Festival of Books
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The Great New York State Fair
Best state fairs in the U.S.
Best state fairs in the U.S.

Jim Kopel has been a big fan of state fairs since he was 10, when he exhibited his Chester White pigs at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Since retiring from teaching a few years ago, Kopel has visited state fairs in all 50 states, turning his ardor into something more than just happy memories. Clipboard and pencil in hand, Kopel uses a 90-item checklist to evaluate the fairs. Key criteria include cleanliness of the grounds and creature comforts. Kopel takes note of all the details, including whether walkways are manure-free and whether there are ample benches. Based on his findings, the former college professor has easily identified his favorite fairs. Predictably, Iowa is on the...