The butter cow has been an icon at the Illinois State Fair for over 90 years. The dairy bovine is one of the most photographed images on the state fairgrounds, a must-see attraction for families, and a key educational tool for the diary industry.
Today at a press conference in the Dairy Building, the official 2016 butter cow was unveiled. This year, the butter cow has a new sculptor, Sarah Pratt. Pratt is well recognized for her work at the Iowa State Fair, where she has worked since 2006. “I am very excited for this year’s cow,” said Marla Behrends. “It has been a while since we hired a new sculptor and I am proud and privileged to say we hired Sarah.”
As opposed to previous years, this year the classic dairy sculpture was completed prior to the start of the fair. Sarah spent over 65 hours in the weeks leading up to the fair sculpting the butter cow with the help of her husband, Andy. Pratt is training her daughters in butter sculpting and hoping to pass along the trade for generations to come.
Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, the Pratt family was unable to attend the fair’s opening day ribbon cutting. However, Pratt joined the press conference by phone to describe how she chose her inspiration for the 2016 butter cow.
“This year’s butter cow was inspired by the Jersey cow, as it was the first cow I learned to sculpt,” said Pratt. “It fit nicely in the display case and complimented the windows.” She also revealed to those in attendance she and her family have named the sculpture, Cream Puff, after the delicious treats served in the Dairy Building.
“Cream Puff” is poised and ready for viewing at the Dairy Building. Be sure to stop by for a selfie!
The 2016 Illinois State Fair is currently underway through August 21st. For more information, go online to www.illinois.gov/statefair.