Iowa State Fair: Pickles, Pork Chops and Pink Cowboy Boots
So many acres (400), so little time. Simply put, The Iowa State Fair is awesome. Over the past few days, I've been gradually chewing off bits of the biggest state fair on the planet, and I haven't even cleaned my plate. It's immense, it's colorful, it's incredibly varied and it's wackier than your wildest dreams. It's a place where you can meet a 1,200-pound pig named "Freight Train" and then eat pork about six different ways. It's also where you might run into the Boone County Pork Princess and where everything imaginable is deep fried or on a stick.
A few scenes to give you a taste:
Location: Pirtley's General Store, over by the pickle barrel, where extra large dill pickles were for sale for $2.
KOD: How's the pickle business doing?
Mister Pickle Man: Not bad today. A little off; maybe it's the weather. What's your interest?
KOD: I'm a reporter, covering the fair.
KOD: Washington. The Washington Post.
MPM: Where's that? Washington, Iowa?
KOD: Not exactly. Back east, in Washington, D.C. Say, are those pickles crispy.
MPM: Very crispy indeed. You want a whole or a half?
Location: The Coca-Cola soda fountain, at the counter.
Lady working behind the counter, who serves me my chocolate Coke: How are you enjoying the fair?
KOD: It's my first time here.
Lady: Wow! And I bet it won't be your last!
KOD: What do you like most about the state fair?
Lady: I come here for vacation every year, and it's a chance to spend time with my family. I've been coming here all my life. The fair is all I know.
Location: Long Creek Outfitters stall
Cowboy Boot Seller Guy: Can I help you, ma'am?
KOD, trying on a pair of pink cowboy boots: Think these fit okay?
CBSG: Let's see. Go on and stand up, and push your foot all the way to back of the boot. There you go.
KOD: I'm the furthest thing from a cowgirl, but I'm thinking these will make me feel like one.
CBSG: These are handmade, ma'am. I think you'll enjoy them.
My travel companion, Madge, who's recovered from a bad bout of pre-Iowa food poisoning, is now alive and well, and so before we head west to Nebraska, we'll stop off at the state fair so she doesn't miss out on the fun. We're headed straight for the Butter Cow this morning! Stay tuned.
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