Treasure Our Fair
My job is so rewarding. I think that’s why I love it so much. So many things I’ve encountered lately have really made me stand back and look at what we do here at the Foundation and how far we’ve come in just a short amount of time.
The other day when I was talking to Emily, she pulled out an old VHS tape and asked me if I had ever seen it before. It was a video made in 1993 by the Foundation titled “Treasure Our Fair,” which was our first major capital campaign for the Foundation. I watched the 8-minute video in awe, seeing all of the history of the Fair unfold and the importance of the creation of the Foundation. In short, due to harsh Iowa weather over the years, the buildings on the Fairgrounds were crumbling slowly. Countless improvements needed to be made to keep our Fair not just up and running, but the best State Fair in the nation.
In addition to the video reminder of our mission, this year’s Corndog Kickoff features the same principle. Our theme “Building a Blue Ribbon Tradition” will highlight the old and the new and the progression we’ve made over the years to make the Iowa State Fair what it is today. I’ve been digging up a few “before and after” photos that I’ll use at the Kickoff:
Ye Old Mill before renovations. Ye Old Mill was renovated in 1996.
Livestock Pavilion before renovations. The Livestock Pavilion was renovated in 2003.
This Sunday, I have the honor fo speaking for a group in Nevada about the Iowa State Fair. As I was pondering what all my 30 minute presentation should cover (because as many of you know, there is a lot to say about the Fair!), I came to the conclusion to talk about what I know best and tell people the blue ribbon story. So many people know the Fair as livestock and corn dogs and it’s so much more than that. It’s family, tradition, competition and celebrating Iowa’s agricultural roots. All which continues to take place because of the improvements to the Fairgrounds that have been made possible by our loyal supporters. Thank you all for your love of the Iowa State Fair and for making my job so meaningful and fun!