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August 10, 2012

Iconic Butter Cow Celebrates 90 Years At The Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The famous Illinois State Fair Butter Cow is celebrating its 90th birthday.  And, visitors who attend the first weekend of the fair will have an opportunity to watch it being sculpted.

Sharon BuMann is in her eighth year of sculpting the famous bovine. When she started at the State Fair, the Butter Cow was in a display case on the wall that displayed only one side of the sculpture.

“Sharon worked so hard on the whole sculpture we felt bad that you couldn’t see one side of it,” State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said.  “That is why a new rotating display case was built in the dairy building to showcase every part of the Butter Cow.  The case also makes for a much more enjoyable way to experience Sharon’s live sculpting.”

The sculpture is to be finished by Tuesday, Aug. 14, but BuMann says it is possible that she could finish as early as Saturday. She says that the cow is currently in a bit of an “ugly stage,” but it will look great when completed.

This year’s sculpture is special because of the birthday celebration. To honor of the occasion, the sculpture includes a woman, also made of butter, presenting the Butter Cow with a 90th birthday cake.

The Dairy Building is encouraging children to bring a homemade birthday card for the Butter Cow when they visit the fair.  Children who do will be entered in a drawing to win “Got Milk” gear.           

After the Butter Cow is completed, there will be a press conference in the Dairy Building. This press conference is scheduled Tuesday at 4 p.m. and will also promote The Fuel Up to Play 60 Movement. Retired Chicago Bears wide receiver and Fuel Up to Play 60 spokesman, Anthony Morgan, will attend the event to sign autographs and will speak about the movement.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school health and wellness plan that encourages youth to eat healthy and take part in 60 minutes of physical activity each day.


It was a moment he must have dreamed about from the time he first started showing sheep.  Still, when the judge named eighteen-year-old Caleb Whitcomb’s Suffolk wether grand champion of the Illinois State Fair, he was almost speechless.

“I was just shocked,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb is from Greenview, Ill., and a member of the Greenview Boosters 4-H Club. He has been showing sheep for twelve years now.

Whitcomb, whose sheep will be sold Tuesday in the Sale of Champions, an auction of the fair’s prize-winning junior livestock, said he didn’t compete for the cash.

“It’s the people and everyone you meet,” Whitcomb said.  “It’s just fun.”

Whitcomb plans to put the money he raises from the sale towards college.

Alexa Harrison and her white-faced cross was selected Reserve Grand Champion.  Harrison is a Panther Creek Pioneers 4-H Club member and Louisville, Ill., resident. She is fourteen years old.


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