A butter clarification

Yesterday, the Iowa State Fair's marketing department announced the butter sculptor who makes a cow out of butter every year for the Fair would be honoring the King of Pop.  Today, after some push-back from the public, the Fair issued a clarification. Read both buttery releases below. 

6/30/09: Michael Jackson Tribute in Butter at Iowa State Fair

The world-famous Iowa State Fair butter cow will share the spotlight this year with a salute to the late Michael Jackson. Both pieces will be on display in the Agriculture Building’s 40-degree cooler throughout the Fair, August 13-23.

Butter sculptor Sarah Pratt of West Des Moines plans to honor Jackson’s extensive contributions to the music and dance industries through a butter sculpture of the pop icon. This year’s butter bovine will be a jersey cow.

Michael Jackson danced onto the Iowa State Fair Grandstand stage on August 29, 1971, as a member of the Jackson Five. Alongside his brothers, Jackson turned out two exceptional performances to the delight of 17,000 Fair-going fans. Today, nearly four decades later, he is remembered as a pop-culture icon whose music reflected the passion and creativity of a new era. As the world mourns the loss of such a skilled and exceptional entertainer, the Iowa State Fair would like to celebrate the King of Pop and commemorate the ways his contributions have transformed American music and dance.

7/1/09: Additional Information on Butter Sculptures at Iowa State Fair

Plans are still being finalized for the 2009 Iowa State Fair butter sculpture, traditionally displayed in addition to the world-famous butter cow.  To clarify the concept of the sculpture, it will be a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk on July 20, 1969. In honor of Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind,” plans for this year’s sculpture include an astronaut, an American flag and a buttery rendition of the surface of the moon.

Michael Jackson will be featured in a small side portion of the sculpture as the first pop-star to perfect and popularize choreographed moonwalking. We are not honoring him for his character, but recognizing his piece of Iowa State Fair history.

Jackson performed on the Grandstand stage on August 29, 1971, as a member of the Jackson Five. Alongside his brothers, the young star turned out two performances to a crowd of 17,000 Fair-going fans. His inclusion in this year’s sculpture acknowledges Jackson’s historical connection to the Fair and highlights the 100th Anniversary of the State Fair Grandstand.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. People are becoming more creative now..