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


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...

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