Meet One Of The State Fair’s Oldest Employees

DES MOINES, Iowa – She’s one of the oldest, most tenured Iowa State Fair employees. Soon to be 90 – year – old, Virginia Klemm, has been employed with the state fair for 25 years.

She joined the team in the 80’s, when her granddaughter asked if they could work at the fair together. Klemm’s granddaughter has since moved on but Klemm couldn’t find herself to leave.

“My granddaughter wonders why I’m still here,” laughs Klemm.

Klemm works in the Administration Building collecting concession vendors money. This year could be her last year working, not necessarily because of her age but she say’s ready for a change. She wants to allow a younger person a chance that the job she’s enjoyed for a quarter of a century.

Over the course of time, Virginia says a lot has changed at the fairgrounds from food to buildings but one thing has remained the same.

“You can bring your family here, feel secure and have a good time. People enjoy one another. If you watch them they visit and talk to one another and to me that’s the whole concept of the fair.”

Klemm was born and raised on Des Moines east side.

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