July 17, 2009

Iowa Fair nixes Jackson butter sculpture

The Iowa State Fair said online voters have spoken and plans for a butter sculpture of late entertainer Michael Jackson at the fair have been canceled.

Gary Slater, chief executive and manager of the fair, said the online vote quashed the plans, with 65.24 percent of voters choosing no on the Jackson sculpture plans and only 34.76 percent voting in favor of the butter tribute to the King of Pop.

Slater said more than 100,000 people participated in the poll during the week of voting that ended Thursday.

While we know some people will be disappointed, we believe the vote was the only way to let fairgoers voice their opinion in a meaningful way, Slater said. With the Fair just over three weeks away, we are pleased to now move on with final preparations for all the events at the Fair.

The Iowa State Fair has long been recognized as one of the top fairs in the U.S., Slater says. Participation in our online poll has demonstrated how important the Iowa State Fair is to fairgoers.

Slater said that in addition to the traditional life-sized sculpture of a cow made from butter, a staple of the fair since 1911, this year's butter display will also include a dairy sculpture of an astronaut on the surface of a butter moon to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's July 20, 1969 moonwalk.

The fair is scheduled for Aug. 12-23 in Des Moines.