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's been done for almost 100 years. But, two years ago that tradition came to a screeching halt when the 2020 state fair simply did not take place. With no fair, there was no butter cow display. Then, someone came up with an idea. Why not put the sculpting into the hands of the people, albeit on a smaller scale than a life-size butter cow? Why not make it a contest? It was a success and so much fun, it was decided to do it again in 2021, and since the fun just keeps happening, it was decided to repeat it this year. So, while the traditional butter cow has since returned to its time-honored, refrigerated pedestal, if you look in another case in the Dairy Building, you will see this year's display of contest entries doing all sorts of miniature butter cow things like riding the Sky Glide, jumping over the moon or going camping. If you would like to see the entries, see list of winners and read their brief bios, click here. You never know, you might get inspired to create your own cow next year.

Moove over Bessie
Aug. 11-21
During daily fair hours
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Dairy Building
Central Avenue
Free
217-782-6661

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