Ongoing Coverage:

Iowa State Fair

Arts and Culture
2:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Training to be a 4-H Judge

Anna Lewandoski helps Cindy Arbogast learn how to be a judge during a 4-H training day in Fort Dodge.
Credit Photo by John Pemble

 

The school year is well underway and hundreds of 4-H kids are working on projects to take to county fairs later this summer.

Read more
Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Mule Jumping: The County Fair Tradition You Didn’t Know You Loved

Competitor Becky Manees leads a mule at the East Perry Community Fair in Altenburg, Mo.
Jacob McCleland for Harvest Public Media

 

Fair-goers pack the stands at the East Perry Community Fair in Altenburg, Mo., on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon. 

Read more
River to River
1:52 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

The Iowa State Fair: Soap Boxes, Social Media, and News Coverage

A 25-foot tall replica of the figures in Grant Wood's "American Gothic" at the 2014 Iowa State Fair
John Pemble

Today on a "news buzz" edition of River to River - news from the 2014 Iowa State Fair.

Read more
Election Coverage
11:07 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidates Debate at the Fair

Iowa’s two major party candidates for governor staked out sharply different priorities  in a debate Thursday at the Iowa State Fair.   Democrat Jack Hatch had his first chance  to go before a statewide audience with incumbent Governor Terry  Branstad. And Branstad’s long record in office  gave his challenger plenty to take potshots at.     

Read more
Iowa State Fair
11:30 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Iowa State Fair 2014

This 25-foot tall replica of the figures in Grant Wood's "American Gothic," are capturing the attention of fairgoer and amateur photographers.
John Pemble

In this special edition of Talk of Iowa, IPR Arts and Culture reporter John Pemble and Executive Producer Katherine Perkins report on the sights and sounds of the 2014 Iowa State Fair.  Listen as we attend the 75th annual photography salon and talk with the photographer who seeks to capture the spirit of the fair in his new book.  We visit a food stand that's been serving pie and beef burgers to hungry fairgoers for 65 years, and witness the awarding of a blue ribbon for mechanical innovation on the farm.  We'll milk a cow, learn about Herbert Hoover and listen to some bluegrass.  It's all

Read more
Iowa State Fair
10:20 am
Tue August 12, 2014

The Iowa State Fair in Black and White

Goat Bridesmaid
Kurt Ullrich University of Iowa Press

A new photography book sets out to capture what the author describes as, "the joy of the Iowa State Fair."  It's Kurt Ullrich's first book, and IPR's Katherine Perkins traveled to Jackson County to find out what inspired this fresh look at an event that's 160-years-old.

Read more
Arts and Culture
12:14 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Color Removed from State Fair’s Photo Salon

This year’s Photo Solon at the Iowa State Fair has the theme “Salute to Ansel Adams”, where all pictures are in black and white. Of the 3,874 photos submitted, 841 were selected for display of which nearly a 25% received an award.
Photo by John Pemble

Some exhibits at the Iowa State Fair begin before the opening day like the photo salon in the cultural center building.

Read more
News Buzz
4:59 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

News Buzz: Iowa State Fair News and Iowa Rankings in a National Children's Report

Iowa State Fair

Last year at the Iowa State Fair, Jason Powell of Des Moines said his free speech rights were violated after security guards ordered him to stop preaching on public sidewalks. Today on River to River, we find out the status of his lawsuit as well as whether he will be allowed at this year’s fair. We also find out about an Iowa developed vaccine that could cure dust-mite allergies. That and all the week’s Iowa stories on a news buzz edition of River to River.

Read more
Year in Review
2:24 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Top IPR Reporter Picks of 2013

2013 has been a busy year for Iowa Public Radio's news team. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with reporters and correspondents about some of the most meaningful and challenging stories they covered. It's a "reporter's notebook" edition of the show.

Here is a list of the full features heard on today's show:

January 10 - Undocumented Immigrants at University

Read more
Talk of Iowa
3:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

2013 Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair averages more than one million visitors each year.
Photo by John Pemble

Guest hosts Katherine Perkins and John Pemble go to the 2013 Iowa State Fair.  They introduce us to a legally blind painter and a famous quilter.  They watch fairgoers shear sheep and clean fish.  They attend an Ecumenical church service for fair attendees and visit a memorial to honor fallen Iowa soldiers.

Read more
Arts and Culture
2:22 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Portable Memorial Honors Iowan Veterans

Bill Williams started the veteran memorial project “Remembering our Fallen” with his wife in 2011 to honor soldiers killed in action since September 11th, 2001. They plan to create an exhibit for every state by the year 2015.
Photo by John Pemble

Two years ago a memorial honoring Iowa’s fallen veterans began traveling around the state. This week it’s getting its biggest audience yet while on display at the Iowa State Fair.  This new memorial is part of an effort by two Nebraskans who want to make exhibits like this for every state. 

Read more
River to River
4:05 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

News Grab-Bag: Vandalized Butter-Cow, Corn Prices, Crackdown on "Montana" RVs, & Digitized Cemetery

Farmers may harvest nearly 14 billion bushels of corn this year – that’s a record and 29% more than last year. However, as a result corn prices have dropped to their lowest since 2010.

Today on River To River, we explore this topic and much more! We travel to the Iowa State Fair, talk weather and corn price predictions, find out what a digitized cemetery is, and explore a new law cracking down on Iowans who register RVs in Montana to avoid paying the 5 percent Iowa registration fee and annual registration fees.

Read more
Business and Economy
6:05 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Iowa Business Beat: The Economics of Early School Start Date

Crowds at the Iowa State Fair.
Credit Iowa State Fair

    

The Iowa State Fair wraps up next weekend. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, over the economics and controversy over when schools should start and how that affects state fairs and tourism. Masters also talks with McCammon about the energy stories she's done on Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was involved in the BP oil spill three years ago, and a solar company that’s also ahead of its peers.

Read more
Arts and Culture
3:07 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The OK Factor’s Classical Ties to Folk Music

Violinist Karla Deitmeyer and cellist Olivia Hahn perform a combination of folk, alternative rock, and modern classical music as “The OK Factor” at the Iowa State Fair in 2013.
Photo by John Pemble

One of the musical performances this weekend from the Iowa State Fair is the new band “The OK Factor".  Violinist Karla Dietmeyer and cellist Olivia Hahn combine folk, alternative rock, and modern classical music. 



 

Read more
Arts and Culture
2:29 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Disabled Painter Demonstrates Work at Iowa State Fair

Because Elsie Monthei is legally blind, she gets as close as possible to her color palette while mixing oil paints at the Iowa State Fair. She is part of Very Special Arts (VSA).
Photo by John Pemble

Elsie Monthei is a blind painter who for more than thirty years has painted landscapes.  This week she spent a day at the Iowa State Fair demonstrating her talent for Very Special Arts (VSA), a group with the mission of highlighting the artistic abilities of people with disabilities.

Read more
Politics
7:51 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At State Fair, Candidates Fight for 4th District

Republican Iowa Congressman Steve King (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County, he can’t vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters IPR

One of the country’s toughest congressional races is here in Iowa. It’s between Steve King, a Republican incumbent and the state’s former First Lady Christie Vilsack - a political newcomer. Iowa’s losing a seat in the House after the election due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly drawn 4th district. 

Read more
Talk of Iowa
10:29 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Iowa State Fair 2012

The Grand Concourse during the 2012 Iowa State Fair
John Pemble

We're at the Iowa State Fair, and we're taking you with us. From the grand concourse for a Zumba lesson, to Pioneer Hall for a classic radio play, to an outdoor stage for square dancing...and monster arming wrestling to butterfly tagging. Join us for this special edition of "Talk of Iowa".

Health
5:50 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Iowa State Fair Food and Healthiest State Initiative

The 2012 Iowa State Fair begins with a ZUMBA dance on the Grand concourse.

This morning the Iowa State Fair began with activities promoting the one year old Healthiest State Initiative.  It’s also the first day a dozen new food items high in fat or sugar are available, including the double bacon corn dog. 
 

Crime, Justice and Public Safety
6:44 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Des Moines Police Mounted Patrol preps for Iowa State Fair

The Mounted Patrol has been training in preparation for the Iowa State Fair.
Des Moines Police Department

When the Iowa State Fair opens, one week from today, not all the animals will be on display or in competition; some will be working. It's one of the last mounted patrols in Iowa.

Iowa Archives
5:00 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Butter Cow Centennial

The late sculptor Duffy Lyon in 1960.
Credit Iowa State Fair

A birthday party, a secret, and something found in most refrigerators. That combination will surely entice visitors to an iconic exhibit at the State Fair next month. Sculpting has commenced for the centennial of the butter cow. But the celebration will be tempered by the passing of the tradition's most famous artist.

Read more
Iowa Archives
5:00 am
Tue June 26, 2007

Iowa State Fair, a Sound Salute

The Midway
Credit Iowa State Fair

Striptease shows and daredevil acts are part of the Iowa State Fair's history, which dates back to 1854. Vintage recordings revive memories of some of the big attractions from fair's past. Audio clips courtesy of the State Fair Museum, Iowa Public Television, and desmoinesbroadcasting.com. Sounds from the 1930s onward at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Read more