BUTTER SESAME STREET CHARACTERS TO JOIN TRADITIONAL IOWA STATE FAIR COW

Butter Sesame Street characters to join traditional Iowa State Fair cow

 Story and Photo by Dennis Morrice, (KLEM, Le Mars)

RADIO IOWA – The iconic “butter cow” has been a part of the annual Iowa State Fair since 1911 and Sarah Pratt of West Des Moines sculpted this year’s dairy cow — as she’s done each of the past 18 years.

“Really any kind of butter works, although if I have access to it, low moisture butter — so butter that’s been churned for a longer period of time — works better,” Pratt says. “I typically used recycled butter, so it in effect does the same thing. As I use it year-to-year-to-year, it reduces the moisture and becomes more like clay.”

Pratt carves a butter cow for the Illinois State Fair and does a butter sculpture for the Kansas State Fair as well.

“Here at the Iowa State Fair we have a lovely, very long stretch of cooler, so I can put inside the cooler a cow and also a themed-sculpture,” Pratt says.

Pratt marked the 100th anniversary of John Deere during the 2018 Iowa State Fair and sculpted — out of butter — a replica of the “Waterloo Boy” tractor.

“It was extremely difficult in the sence of trying to get the scale just right and all the details,” Pratt says.

This year, fair-goers who pass through the Agriculture Building may see the figures Pratt has made to celebrate a long-running children’s television program.

“We are very excited to be honoring the 50th anniversary of ‘Sesame Street’ which I grew up watching and also the 50th anniversary of Iowa Public Television, which is the channel I watched ‘Sesame Street’ on, so they kind of go hand-in-hand,” Pratt says. “It’s really going to be a family-friendly sculpture this year.”

Pratt uses about 1200 pounds of butter for her Iowa State Fair carvings.

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