Fairest of them all

Let me trot out another Minnesota/Iowa comparison (and personal axe) to illustrate the difference between the states’ fairs. It’s like our public radio stations. Iowa Public Radio (especially AM 640) sounds like it’s broadcast from a first-floor studio in Ames by volunteers who just dig being on the airwaves. MPR sounds like the product of an aggressive plan to generate underwriting revenue and build respectability among high-income consumers ages 40-65.

The Iowa State Fair is happy being a hot, dirty and occasionally goofy party while the Minnesota State Fair is preening for the “best national state fair” competition.

No, no, Minnesota, really—YOU WIN. We’ll just be over here with the funnel cakes and High Life.

Here are some snaps from our visit to Des Moines:

These things zip along at two miles per hour not including frequent pauses to seat the unsteady.

It was shady for a second, so we rested on a shiny new tractor.

I love that there is a ribbon category for animal drawings.

It was hot enough you could watch this and a stumpy little angel melt before your eyes.

Kirk losing the first round of the backgammon tournament, undone by “nerves.”

Food was more spendy this year, which means it cost me $12 to make myself sick.

“The sheep barn is distinguished by fine polychrome terracotta details.”

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