On Thursday, the 11-day Illinois State Fair kicked off in Springfield. State fairs nationwide all have games, rides and just about any kind of deep fried food you can imagine, but the Illinois State Fair definitely has some unique attractions the others don’t.
1. The Butter Cow
The State Fair of Texas may have deep fried butter, but in Illinois we have a whole cow of butter, which has been the “unofficial icon” of the fair since the 1920s.
Housed inside the fair’s Dairy Building, the sculpture is handmade with 500 pounds of unsalted butter. What do they do with all of that butter after the fair? Use it for another sculpture of course! Each year the butter gets frozen for next year’s cow.
True, we’re not the only ones with a butter cow. The Iowa State Fair also has one, but they use 600 pounds of butter for one cow, while Illinois does more with less.
2. Husband Calling Contest
The fair hosts more than 8,700 contests including horticulture, horse racing and – husband calling?
Only by watching videos from previous husband calling contests will you understand this one.
3. Illinois Fire Museum
The fair boasts the “largest interactive fire safety and antique exhibit” in the country.
You can even practice your fire fighting with real working fire extinguishers.
4. Ethnic Village
State fairs nationwide are known for frying anything from alligator to Twinkies. Illinois follows this trend but the fair also has an Ethnic Village. It’s an interesting name choice, but the village features thirteen countries including Brazil and Greece and two international beer booths.
Fair goers of legal age can taste wine at the Illinois Wine Experience.
We may not be California but you can taste wine from nearly 20 wineries in the state.
6. Beer Scandal
We are talking about Illinois, which has so much corruption, a study shows it costs $1,308 per person in Illinois.
And the state fair isn’t except from it either, with a probe finding State Fair Director Amy Bliefnick sought and accepted at least $540 in free beer tickets during the 2012 State Fair from the vendor in charge of selling beer to fairgoers