Butter Cows and Local Fairs

I recently saw a Facebook post that announced that Laura Ingalls Wilder was going to be featured along side of the Butter Cow this year at the Iowa State Fair.  My first reaction was, “Of course!  Why not?” But after a few moments of reflection, I realized that most people in the world would react with, “Wait, what?  What is a butter cow and what does Laura have to do with it?”  Some may even wonder who Laura is.

A Butter Cow on Display
Photo courtesy of Evan Bayh https://www.flickr.com/photos/evanbayh/218524223

A little bit of background for the non-midwesterners that are reading this post.  The Butter Cow is an annual attraction at the Iowa State Fair, where a sculpture of a cow made of Iowa butter is put on display.  You can read more about it by clicking the link above.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder connection is because she and her family briefly lived in Iowa for a time, and her sister attended the school for the blind there as well.  In honor of her 150th birthday, she will be temporarily immortalized in 100% Cream Butter.

As a former Iowan myself, I find these things not only interesting, but totally normal, however, my fair going experience did not include a trip to the state fair as a child.  We had our own local fair that I grew up going to every year.  The National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, IA.  Of course that fair is all about the cows, or at least it used to be.  Check out there history here.  It started in the early 1900’s, but by the time I used to go, for me it was all about the carnival rides and the food stands.  Although I admit I did like to check all the exhibits too, even though I never entered anything.

What I love about fairs and festivals is how they are so different, depending on their location.  We used to have the Annual Cucumber Festival in Evansdale, IA, but I think it changed names to Evansdale Community Days, which lasts for 3 days will all kinds of events.

Now that I live in South Texas, we have quite a few fairs and festivals that take place around the Valley.  There is Palmfest, Borderfest, Citrus Fiesta, and of course the RGV Livestock Show.

Now matter where you are this summer, or this coming winter, be sure to check out all your local fairs and festivals.  You will be glad you did.

Some U.S. FairsSome Canadian Fairs
Wisconson State FairCoaticook Valley Fair
Indiana State FairSaint-Hyacinthe Agri-food Fair
Minnesota State FairStanstead County Agricultural and Horticultural Exposition
Michigan State Fair

Please click on the ‘Leave a Comment’ button at the top of this post and share some of your favorite memories of the fairs and festivals you have attended!