Corndog Kickoff

Each July, Fair-lovers whet their Iowa State Fair appetite by attending the Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party. It is a fun-filled night complete with live entertainment, all of your Fair food favorites, and a variety of unique auction packages to satisfy any State Fair enthusiast.

The Corndog Kickoff began in 1997 and was first held in Pioneer Hall. The 460 attendees bid on 20 live and 43 silent packages, raising over $67,000 for the Iowa State Fair. Like the Fair itself, the Kickoff fundraiser has evolved over the last 20 years, and has grown to encompass over half of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building.

Nearly 2,200 people come together each year to bid on over 30 live auction packages and 200 silent auction packages. To date, the event has raised a total of $8 million toward Fairgrounds renovations.

Save the date for the 2024 Corndog Kickoff slated for July 13, 2024! Doors open at 6:30 pm. 


The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation’s 2023 Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party on Saturday, July 8 was a true celebration of Iowans’ favorite days in August. Saturday’s event raised a record total of $1,006,590 for the renovation and preservation of the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds!

More than 2,500 Iowa State Fair supporters gathered for a night of fun, food and fundraising. The Blue Ribbon Foundation auctioned off 34 live and 273 silent auction packages.

“The Corndog Kickoff set a tremendous record this year in terms of attendance and dollars raised,” said Peter Cownie, Blue Ribbon Foundation Executive Director. “The Blue Ribbon Foundation is grateful for the Fair-lovers who came out to support the grand tradition that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. Thank you on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Foundation and the Iowa State Fair for a remarkable evening.”