This week, the world-famous Iowa State Fair officially kicked off after a year hiatus.
From humble beginnings in Fairfield 167-years ago, the Iowa State Fair is a bucket list event that has attracted millions of people from across the world. With hundreds of forms of entertainment for all ages, it is easy to see why so people many travel so far to be here. It also serves as the largest agricultural and industrial exposition in the state, showcasing Iowa’s farmers, small businesses and community leaders.
I have made countless memories at the Iowa State Fair and have been able to meet Iowans from all over our great state and visitors from around the world. I am looking forward to attending this year’s state fair as the Representative for Iowa’s Second Congressional District and look forward to visiting as many attractions as I can.
It is no secret that last year’s state fair cancellation hurt Iowa’s economy. It is estimated that our economy lost more than $12 million last year with the state fair cancellation alone. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit families especially hard, and this year’s Iowa State Fair is the beginning of a “return to normal” that many Iowans have been looking forward to for more than a year.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, the Iowa State Fair Board has been vigilant in their work in accordance with CDC guidelines to provide a safe experience for visitors planning to attend. I am also proud of the state fair’s cooperation with local health departments through incentivizing vaccinations, even offering walk-in vaccine clinics at the fairgrounds through the duration of the fair.
I am thrilled to see that our great Iowa State Fair is back and better than ever. With eleven days of festivities, rides, slides, talent shows, concerts, games and countless options of food on a stick, the 2021 Iowa State Fair is shaping up to be one of the best yet. The state fair is an incredible display of why Iowa is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I can’t wait to visit, and I hope the thousands that are attending are safe, healthy and have a great time!
Mariannette Miller-Meeks is a resident of Ottumwa and currently represents Iowa’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives.