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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

It’s Iowa State Fair time and the eclipse

Today the Iowa State Fair starts its 10-day run in Des Moines. It looks like there are a number of new things going at the fair this year, including the new ride areas that split up the rides by size and age of the kids. Plus, it looks like they will have some roller coaster rides this year.

There are plenty of new foods this year along with the every-year standards such as corn dogs and ice-cold lemonades. It looks like the weather may cooperate this year with the temps starting off in the low 80s.

Reports tell me that the number of campers at the fair is as many as ever. Seems to me like it would be like camping in the middle of New York City with a few head of livestock added! The old town of Creston and many other towns seem to be pretty quiet while the event takes place, although things will gear up pretty fast after the fair with school starting a few days after the fair closes out.


The long awaited solar eclipse is coming up Aug. 21. If you want to see it in totality you will need to head for Lincoln, Nebraska, or St. Joseph, Missouri. There looks to be a lot of people coming for the event. I know most all the hotels in Lincoln are sold out for the weekend.

The eclipse goes from coast to coast starting in Oregon and heading out of the USA in South Carolina. It will take it about four hours to go coast to coast in totality. It is the first one to go across the USA in 99 years.

Here in southwest Iowa, we will be in the 90 percent totality range, which means it will get pretty dark out around 1:05 p.m. But the eclipse will begin about 11:45 a.m. here. You want to make sure if you are looking at the eclipse that you have a pair of ISO 12312-2 compliant shades. DO NOT look at it through regular sun glasses, as you have a good chance of doing damage to your eyes. The next one will not be around until 2024 so take advantage of the event and check it out.


It just doesn’t seem like the rain gods can find Creston, Iowa, this year. I hear the sweet corn season may be cut short for some people with the lack of water for the crop. It doesn’t look like there is much chance of rain for the next couple of weeks. I guess I’m getting used to brown grass!


I see the Union County Fair Board is offering you a chance to buy a brick with your name on it to help support the new construction over at the fairgrounds. The group has done a wonderful job of collecting money to get the project going. It should give a nice new look to the fairgrounds next year at the fair.


High school, college and pro football is in the practice phase right now. It won’t be long and all three will be starting up the regular season.

I had a chance to visit the Kansas City Chiefs practice a week ago. It was fun to see the guys run through their plays. The Chiefs should be pretty good this year. The fantasy drafts will be starting up pretty soon. My one fantasy group is celebrating its 30 years of playing fantasy football. I think we started back when they were still wearing leather helmets!

Thought for the week: “Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” – Victor Hugo

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