direct impact.
The proceeds of this campaign will be dedicated to Our Fair’s Future, the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s endowment fund. As the endowment grows, it will provide a reliable source of funding for future renovations, building enhancements and maintenance to the Fairgrounds, ensuring the Fair will be a grand tradition for generations to come. You can donate online or fill out the donation form to help support our 25th Anniversary Campaign.
The Blue Ribbon Foundation and the Iowa State Fair have been on an amazing journey together the last 25 years, growing the Fair to the biggest and best it’s ever been. Wonder what all has happened the last 25 years? I started digging and put together a list of some renovations and fun Fair facts going back to 1993, the year the Foundation was created. I found it all really interesting, and I hope you do too! Click here to check it out.
The success of the Blue Ribbon Foundation the last 25 years would not be possible without all of you! Thank you for coming along this adventure with us, and being a part of the Fair that we all know and love!
2015 picture of the MidAmerican Energy Stage being completed--just one of the many renovations the Blue Ribbon Foundation has been able to implement because of your amazing support!
May 24, 2017
May will soon be done and gone and more and more events and activities are starting up. This week the American Historical Truck Society National Convention is taking place on the Fairgrounds. If you find yourself traveling this way, take note of the alternate routes and gates to enter. There are lots of unique trucks on the Fairgrounds!
In 13 days, the Principal Charity Classic will take place at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines. Join the Blue Ribbon Foundation and the Principal Charity Classic June 6-11 to support the Birdies for Charity fundraiser. Follow the champion golfers and make a pledge for each birdie made during the tournament. You can donate a per-birdie amount for each birdie made during the tournament or a one-time flat donation. The Foundation receives 100% of every donation made and a 10% match for each pledge. For the non-golfers (as I am), a birdie is a score of one stroke better than par for any golf hole on the course.
The Foundation offers many opportunities for you to get involved this summer. Nominate an outstanding Iowan in your community who has a great work ethic and pride for helping others for Iowan of the Day. Buy your tickets for the Corndog Kickoff on July 8. It’s going to be a great time! Last but not least, join us during the Fair for all the great events and be a volunteer!
We can’t wait to see you all this summer!