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State Fair celebrates 100 years of the Butter Cow

August 10, 2011
From The Iowa State Fair
Toledo Chronicle- On opening day, this Thursday, Aug. 11, the Iowa State Fair will kick-off the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the world-famous Butter Cow, an Iowa State Fair tradition since 1911.

The opening ceremony will include the unveiling of the 2011 Butter Cow and companion sculpture as well as a free piece of cake for the first 1,000 people. The festivities will begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of the John Deere Agriculture Building.

Long-time Fair butter sculptor Norma “Duffy” Lyon passed away in June. Duffy of Toledo, began sculpting in 1960, becoming the fourth person and first woman to sculpt the Iowa State Fair butter cow. She continued sculpting for 46 years and countless Fairgoers identify the Fair with her butter sculptures. While she had retired from sculpting, she was still affectionately known as the “Butter Cow Lady” and her presence will be greatly missed.

Toledo native Sarah Pratt, now of West Des Moines, became the Fair’s fifth butter sculptor. In addition to her first Butter Cow, Pratt also crafted Superman of “Superman Returns” (Norwalk, Iowa, native Brandon Routh, who starred as the man of steel) and “Mr. State Fair” Bill Riley (in honor of his 60th Fair).

Pratt is the daughter of Tom and Mary Doyle, Toledo, owners of Doyle’s Family Pharmacy.

The Fairgrounds will be filled with Butter Cow tributes in all shapes, sizes and materials, ranging from cans and sand to flowers and wood. In addition, more than 60 concrete cows designed and painted by Iowans will be on display. Fairgoers can pick up a limited edition brochure from the Agriculture Building or any information booth with a listing of all the butter tributes and fun activities.

The daily contest Battle of the Butter will begin at 4 p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage where contestants will compete to sculpt a 55 lb. block of butter into a work of art. The daily winning sculptures will be displayed alongside the 2011 Butter Cow in the Agriculture Building.

Helping to celebrate 100 years of the Butter Cow, fried butter on-a-stick will make its debut. The new buttery treat features butter dipped in a honey-flavored batter, fried golden brown and served on a stick. Additional foods on a stick include fried cheesecake, chocolate covered fried ice cream, and peanut butter and jelly. These treats join more than 50 foods on-a-stick offered at the Fair.

On opening day, this Thursday, Aug. 11, the Iowa State Fair will kick-off the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the world-famous Butter Cow, an Iowa State Fair tradition since 1911.

The opening ceremony will include the unveiling of the 2011 Butter Cow and companion sculpture as well as a free piece of cake for the first 1,000 people. The festivities will begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of the John Deere Agriculture Building.

Long-time Fair butter sculptor Norma “Duffy” Lyon passed away in June. Duffy of Toledo, began sculpting in 1960, becoming the fourth person and first woman to sculpt the Iowa State Fair butter cow. She continued sculpting for 46 years and countless Fairgoers identify the Fair with her butter sculptures. While she had retired from sculpting, she was still affectionately known as the “Butter Cow Lady” and her presence will be greatly missed.

Toledo native Sarah Pratt, now of West Des Moines, became the Fair’s fifth butter sculptor. In addition to her first Butter Cow, Pratt also crafted Superman of “Superman Returns” (Norwalk, Iowa, native Brandon Routh, who starred as the man of steel) and “Mr. State Fair” Bill Riley (in honor of his 60th Fair).

Pratt is the daughter of Tom and Mary Doyle, Toledo, owners of Doyle’s Family Pharmacy.

The Fairgrounds will be filled with Butter Cow tributes in all shapes, sizes and materials, ranging from cans and sand to flowers and wood. In addition, more than 60 concrete cows designed and painted by Iowans will be on display. Fairgoers can pick up a limited edition brochure from the Agriculture Building or any information booth with a listing of all the butter tributes and fun activities.

The daily contest Battle of the Butter will begin at 4 p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage where contestants will compete to sculpt a 55 lb. block of butter into a work of art. The daily winning sculptures will be displayed alongside the 2011 Butter Cow in the Agriculture Building.

Helping to celebrate 100 years of the Butter Cow, fried butter on-a-stick will make its debut. The new buttery treat features butter dipped in a honey-flavored batter, fried golden brown and served on a stick. Additional foods on a stick include fried cheesecake, chocolate covered fried ice cream, and peanut butter and jelly. These treats join more than 50 foods on-a-stick offered at the Fair.

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