Butter Sculptures are America

There are few things that feel more quintessentially American than the State Fair. It is a gathering where everyone is part of a seeming equality – a so-called American ideal.

First, full disclosure. The only State Fairs I’ve been to are the Texas State Fair in Dallas on many occasions, the Orange County State Fair this morning, and watching the movie State Fair (the 1945 version based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical).

Some of the things I especially love about the State Fair…

(I don’t usually go to the Fair will younger children, I get away with skipping most of the rides and the games…)


Halls of stuff to sell from the latest “As Seen on TV” item to original inventions to repetitive products you are not buying at a fair (this year I save about 10 different people hawking mattresses). After I got my sneakers cleaned at one innovative booth, I found an almost identical one row down. But this is American capitalism to the people. Small companies and individual sellers trying to find their entry point to success and wealth. God bless them all.

Oh, never buy anything at the Fair. It won’t work or will disappoint just like stuff bought off TV. And you have to carry it around too like the oversized stuffed animals.

(I did buy some gummi bears today. That doesn’t count.)


If anyone doubts the obesity rates of Americans, go to the State Fair. Not because the people are all so heavy, but because the food must certainly be in league with local cardiologists, blood pressure specialists, gyms, and Lane Bryant.

The #1 theme of food is BACON. From chocolate bacon to bacon wrapped in bacon with a side of bacon.

#2 is FRIED. Fried jelly donuts, beer, Kool Aid, frogs legs, Twinkies. I tried a fried Oreo this year. It was very tasty.

So much food. All of it not only breaks your diet, but crushes it, grinds it into pieces, mixes it with bacon, fries it, and makes your drink it with a side of turkey leg and tater tots.


Not being a concert goer, I can’t speak to the joys of seeing Duran Duran 30 years after Rio was released or a Pink Floyd cover band. However, I got to see Fabio from Top Chef today with a very appreciative audience and he was quite funny and enjoyable. (But I am not going make my own pasta tonight no matter how easy and cheaper you claimed it is)

Frisbee Catching Dogs

At the Texas State Fair, my friend and colleague Peter Berg and I always loved the Frisbee Catching Dogs. Cause what’s not to love?

Today, however, I may have found a candidate as a replacement – Pig Racing. But the dogs have a greater element of the random attached, so Pig Racing is going to have stay in 2nd.


Where else can city kids get in such close proximity to goats, llamas, and giant yams? I also saw a giant alligator, which was big, but also really immobile.

The Butter Sculpture

Every year the Texas State fair features a giant sculpture made out of butter. From Elvis to Animals in a Hot Air Balloon to Jesus and Harry Potter in a duel (I made up the last one, but all you have to do is Photoshop these 2 pictures). Art out of butter. That’s very American: A common material that will make you fat and can represent the sacred or the mundane.

There’s so much more, but as someone who lives in a religious and socio-economic bubble much of the time, there’s nothing like the State Fair to connect with a broader America on things America and I love: Entertaining ourselves while buying things and eating foods that make us fat. The Founding Fathers would have loved to see themselves represented in butter.

What would you most like to see in a butter sculpture?

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