Photo Essay

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-TX) speaks at the 2014 Iowa State Fair Soapbox in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 9, 2014.
  • Guests walk though the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, August 9, 2014.
  • Judy Edwards of Urbandale, Iowa eats a pork chop on a stick at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 18, 2009.
  • Dante Cataldo, 3, of Des Moines holds a flag as his cousins (left to right) Jackson, 5, and Sydney Webb, 9, his mother Jenny and sister Mia, 9, stand by at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 17, 2009.
  • Then-Senator Barack Obama, visits the Iowa State Fair with his wife Michelle and two daugthers. The fair is a traditional visit for most presidential candidates competing in the election kick-off, the Iowa caucuses.
  • Then-Senator Hillary Clinton cooks at the Iowa Pork Producers tent beside former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (L) while attending the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines August 15, 2007.
  • A couple shelters from the rain at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 19, 2009.
  • Norma “Duffy” Lyon, of Toledo, Iowa, works on her version of “The Last Supper” a sculpture in butter, on the grounds of the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 11, 1999 in Des Moines. 
  •  A contestant competes in an “outhouse race” at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. 
  • Participants of the Iowa State Fair Parade gather at the Capitol Square in Des Moines in 1990.
  • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin greets visitors at the Iowa State Fair in 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. 
  • Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry tries a vegetarian corn-dog at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa in 2011.
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) appear at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 9, 2014.
  • A horse competition at the Iowa State Fair in 1954
  • Attendees at the livestock show at the Iowa State Fair in 1965.
  • Musicians at the Iowa State Fair in 1954.
  • Attendees at the livestock show at the Iowa State Fair in 1965.
  • Sen. Robert Dole and his wife Elizabeth contribute coins to an organ-grinder’s monkey during a tour of the Iowa State Fair in 1976.
  • Democratic presidential hopeful Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, center, stands on a hay bale as he speaks during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, in 2003.
  • Thrill-seekers on a ride at Iowa State Fair in 1955.
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks to voters from the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox during the second day of the Iowa State Fair in 2011.
  • People hold their hands over their hearts and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” on the first day of the Iowa State Fair on August 11, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.
  •  A couple stand next to a concessions stand at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2009.
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Pork and politics mingle at Iowa State Fair

Updated

First held in 1854, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is an annual showcase of farm animals and politicians alike that organizers boast attracts a million visitors each year. Iowa’s role as the first caucus state of the presidential primaries make the event a must-visit for White House contenders who give soapbox speeches and mingle with locals. This year’s fair has already included visits from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

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