How to Make an Ass of Yourself at the Iowa State Fair

Believe me, it isn’t hard (I know you agree if you read this blog regularly) to make a complete asshole of myself.  Especially while thoroughly enjoying everything the great state fair of Iowa has to offer every August. It’s my favorite day of the year (aside from Christmas and my birthday, naturally) and I will be gracing the fairgrounds with my presence the day after tomorrow. Look out!

Wanna make an ass of yourself, too? Here’s how…

First start the morning off right with a freshly grease soaked corn dog.

First dog of the day

Breakfast of champions.

Then take every photo opportunity that you possibly can.

Milk strong

Who needs a milk mustache when you can carry a calf?

Never give up

Yes. I’m a grown ass woman. Consider yourself mooooooned.

Once your cheeks are tired from all of the smiling, stop and get a snack. Like cheese curds. And make it two orders because if you decide to share one, they’ll be gone in 32 seconds flat and you’ll be pissed but still go back and stand in the 24 person line for the second order. So just get two to start with, OK?

Cheesin' out over cheese curds

Two curds are better than one.

After gaining the first three of thirty pounds you’ll be packing on during the day, chase (rather, waddle) after the Fair Queen and beg for a picture with the beauty. All I could think about in the photo was how fresh and clean the Queen smelled, while she probably wondered why I practically had my head on her shoulder (I was trying to knock her crown off and dethrone her – because let’s be real. There’s nothing sexier than a bloated, short, blonde wanna be fair queen, is there?).


First stalker experience for the newly crowned Queen.

Because your crew chased after you while running down the Queen, they’ll be all hot and bothered. Instead of carrying a personal fan around the hot fairgrounds, just dump cold water down your back. This is especially a nice trick if you are wearing a white t-shirt (smarts run in my family).

Personal air conditioning. Dump water down back.

Personal air conditioning by dumping water down one’s back. Now where’s the wet t-shirt contest?

Next up, drag your crew to the line longer than the opening of a Southern Chik-fil-A restaurant. Seriously, there will be about 231 people lined up to see a statue of a cow. Made out of butter. And it’s fantastic. But when you roll with me, you end up sneaking (maybe rather acting like you’re on the phone, looking for your buddy who’s in the front – oh, hey you!) your way up into the middle of the line for the one picture you’re going to snap but without having to wait the 35 minutes to do so.


This would be so good melted.

The butter cow sighting will throw your appetite into a frenzy.  So the next stop on the face stuffing train is a gigantic pork tenderloin (which is the equivalent to heavenly greasy goodness here on Earth).

Porking out on pork tenderloins.

The three pigs. Porking out on pork tenderloins.

Upon consuming the 42,657th calorie of the day, you need to sit on your ass and ride the Ye Old Mill, which is the Iowa State Fair’s oldest (you will immediately see why, as it seriously goes about .001 mph around in a circle) permanent amusement ride, which is intended for dating couples but I always like to be the third wheel and spoil the romance.

Scariest. Ride. Ever.

Most. Romantic. Ride. Ever.

After ruining the romance on the Ye Old Mill, I find it enchanting to pose with the leftovers of what I have been consuming all day.

You are what you eat.

You are what you eat.

Which means I will most likely leave the fair looking like the largest boar in the state of Iowa.

CBXB at the end of a long day at the fair.

CBXB at the end of a long day at the fair.

What cures the “I’m getting fat blues?” An icy cold cocktail and a bedazzled cowgirl hat of course.

Only a pinky out will do

Lifting a pinky will immediately lift your heavy spirits.

Once you’re back to feeling like your foxy self, it’s time to hit up the Midway full of carnies and rides that you’re not sure you should get on once you lay eyes on the dude who put it together upon arriving at the fairgrounds two hours prior.

Tah Dah!

Tah Dah!

But since you’ve had a cocktail (or three) you throw caution to the wind and hop on the double ferris wheel.

Double Ferris Wheel

Double wheels of fun.

Except that after every member of your group turns you down as a tandem rider, you have to go alone and wait for another single rider. Which in my case is always the embarrassed 12-year-old boy who wants the world to swallow him up whole on the spot when I whip out my camera and start snapping pictures.

First date for the youngster. Poor thing

First date for the youngster. I’ve scarred him for life.

The whirl of the wheel and carrying your buckets of loot throughout the enormous fairgrounds will make your stomach start screaming for food again (duh).

Carrying buckets of loot

Heavy lifting requires severe caloric intake.

Perusing for the last snack of the day may take a toll on you, realizing that the day of fun is coming to a close.

Last dog of the day

Last dog of the day? Say it ain’t so.

But once you’ve settled on a last meal of a corn dog, donuts, lemonade and a fried Snickers, life doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Fair Fun

Caution: the bench may break if one more fried food is added to the mix.

On the (what seems like a 65 mile) walk to the car, stop and gaze at the fireworks (like you didn’t just seem them a month prior for the Fourth of July) that end each day of the fair.

Parting is such sorrow

Parting is such sorrow.

And with a tear in the corner of your eye, hang out of the sun roof and snap a blurry shot of the double ferris wheel you just rode, while ruining a 12 year old’s dating life for the next six years.

I seriously didn't just see fireworks over the fourth of July

I have to wait 364 more days ’til next year!

And that my classy friends is how you show your ass (or make yourself memorable – however you want to look at it) at the Iowa State Fair.

I’m available for tour guiding – but it will cost you. Probably a corn dog.

Or six.



