The tagline for the Iowa State Fair is “nothing compares” but I disagree strongly with that notion….
The only reason I went to the fair this year (my first time in four years, mind you) was because we were given free tickets and I thought it would be fun to do something really, really Iowan. So I threw on my Dawson Creek’s t-shirt and some shoes that would not bestow blisters, and headed out with the family.
It took us half an hour to find parking and then it was a literal odyssey to the fair’s front gate. Picture this: we wandered from our car, through a forest, over a fence, down one hill and up another, and then we were at the Semi-Pearly Gates.
I like the fair because it feels very unique, there isn’t anything else like it. So in that sense, “nothing compares” isn’t a misnomer, but is there anything better than the Iowa State Fair? YES. Like, the entire time we were there, I kept telling the fam how excited I was to go home and finish Interstellar. I also decided halfway through that I didn’t want to wait in any super long lines, so I suggested stopping by Culver’s on the way home for cheese curds.
I’m not proud of this, though. I know as an Iowan I should be a huge advocate for our main cultural event, but I’m not. I think it’s only fun with certain groups (i.e. groups that drink a little bit of alcohol) because the fair would be great after a Long Island or (since it’s the fair) a deep-fried Long Island, which sounds gross, but will certainly be available someday.
The fairs crowded, it’s usually hot, and the stench of deep-fried everything is inescapable. Even though I don’t love it and probably won’t go again for many years, it’s definitely something everyone should try once. My best tip? Have a good movie waiting for you at home, like, as a goal or a target that you’re thinking about while you wade through strollers, motorized scooters, and horse poop.