Centennial Plaza brings new life to center of Fair

This year the Clay County Fair, September 9-17, will be introducing the beginnings of what will become Centennial Plaza, a new area in the middle of the fairgrounds where the Ag Building was formerly located.

While Centennial Plaza is set to be completed in 2018, this year will give everyone a sense of what is to come.

“There will be many new and exciting educational opportunities for fairgoers to experience,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “We are excited to introduce this new area at the Fair to everyone.”

The Northwest Iowa Opportunities Hub, presented by the Iowa Lakes Corridor, Iowa Lakes Community College, and IowaWORKS, will feature a Mobile Heavy Equipment Simulator to give fairgoers an idea of some of the job openings in the region.  The Hub will also include various daily themes focusing on construction, health care, tech, IT and wind energy, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Mobile University of Iowa Museum will be a fun feature this year. The Mobile Museum inspires visitors by bringing exhibits with cutting-edge research, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and interactive digital media. The museum has three exciting exhibits. “Oneota Archeological Connections” focuses on Native American artifacts and teaches viewers how to care for archeological sites. “Delving Deep: Scientific Studies from Iowa’s Ancient Sea” explores various fossils from Iowa’s ancient past when the land was covered in a warm shallow sea, 465 million years ago. Finally, “Speaking of Work: The Iowa Labor History Oral Project” looks into the history of Iowa labor and how it has changed over the years.

FarmHer shines a light on the importance of women in the agriculture industry. While women have been a large aspect of this industry for years, they have often been overshadowed. Founded in Iowa in 2013, FarmHer has become a voice and community for women in agriculture and brings to life the often unseen, yet important aspect of the agriculture industry- women.

If you have ever wanted to visit the State Historical Museum in Des Moines but have never got the chance, the wait is over. The Mobile Museum is headed to the Fair this year. Iowa History 101 Museum: History on the Move features several artifacts from Iowa’s history that will give fairgoers an insight to how Iowa has changed over the years.

Highlighting the area and giving a Centennial “feel” to the Plaza will be a unique birthday sculpture made of straw, “Farm Party.”  This interactive sculpture will give fairgoers the chance to take photos with four-footed friends.

Another new and exciting addition to the Plaza will be the Family Place. Located in the old Fair Administration Building, the Family Place will be the new home to First Aid, and will give families a quiet place to take a break while at the Fair. There will be private rooms for mothers to nurse, change infants, and take care of our youngest fairgoers.