One month from today (Wednesday), an intrepid group of several hundred horse lovers will leave Fairfield in southeast Iowa, headed for Des Moines and the Iowa State Fair some 112 miles away. Fair spokeswoman Kathie Swift says the horse caravan begins August 7th and will mark the fair’s 150th anniversary. Swift says there are nearly 300 riders and some 40 wagons and there’s room for more. They’re starting if Fairfield because that was the site of the first and second Iowa State Fairs in 1854 and 1855. This is a re-creation of a horse caravan that was held on the fair’s centennial celebration in 1954. Swift says it’ll be a four-day journey from Fairfield to Des Moines, with overnight stops along the way in Ottumwa, Oskaloosa and Monroe. The riders will sleep in their wagons, tents, campers, pick-ups and horse trailers, covering between 26 and 28 miles a day on county secondary roads and blacktops. Swift says the caravan will be hailed once it arrives in Des Moines for the start of the fair on August 12th. They’ll parade through the fairgrounds as opening ceremonies get underway. Several wagons and their horses will be on display on the concourse that first day and on through the 11-day fair. For more information, surf to “www.horsecaravan.org” or call (641) 472-4959.
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