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Simplicities | The Gray Boxwood

Let’s just start off honestly: I am ready for fall! I cannot wait for the cool-jacket weather, fall inspired drinks, crunchy leaves, pumpkin festivals, and fall home decor (I may have just screamed that one out loud). But as summer winds down, it is the perfect time to soak up what is left of these warm (sometimes, too warm) days. Every year I pick out festivals and fairs that I tell myself I will attend. But all too often, life gets in the way and I once again am left realizing that summer is over and I never fit these fairs and festivals into “the extras”. We need to vow to make time to slow down and enjoy what our greater communities and states have to offer us; take in the sights and finally let ourselves enjoy that high-calorie Red Velvet Funnel Cake!


Recently I visited what is claimed to be the #1 Fair in the country: the Iowa State Fair – a perfect way to experience Midwest hospitality and culture. This is not just your normal state fair! The grounds are beautiful with gardens and planters galore, full of abounding vegetation.

The fair itself has quite historical roots: the first building on the grounds (Pioneer Hall) was erected in 1886. The architecture of many of the buildings was enough to fascinate me for the day.

Simplicities | The Gray Boxwood

My day started with a walk through the vendors, hearing their claims that they are selling the best item that I did not even know I needed yet. I declined to purchase any goods at the fair but always enjoy hearing a good salesmen try to peddle me their wares.

Simplicities | The Gray Boxwood

Later, after enjoying my Red Velvet Funnel Cake (do not worry, I split it), I strolled through antique vendors and found some great items for Halloween decor that I will provide in later posts!

The day was packed full of watching young talents sing and dance on the Bill Riley stage, to hearing endearing fiddles and banjos, to looking at projects (photography, refinishing, sewing, crafts) that teenagers submit for judging from all over the state. I was even able to look at the submissions for the cake decorating contest. The fair has something for everyone.

Simplicities | The Gray Boxwood


When we live in an area for an extended period of time, it is easy to become numb to the activities that take place around us each year. We hear of them and fail to ever attend, thinking that some day will be the day. Today is the day! Look at your local community activities for the future months (or even the entire year) and plan a trip with friends or family to take in the sights and sounds. (Here’s a helpful tip: put it on your calendar! Or better yet, as a reminder on your phone.) The food may not be healthy, but the comfortable atmosphere will surely remind you of a simpler time.

Happy planning![hr]

Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. Great post….I love the Iowa State Fair…we have attended it for years….will try and mark my calendar for other community activities too! I like your blog! Thanks!