AMERICAN SCENE: A Mecca Along the Midway

"Our state fair is a great state fair!

Don't miss it, don't even be late!

It's dollars to donuts that our state

fair

Is the best state fair in our state."

Nearly 30 years have passed since Dana Andrews pursued Jeanne Grain across the Des Moines fairground to the accompanying strains of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Andrews is a grandfather by now, and Jeanne Grain makes the rounds of TV talk shows, but the state fairs of the Midwest remain almost immutable. From Des Moines, TIME'S David Wood reports on this year's extravaganza:

It is all very simple. You pay your $1.50 and walk through...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!