Event Review – Bringing the Fun, Food & Festivities of the Fair Early w/ the Corndog Kickoff



Many of my fellow Iowans may of just finished attending the annual event that’s a big deal here in the state, the Iowa state fair. In addition to it being a big deal for the farm folks, the Iowa State fair is a big deal in the midwest (after all there’s a musical about it, LOL), and in addition to lots of fun, concerts there’s lots, lots and lots of yummy fair food.

If you’ve patronized a state or county fair lately, you probably have indulged in at least one or two of the various foods on a stick, and have possibly even wanted to have all the fun of the fair without all the heat and huge crowds. Last month, before the Iowa State Fair took place we did have the opportunity to do just that as we attended the annual Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party at the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. This annual event sponsored by the Blue Ribbon Foundation offers a chance for State Fair food lovers to get their fill of tasty treats while helping to raise funds to restore the Iowa State Fairgrounds!


One of the best parts of the event is the all you can eat fair food, which of course includes corndogs!


Since its inception in 1993, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has been raising funds to renovate and restore the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds. Over $85 million has been generated thus far to support such projects as improvements to the Varied Industries Building and the Grandstand, as well as the Campgrounds and Ye Old Mill. In addition, funds support the building of new facilities such as the Animal Learning Center and the Jacobson Exhibition Center.



The merchandise for the auctions is amazing and all the proceeds go towards renovating the Iowa State Fairgrounds.


During the event you can indulge in all you can eat fair foods, take part in a silent and live auction, participate in fun games, enjoy entertainment and more. My husband and I have attended the Corndog Kickoff for a couple years know and they have a huge assortment of yummy eats and treats to indulge in too. Among this year’s fare were corn dogs, guinea grinders, kettle corn, funnel cakes, deep fried brownies on a stick and much, much, much, much more.



Gotta love cotton candy!


I grew living near the State Fairgrounds and this is a really cool way to experience the fair on a whole new level. The event was professionally organized, run smoothly and everything was professionally done. Lines for activities were very short (if there were any at all) and everyone there seemed to be having a great time.



The silent and live auction is filled with all kinds of cool fair merchandise!


You can even bid on food at the auction from some of the award winning bakers.

The Corndog Kickoff is definitely kid-friendly, and there are activities such as spin-art and the sky-ride for children to do. We brought our son last year, but he since he got restless during the event, we left him at Grandma’s this year and enjoyed the event as a date night with just us.

Overall, this is a fantastic even for a great cause. It raises tons of money towards restoration of the state Fairgrounds and it would make a unique date night, girls night out or night out with friends, and you’ll get your fill of lots of tasty foods on a stick.  I can’t wait until next year!


For more information on the Corndog Kickoff click here. You can also follow the event on Facebook here.




  1. Wow, sounds like a fun event. My boys love corndogs – and basically all the food they served there.

  2. This looks like an amazing event. I love all of the booths and the different kinds of foods. I wish we had more events like this here in New York City.

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