Iowa State Fair Photography Salon

For those of you who entered photos in the Iowa State Fair, you may have noticed no mention in the registration materials of the annual reception and awards ceremony that is usually held the Sunday before the fair opens. I was curious to see what was happening so contacted the Fair coordinator. This was her response. Another event lost to Covid—sigh.

Thank you for your interest in the Iowa State Fair.  There will not be a reception or awards ceremony this year.  We hope to be able to bring them back next year. 

Tracy Wiseman
Iowa State Fair

Competitive Events Entry Coordinator


  1. That’s very interesting. When I dropped off my photos I asked the same question to one of the co-superintendents.

    Her response “no funding for the award reception”. The fair picks up the tab for the wine, soft drinks, snacks, etc. My immediate thought was do without the food/drinks, I want to look at the photos. Or at a minimum I would be willing to pay for anything I eat/drink. I bet most of the photographers would agree.

    Did the events coordinator say it was cancelled due to COVID? Seems inconsistent to cancel the award reception due to COVID, yet still have the fair?

    • I assumed the reception was canceled due to Covid, they didn’t say that. Perhaps there was less funding coming in from sponsors so they felt they couldn’t afford the reception instead. But I’m totally with you—I could care less about the food. I want to see the photos, talk to the other photographers, see who won. The fact that they aren’t even posting a list of who had photos accepted for exhibit like they always do really irritates me too. I always look at that. That is not a funding issue. I’m almost wishing I hadn’t bothered to enter this year, with all the changes which were not announced in advance. It’s so expensive to enter, I’m wishing I had waited for a normal year.

      • Really, No published list of exhibitors? That to me is unacceptable. They have to list in a spreadsheet, just make a pdf and have the fair post it. That’s what Charlie did.

        I hate to say this but I was worried when Charlie retired and I heard there were co-superintendents. Nothing against the gals, but IMHO you need one and only one boss.

        • They are going to post everything the first day of the fair. Including the winners. I don’t know why they aren’t doing the list like they always do. I don’t think this is about the new administration, I think it’s more Covid related. Though it could be that, after doing things the way Charley did for a few years, they are now making their changes. Who knows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.