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FAIR TRADITION: 78 Years And Counting

The fairgrounds in Des Moines have hosted 134 Iowa state fairs and Gale Mendenhall has been to most of them.

Gale Mendenhall’s first fair was back in 1935, when his parents entered him to the cutest baby contest, since then he hasn’t missed one since.

“And it was a lot different back then too,” says Mendenhall.

He’s been going to the Iowa State Fair for 78 years. He remembers when admissions tickets only cost 3 dollars and lemonade was only 50 cents.

Not only does Mendenhall go to the fair every year, he and his wife go multiple times during the 11 day stint.

Mendenhall says his children and grandchildren have also caught the fair bug, and they haven’t missed year.

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