Iowa State Fair

Join the 11-day celebration of all things Iowa.

The iconic Iowa State Fair is a celebration of the food, families and farming that make Iowa special. Whether it’s meeting baby piglets, cheering on grocery bagging competitions or enjoying an ice cream cone in the dairy barn, fairgoers can make lifelong memories during the incredible 11-day event.

Iowa State Fair Exhibit - 2022

From Aug. 11-21, visitors engaged with the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) in the southeast atrium of the Varied Industries Building. It was a chance to “Find your Fun” by engaging with area artists who created colorful and larger-than-life murals. Visitors to the display doubled their fun by hunting for hidden objects in each design. Kids of all ages (adults, too!) spun the wheel for fantastic prizes, played ag trivia, stepped inside an “ag-citing” photo booth and could pick up an exclusive coloring sheet. Plus, there was a special art contest for kids to enter. Once again, Iowa FFP handed out its wildly popular reusable tote bags and visitors could enter to win  blue ribbon-worthy prizes. Learn more about the 2022 display here and here. 

Iowa State Fair Exhibit - 2021

In celebration of Iowa Food & Family Project’s (Iowa FFP) 10-year anniversary, we took fairgoers back to our roots with a larger-than-life display in the Southeast Atrium of the Varied Industries building. Visitors had opportunities to view and take pictures with an agriculture-inspired canstruction display as a nod to Iowa FFP’s inaugural fair exhibit, pick up a popular Iowa FFP tote bag and picture themselves on the farm with a fun photo booth. Each creative interaction was designed to bring curious consumers into the Iowa FFP network and open up conversations about modern agriculture. Learn more about the 2021 display here.

Iowa State Fair Exhibit - 2020

The Iowa State Fair was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa State Fair Exhibit - 2019

The Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) display was at the top of more than 40,000 fairgoers “must do” list! Each visitor experienced why farming is Iowa’s masterpiece and left their mark on a mural comprised of 23,000 paint-by-number spaces! The mural showcased the creativity and collaboration of farming in Iowa and was brought into full color using soy-based paint.

In addition to the interactive mural, fairgoers put a frame around farming courtesy of a farm-and food-themed photo booth and take-home coloring sheets. There were opportunities to win five incredible pieces of agriculture-inspired artwork from a local photographer and artists! Learn more about the 2019 display here.

Iowa State Fair Exhibit - 2018

In 2018, we mixed things up with an entirely new display that offers fairgoers a unique perspective about agriculture, farm families, food and food retailers. An estimated 40,000 fairgoers stopped at our booth to "Follow a Farmer," play trivia or win a grocery bag. Learn more about our 2018 display here.

Iowa State "Fare" Cookbook

You can continue enjoying fair food all year long with recipes from Iowa Food & Family Project’s Iowa State “Fare” Cookbook. The cookbook serves up tried and true recipes created by Cristen Clark, a farmer, award winning-cook and fair aficionado. Click here to download a copy of the cookbook.

By The Numbers

It takes a lot of volunteers, food and fuel to power the Iowa State Fair each year, and Iowa’s farm groups play a huge part in making that happen. Here are a few fun facts about food at the Iowa State Fair: 

  • Approximately 160,000 eggs on a stick are handed out each year.
  • The Iowa Cattlemen's Beef Quarters serves 28,000 pounds of beef each year.
  • On average, more than 7,100 gallons of ice cream are served at the Dairy Barn.
  • Each year, 75,000 pork chops are served.
  • Beer and hot dogs are state fair favorites that come from corn.
  • The turkey grill opened in 1983.
  • The fair spans 400 acres, and a farmer can grow 94,000 bushels of corn or 26,000 bushels of soybeans on 400 acres.
  • A world record for the most people simultaneously eating corn dogs was set at the fair, with 8,400 corn dogs consumed.

View an infographic with these fair food facts.