Miniature Dairy Cow Display | IT choices


The butter cow has been an unofficial icon of the fair since the 1920s. The life-size figure is hand-sculpted from 500 pounds of unsalted butter – a process that takes about five days, the same way it does has been done for nearly 100 years. But, two years ago, that tradition came to an abrupt halt when the 2020 State Fair simply didn’t happen. In the absence of a fair, there was no display of cash cows. Then someone had an idea. Why not put the sculpture in people’s hands, albeit on a smaller scale than a life-size cash cow? Why not make it a contest? It was a hit and so much fun that it was decided to do it again in 2021, and since the fun just keeps on happening, it was decided to do it again this year. So while the traditional butter cow has since returned to its centuries-old refrigerated pedestal, if you look at another instance in the Dairy Building, you’ll see this year’s display of contest participants doing all sorts of miniature cow things. like riding the Sky Glide, jumping over the moon, or camping. If you would like to see the list of winners and read their brief biographies, visit, click the Butter Cow Contest icon, then scroll down. You never know, you might be inspired to create your own cow next year.

Move over Bessie
August 11-21
During daily fair hours
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Dairy building
central avenue

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