SPRINGFIELD, IL. - The Illinois State Fair would not be the same without the iconic Butter Cow, and now fairgoers can rest assured the classic dairy bovine will return in 2016. Organizers of the Illinois State Fair and Midwest Dairy Association are pleased to announce Sarah Pratt, of West Des Moines, Iowa, will bring her talents to Springfield for the Illinois State Fair.
Pratt is known for her work at the Iowa State Fair, where she has been contracted to work since 2006. According to Marla Behrends, industry relations manager for Midwest Dairy Association and manager of the State Fair's Dairy Building, Pratt's work is highly praised. She has sculpted not only cows, but likenesses of Abraham Lincoln, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and a Monopoly game, among other icons.
"While we've been fortunate to have Sharon BuMann sculpt the Butter Cow for many years, we're very excited to have Sarah Pratt step in now that Sharon has retired," said Behrends. "Sarah trained under the country's most famous butter sculptor, Norma (Duffy) Lyon, and has become an accomplished artist in her own right since then."
"The Butter Cow has been a landmark at the Illinois State Fair for more than 90 years," said Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe. "It is the signature piece of the Dairy Building, and one of the most photographed images on the state fairgrounds during the Fair. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Midwest Dairy Association, which allows us to keep this long-standing tradition alive at the Illinois State Fair."
An official unveiling of the 2016 Butter Cow is planned for Thursday, August 11th, at 3pm in the Dairy Building.
The 2016 Illinois State Fair runs Aug. 11-21 in Springfield.