Butter sculptures have been a popular part of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines since 1911. A life size Butter Cow is always displayed, but sculptors normally build another display. Fair goers like to rally around glass-enclosed displays to watch the artists at work. Past works have included sculptures of Elvis Pressley, Tiger Woods, Harry Potter, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, John Wayne, Jesus Christ, and His Apostles. This year’s display will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.
They were going to build a sculpture displaying Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk, but way too many complaints kept coming in. Fair staff originally announced plans for a Michael Jackson sculpture immediately after his death on June 25th, but that is when the complaints began and would not stop.
Kent Lehs, manager with Midwest Dairy Association which sponsors the displays, said it was not a question of Jackson’s achievements that intrigued all these complaints. He said, “They were pointed toward what they felt they understood Michael Jackson’s reputation was and not as a singer and dancer, but more some of the things he was implicated on in his personal life.”