A Look Back at the Past Newsletters

May 30, 2023
Intern's picture


With June quickly approaching, the countdown to the Fair is on. (In all reality, does the countdown to the Fair ever truly end? – We look forward to it all year round!) Although I have only been with the Foundation for a few weeks now, I have already been involved with a number of tasks. Most recently, I got the opportunity to write the donor highlight section of the newsletter. While in search for inspiration, I decided to look back on past newsletters. I found myself engulfed in reading the history behind the Foundation and everything that has happened in the past. I decided to reflect and highlight what the newsletter had written about from both 10 and 20 years ago.

What was going on 10 years ago? (2013)

  • Renovations
    • Cultural Center
      • Many of you know this building as a wonderful exhibit space for Iowans to showcase their talents. Many years ago, this space was a designated dormitory.


  • Donor Profile: Don and Cheryl Timmins
    • This pair had many different levels of involvement in the Fair growing up. As they got older, this continued. As members of the 1854 Society and Fan Fair, this couple felt strongly about the preservation of the Fairgrounds. On top of that, Don and Cheryl have been able to leave their legacy behind for many generations to come with the purchase of a brick, lamppost, and a tree. Don and Cheryl continue to donate to the Blue Ribbon Foundation today – helping with many important improvement projects – especially for youth.


  • Interns
    • Carly Grenfell
      • Public relations
    • Kristine Millbrandt
      • Special events
    • Kaitlin Ricke
      • Special Projects


  • Corndog Kickoff
    • As an intern, one of your main responsibilities is helping with the Corndog Kickoff. As I was flipping through the pages of past newsletters, it was so fun seeing the different themes over the years. Back in 2013, “The Grandest Show Around” was the Foundation’s 17th annual auction. This year the event will be held July 8th and will be a spinoff of Jimmy Buffets “Margaritaville.” You won’t want to miss out on a “Corndog in Paradise.”


What about 20 years ago? (2003)

  • Renovations
    • The Foundation was busy in the Spring of 2003 with many renovations being done.
      • The Livestock Pavilion got a new roof,
      • The Legacy Terrace got a new water feature,
      • A concrete retaining wall was put up east of the Cattle Barn,
      • A new safe shelter was added to the campgrounds,
      • And the Swine Barn got a new roof as well


  • Donor Profile: Campbell’s Concessions
    • If you know the Iowa State Fair, you know Campbell’s Concessions. They have had a presence at the Fair since the 1920’s. Ever since then, they have been a loyal supporter of the Fair and the Foundation. Originally named, “Little Concessions,” Calvin Campbell and Helen Little purchased and renamed the company, “Campbell’s Concessions.” We are so thankful for the generous donations they have made over the years and continue to do so. 


  • Interns
    • Kate McKenna
      • Public relations
    • Kendra Brown
      • Event planning


  • Iowan of the Day
    • A lot has changed over the years, but plenty has stayed the same as well. Recognizing outstanding Iowans is one of those things that will never get old. Since 1997, The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and Cookies Food Products partner to honor these exceptional Iowans at the Fair each year. These individuals personify the greatness of Iowa with a strong work ethic, loyalty to helping others, and an extreme sense of Iowa pride. In the spring of 2003, the Blue Ribbon Foundation was looking for the next Iowans of the Day. Fast forward to 20 years later, we are still doing the same. If you have someone in mind, be sure to nominate this individual by July 1st for the recognition they deserve. 

Only 71 more days until the Fair!

- Donor Relations Intern, Regan Freland