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State Fair Historical Walking Tour

Enjoy this tour as you explore the fairgrounds, learn about Iowa history and get some exercise -- all at the same time. Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages and abilities can take to improve their health, and walking is an excellent way to increase physical activity. The fairgrounds span about 445 acres, so it’s a great place to get moving! The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is proud to present this tour in partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative.

The 2022 tour will take place on August 11 and will start at 8:15 a.m. near the Administration Building on the Grand Concourse and finish about 45 minutes later at the fair's opening ceremony. Guides from the State Historical Society of Iowa will make several stops at historic sites along the way.

This year’s tour highlights include the Meskwaki, who have owned land in Iowa since 1857; the fair’s first president, Thomas Clagett, a controversial newspaper publisher from Keokuk; race car driver Emory Collins of Sibley; and world-famous ornithologist Althea Sherman of National. Other stories will feature Brooklyn Supreme, an Ogden stallion who was once known as the world’s largest horse, and Dike of Rosedale, who played the prize pig in the 1933 movie “State Fair.” (Dike’s brother Floyd lent his name to the football trophy that travels between the University of Iowa and University of Minnesota.)

The walking route is approximately 1 kilometer, or about 1,500 steps for an average walker.