Iowa State Fair Camper Celebrating 75 Years Camping During the Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa -- An anniversary is being celebrated on the hill just east of the Iowa State Fair.

John Rasmussen of Manilla is marking 75 years of camping at the Iowa State Fair campgrounds. Rasmussen was first brought to the fair to camp not long after he was born.

“I came here as a three or 4-month-old baby. Been here every year,” said Rasmussen. “We had a straight truck. We threw a tarp over the top of it. Had a refrigerator in the back of it.”

Rasmussen said he loves coming to the Iowa State Fair.

“I kind of live for the state fair. I just enjoy the people. I come watch people all day long, really,” said Rasmussen. “I’m a real horse fan. I like to go to the horse shows.”

Rasmussen noted how much things have changed in the campground over the years.

“This used to be just a hill there. You put your tent on there and hope you didn’t fall out of it, zip the door shut at night,” said Rasmussen. “You used to have slabs of concrete then. You could rent an Army tent.”

Rasmussen said he plans to keep camping at the fair as long as he is able to.

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