The Iowa State Fair was back for 2021, and so was Iowa PBS’s coverage. This year’s programming began August 11 with a live broadcast of the 2021 Iowa State Fair Parade, and continued August 16-21 with Fair 2021 and the State Fair Talent Championship 2021

Fair 2021 nightly highlights aired Monday, August 16 through Saturday, August 21. Featuring contests, unique stories, food, animals, music and more, these hour-long programs are among the network’s most-watched of the year. All six episodes were rebroadcast back-to-back on Sunday, August 22.

Following the Sunday marathon, coverage of the finals of the State Fair Talent Championship 2021 aired Sunday, August 22. The annual competition showcased some of the amazing talents of Iowa’s youth.

Below is a list of topics that were scheduled for each Fair 2021 episode. Please note, topics may have changed. 

Monday, August 16 

  • State Fair Parade
  • New Fair Foods
  • FFA Sheep
  • 4-H Welder
  • Youth Rooster Crowing Contest
  • Corn Dog Conversations
  • Decorated Cakes Competition
  • Monster Trucks
  • Blue Ribbon Horticulturalist
  • 50 Years at the Fair: 1970s
  • Big Pumpkin Contest
  • Grocery Bagging Contest
  • As if You Were There … At the Fair

Tuesday, August 17

  • Ladies’ Chicken Calling Contest
  • Best Tasting Tomato Contest
  • 50 Years at the Fair: 1980s
  • Niko Moon Concert, Part 1
  • Iowa Food & Family Canstruction 10th Year
  • Thrill Town
  • Giant Slide
  • FFA Parade of Champions
  • Corn Dog Conversations
  • Youth Canning Contest
  • Niko Moon Concert, Part 2
  • As if You Were There … At the Fair

Wednesday, August 18

  • Butter Cow
  • Thrill Ville
  • Cowgirl Queen Contest
  • Sheep Shearing
  • State Fair Queen
  • Weed Identification Contest
  • Pioneer Hall Song
  • Big Animals
  • Horse Show Organist
  • 50 Years at the Fair: 1990s
  • Bread Pudding Contest
  • Chainsaw Artist
  • As if You Were There … At the Fair

Thursday, August 19

  • Photo Salon
  • 4-H Swine
  • Micro Mini Tractor Pulls
  • 50 Years at the Fair: 2000s
  • Cuddles and Snuggles Chore Time
  • Andy William and the Nebraska All Stars Concert, Part 1
  • Gingerbread House Contest
  • Cookout Contest
  • Avenue of Breeds
  • Andy William and the Nebraska All Stars Concert, Part 2
  • State Fair Cookie Building
  • Thrill Zone
  • As if You Were There … At the Fair

Friday, August 20

  • Beard Growing Contest
  • Quilts
  • Little Hands on the Farm
  • 50 Years at the Fair: 2010s
  • Veterans Parade
  • Governor’s Charity Steer Show
  • Cow Chip Throwing
  • Beginner’s Food Contest
  • Corn Dog Conversations
  • FFA Fair Preparations
  • Society Horse Show
  • Disc-Connected K9s
  • As if You Were There … At the Fair

Saturday, August 21

  • Bubblegum Blowing Contest
  • Stock Dog Trials
  • Corn Dog Conversations
  • Mom Calling Contest
  • Talent Championships Through the Years
  • Ladies’ Rubber Chicken Throwing
  • Marshmallow Treat Sculpting Contest
  • Husband Calling Contest
  • Guess How Many Rose Petals
  • Education Garden
  • Llama Yoga
  • 4-H & FFA Sale of Champions
  • Bloopers

Support for Fair 2021 on Iowa PBS is provided by EMC Insurance, the Iowa Pork Producers and the Iowa State Treasurer and its College Savings Iowa 529 plan.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream online, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.

College Savings Iowa
EMC Insurance Companies
Iowa Pork Producers Association