47 thoughts on “How to Make an Ass of Yourself at the Iowa State Fair

  1. Ed McAtee says:

    I will be following this itinerary exactly on Thursday!

  2. Best laugh I’ve had in day’s, which is sad I know…

  3. aliciabenton says:

    Omg – That dairy farmer pic totally looks real. It was made for your face!

    P.S. – Add this to our ever-growing list of things to do…

  4. Gary Lum says:

    We call corn dogs Dagwood dogs or Pluto pups here in Australia. I’m taking my kids to the Royal National Association Exhibition in Brisbane this weekend. It’s affectionately known as “The Ekka” and is the best “show” in Australia. I’d love to visit the US and attend a state fair 🙂

  5. boblist says:

    Looks sooo funny!!Greats, b.

  6. marisaporter says:

    Girl how do you stay skinny? This is just the sort of post of yours that I like – I love how lighthearted you are!!

    • Well, thankfully this event only takes place one time per year – or I would be as massive as a tank. I seriously can’t stop myself from overindulging on everything that is put in front of my face. I’m so happy you like these posts – I always hope that people ‘get’ my humor! 🙂

  7. Well, I can’t say that I’ve ever aspired to make an A– of myself (can’t say the word, you know, I’m Victorian); but I’d go to the Iowa fair with you as my tour guide.

    Looks delightfully fun. It’s not very different from my home-state MN fair which, competitively speaking, is at least as nice as Iowa’s copy of ours…

    (I couldn’t resist, but I’ll probably regret drawing your attention to that old MN-IA animosity. And I still like you a lot, anyway, although you’re an Iowaegian. After all, i went to college in Iowa, for a semester, before I fled, hahaha).

    Actually, it wasn’t Iowas’s fault that I left college after a semester. I love Iowa. I’d live there, in certain circumstances (for example, if it had an ocean nearby). The people are wonderful, as you well know!

    • Ha! I was JUST having this conversation with another Minnesota native regarding your fair vs. our wonderful Iowa State Fair. The consensus is that we’ll just have to visit both fairs and then decide which one is the most fabulous! 🙂

      I love that you can’t say ass. So I will say it for you. Ass. Ass. Ass!

      And yes, Iowans are wonderful, nice folks. I’d live there again if the winters weren’t so dreadful (and I didn’t love Nashville so much!) 🙂

  8. vudragovich says:

    Too much to read, liked the photos, yes, cold wet water in front, 2 cheese plates at once. You need to put some make up on for your end of day photo…not sure what happened there…
    Glad you made it back and the queen did not say “Off with her head” 😀

    • I can’t carry make-up in my bag at the fair! There’s no room in my bag with all of my Iowa State Fair loot! And I am ultra fortunate the queen let me keep my noggin’. She was too pretty to be an evil queen!

  9. Ooohhh you really know how to fun young lady.

  10. I want that cow! I passed through Iowa years ago, stayed overnight and we kept stopping to eat even the next day because the dairy products were out of this world! When I lived in Denver, a friend was from Iowa and when her mother would come to visit, she’d complain about the butter tasting ‘off’.I will NEVER for get the sour cream…not like anywhere else in the country.

    • Tonette – I was just having this conversation with a friend here in Nashville this morning. I cannot wait to get my hands on the Anderson Erickson dairy products (chip dips, cottage cheese, etc…). Enjoying them is one of my favorite reasons to go home and visit! I will always pack a cooler full of good stuff to bring back to Nashville and I try to make it last as looooong as possible!

  11. elkeeb says:

    “first stalker experience for the new queen” lmao

  12. If only I could have read this before our village fair last week, I could have alienated a lot of my neighbours for an entire year

    • HA! I think that you should come with me to my fair next year and I will join you in making a splash at your village fair. I’m sure there’s nothing that would go over better than a loud, Skinny Pirate sipping, sequin wearing American with a cat in a papoose at your fair. But let’s just see what happens, yes?!

  13. SerachShiro says:

    Love it !!! 🙂 You were great there baby…….I have a crazy friend but you are a tipsy worse 🙂 Love to watch to all your photos and your ironic comments, they make me laughing a lot and enjoying to sea your next post ! See you 🙂 Xoxo

  14. Phil Lanoue says:

    I feel like I was there! (not sure if that is a good thing)

    Grease Only…. that’s too funny.

  15. […] The fireworks finished at around 8.15 pm and rather than get caught up in the crowd crush for the train we decided to go to sideshow alley once more and find something to eat. Miss18 wasn’t hungry, Miss16 wanted a hamburger, Miss12 wanted hot chips and me, well I wanted a Dagwood dog. This is were I do a shout out to a blogger friend Cowboys and Crossbones from the US who recently attended the Iowa State Fair and shared an image of herself chowing down on a Corn dog. […]

  16. Sounds like normal State Fair behavior to me! What the H is a cheese curd?

  17. […] the start to my weekend low-key, I found myself really missing out on the fun I usually have making an ass out of myself at the Iowa State Fair. Luckily, Aunt Crazy Pants was able to be a substitution for […]

  18. […] the start to my weekend low-key, I found myself really missing out on the fun I usually have making an ass out of myself at the Iowa State Fair. Luckily, Aunt Crazy Pants was able to be a substitution for […]

  19. […] It’s the most wonderful time of the year (aside from my birthday, Ted’s birthday, Christmas and the Iowa State Fair)! […]

  20. […] (I mean, I do have her signature tattooed on my wrist) but I especially think about her during my beloved Iowa State Fair, which just took place at the beginning of August. After my folks moved to Nashville, ACP would […]

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