2016 buzz in the air as Iowa State Fair gets underway – CNN

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN)It’s as American as fried apple pie on a stick.

The annual Iowa State Fair has come to town, kicking off an 11-day run with a parade Wednesday evening at the State Capitol in downtown Des Moines with Gov. Terry Branstad. It’s a time-honored Midwest tradition — and a valued stop on the campaign trail for presidential hopefuls.

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Attractions at this year’s fair include livestock and agriculture exhibitions, art shows, amusement rides such as the Tilt-a-Whirl, Big Bumper Boats, and the Wacky Worm (must be 42″ to ride), and, of course, the Midwest Dairy Association’s Butter Cow (a life-sized cow sculpted out of about 600 pounds of butter).

There are 70 different kinds of fried foods on a stick, and new delicacies such as deep-fried nacho balls, fried peanut butter and jelly on a stick, and pumpkin spice funnel cake, among others, are on the menu this year.

The fair’s grandstand packs an all-star lineup, with performances by Carrie Underwood, Def Leppard, Reba McEntire and The Fray. Over on the free stage, fairgoers can hit up the Village People, Britney Spears’ sister Jamie Lynn’s new country act, or even Sir Mix-A-Lot of “Baby Got Back” fame.