Iowa State Fair Honors Veterans on Monday

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The Iowa State Fair took part of Monday to stop and honor veterans.

The parade down the Grand Concourse featured all types of veteran and active duty groups. The road was lined with thousands of people who applauded veterans as they marched past. This was under cloudy skies with a few rain drops falling.

“It’s a very emotional occasion, every year I come to it I can’t believe the turn out of people,” said Ron Brown of Fairfield. “Besides Vietnam, there’s the Korean War Veterans, too, that aren’t very much remembered also.”

“Well, since I’m a Vietnam vet, we didn’t get honored too much when I came back,” said veteran Frank Pottorff. “Being out here, this is the 3rd or 4th year that I’ve come out here, and it means a lot.”

Monday was also a big day for horse shows at the Jacobsen Exhibition Building. The Belgian Horse Show was held at the same time as the Miniature Horse Show.

“This morning we started about 5 o'clock. We fed and cleaned stalls, and ya gotta water them all and everything,” said Anne Axmear, of North English. “You gotta braid the manes and roll the tails, and we blackened the hooves.”

On the new Jacobson Plaza is a commercial exhibit, which is marketing AeroMotor windmills. These were popular in the Midwest and south around the 1900s. The company has changed owners a few times, and is now run from San Angelo, Texas. Iowa’s wind makes these long time pumps still popular in Iowa. The Hawkeye state is only second to Texas in numbers of units still sold.

“We do the old water pump windmills, these are for use for cattle, and farmers that want to fill their ponds,” said Daryl Gehman, of Kalona. “We get a lot of calls for them yet.”

A long-time Iowa State Fair attraction is the sand sculpture, which is now outside in the Jacobson Plaza.

“This is 75 tons of sand, densely compacted into a big block,” said Greg Glenn, a professional sand artist from California. “Now we’re carving out our version of the three pigs, with their new friends. It will all make sense tomorrow, (Tuesday) our punch line will come through.”

The Iowa State Fair continues through Sunday, August 20th.

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