A Lasting Impact

Something I find special about the Iowa State Fair is the variety of displays you will see throughout the Fairgrounds. From engraved bricks to personalized plaques, there are many unique ways to leave an impact on the Fairgrounds. As Jayce mentioned a couple weeks ago, we kicked off our internship by placing engraved bricks in their respective locations around the Fairgrounds. Each brick has its own unique inscription and story behind it. With a donation of $100-$125, you can personalize a brick to honor a loved one, surprise a friend, or whatever you choose! However, that’s not the only way to leave a lasting impact while contributing to the Foundation’s mission…

Trees for the Fair

If you’d like to have a hand in preserving the beautiful greenery on the grounds, consider contributing to the “Trees for the Fair” program. A donation of $100 will go towards the upkeep and enhancement of trees at the Fairgrounds, and in return, you receive a personalized plaque in the Robert G. Horner and Sheri Avis Horner Service Center.

Take it a step further with a Legacy Tree: a donation of $1,000 will plant and care for a large tree on the Fairgrounds, with your personalized plaque at the base.

Growing our Future

They wouldn’t be our beloved Fairgrounds without the brilliant artwork. The “Growing our Future” program adds a vibrant and artsy display to Ruan Plaza. With seven different levels of giving, ranging from $500 to $5,000, this program is a great way to contribute to the Fairgrounds in a fun and creative way. Each customizable ‘leaf’ works together to create the entire design. 

Block by Block

Similar to the “Growing our Future” program, this display features multiple unique pieces coming together to create a beautiful quilt design, inspired by the barn quilts that hang on the exterior of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center. Six different levels of giving are available, with the size of your block varying based on donation level. This display is a beautiful symbol of how each individual contribution comes together to make the Fairgrounds renovations possible.

Courtyard of Celebration

The courtyard is the perfect place to relax while enjoying artwork created by Iowa artists. Celebrate a State Fair memory, preserve your blue ribbon achievement or leave your personal legacy with an engraved concrete paver in the Courtyard’s Plaza

As you can see, there are many ways to leave your mark. Each program has its own unique touch, but they all work together for the same cause: to preserve and improve our historic Fairgrounds. As you enjoy the Fair this August, be sure to check out the displays I've listed above, as well as the many others scattered throughout the grounds. Each one of those personalized plaques, bricks, and blocks represent the people who make it all possible. Visit our website

to learn more about how you can leave your own mark!


-Lauren McCullum, Donor Relations Intern