COLUMBUS, Ohio — The annual butter display at the Ohio State Fair presented by the American Dairy Association Mideast, a long-standing Ohio tradition of the state’s nearly 2,000 dairy farm families, is honoring the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. The display, made from over 2,000 pounds of butter donated by Dairy Farmers of America, features life-size sculptures of Neil Armstrong, the entire aircraft crew and the traditional butter cow and calf.
The display in all of its glorious buttery wonder captures the historic moments from the July 1969 mission when astronauts first landed on the moon. For the first time, the display includes the butter cow and calf sporting ear tags, which help dairy farmers identify their cows and keep accurate records of them.
The task of creating the sculptures wasn’t as smooth as butter itself. Five sculptors worked inside a 46-degree cooler for about 400 of the 500 hours it took to complete the display. Sculptors began by welding steel frames to support the weight of the butter. From 55-pound blocks, the butter is layered on the frames and after hours of molding and smoothing the butter, life-size sculptures are born.
Every year, the butter display attracts more than 500,000 visitors and the theme is one of the best-kept secrets leading up the fair.
Visitors at the fair can find the butter display in the Dairy Products Building at the Ohio Expo Center. While at the display, stop by inside the same building to get Orange Moon—the official ice cream flavor for the Ohio State Fair this year.
The fair runs from Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, Aug. 4.