Butter cow

The butter cow sculpture at this year’s state fair, by artist Sarah Pratt, is entitled ‘Embracing Tradition.’

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SPRINGFIELD — The final preparation for the opening of the 2021 Illinois State Fair took place Wednesday with the traditional unveiling of the butter cow.

This year’s sculpture, which marks the 100th anniversary of the butter cow, is entitled “Embracing Tradition.” It features a dairy farmer embracing a cow. Hidden within the sculpture are 13 hearts, signifying the 13 essential nutrients found naturally in milk.

“After a year where the world stopped, I felt including an exhibitor embracing the cow signifies the joy our youth are experiencing as they return to the fair,” said sculptor Sarah Pratt of Iowa. “You only get one chance to celebrate the 100th anniversary, and I hope this year’s butter cow will invoke those feelings of nostalgia people have experienced for generations.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K., took part in the ceremony along with Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II, Midwest Dairy Association board member Donald Mackinson and Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Kelsi Kessler.

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