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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



August is here? What happened to the month of July, the endless summer, the time of warmth and fun and late nights sitting around a fire with good friends? I think the heat probably has a lot to do with the way summer has screamed by us, and with the kids going back to school in a few weeks there is a sigh of relief from many of us. Of course, no summer would be complete without the one thing I wait for impatiently every year. The one, and only, Iowa State Fair. We are less than ten days away from the start of the Fair and as I do every year I offer up a few tips to make your fair-going experience just a little more fun.

  1. New at the fair this year is the “Farmers Contest” on the 18th in the Pioneer Pavilion. This contest which includes hay stacking and an egg hunt that is sure to leave you laughing is a much needed return to the less commercial side of the fair and yes you can enter this contest yourself.

  2. Food is always expensive at the fair but pace yourself. Also it is a great idea to stick a cooler of food in the trunk of your car. If you park on or near the grounds it’s easy to head out for lunch and save yourself a little for a Lemon Shake Up in the afternoon.

  3. Remember folks, dress to the weather but please dress appropriately. Tube tops are never appropriate, even on East Sider night.

  4. A good pair of walking shoes will be your saving grace. Remember to start early in the day and head up the hill first and work your way down. In the heat of the afternoon the Varied Industries building is usually packed, and let’s be honest here, who really wants to carry all the free stuff you get there around all day?

  5. The new show arena near the horse barns is a good place to catch your breath in the air conditioning and is a great place to relax while the Mrs. spends hours looking at the 4-H exhibits.

  6. Take time to look around. There are so many things that go unnoticed as you hurry from place to place. Some of my favorite spots at the Fair are places where most people just hurry by. And if you find someone napping under a tree…let them be.

  7. Mini doughnuts are always considered healthy.

  8. I realize that the Fair is full of thousands and thousands of animals. But there is no reason to bring your pet dog to the Fair. It really isn’t necessary.

  9. I’m a when the gates open till they close kind of guy, but if that isn’t for you, break your day up into a manageable block of time. I will say though, that there really isn’t any sight so beautiful as watching the fireworks from the hill as the night air starts to cool the grounds.

  10. And finally, have fun at the Fair. Meet someone new, be polite, try something you’ve never done before and get your fill because it’ll be an entire year until it rolls around again.

See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.