Grease, Goats and Girth: The Iowa State Fair

state fair

After the two-hour drive to Des Moines, Iowa, my taste buds were ready for the greasy foods on a stick and ridiculous fair concoctions that only the Iowa State Fair could deliver. My goal was to attend the fair on an empty stomach so I could report back to you, dear ESer, about how the delicious fried things on a stick tasted. But I have a confession to make: I WAS NOT HUNGRY. After a sweet and greasy fried twinkie that got me all sticky, my body said “no way are you eating any more of this shit.” No, the wasp drowning in the sugary residue around a funnel cake was not appetizing. And last time I checked, hot beef sundaes would make any normal person want to vomit. About eight bottles of water and 500 pictures later, I was exhausted, smelly, tired and grossed out. I never did find those chicken lips on a stick. I feel somewhat cheated.

It was a twilight zone of meat: pork, steak, chicken, turkey, bacon, sausage, meatballs, 1/2 lb tenderloins, hamburgers. And it seemed that every other person I saw was a walking example of what happens if one eats state fair food as one’s daily diet. The people watching just got better and better and more alarming as we made our way around the fair. (Picture the humans in the movie Wall-E.) I couldn’t snap my camera fast enough. In speaking with one seemingly regular gentleman, he asked me what I was doing with the big camera. I told him that I was photographing state fair food. He asked me, “are you taking pictures of all the freaks?” Yes, yes, I was. I couldn’t keep my shutter shut.

We were also lucky enough to catch a few of the animals left in their pens, including a gigantic pig that looked like a hippopotamus, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks and cows. The smell, oh the smell, can only be described as hot and pungent. And most likely, very soon, these animals would be on a stick somewhere. Gross.

Pop a few antacids before you browse the selection of photos:

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