Culture

This year, the traditional butter cow and calf are accompanied by butter sculptures of Cleveland Cavaliers mascots Sir C.C. and Moondog, as well as a replica of the Larry O`Brien Championship Trophy. (Submitted)
This year, the traditional butter cow and calf are accompanied by butter sculptures of Cleveland Cavaliers mascots Sir C.C. and Moondog, as well as a replica of the Larry O`Brien Championship Trophy. (Submitted)

Ohio State Fair Butter Sculpture Unveiled


Posted on:

< < Back to

Always a highly anticipated Ohio State Fair favorite, the annual butter sculpture display was unveiled today by the American Dairy Association Mideast, and it was a real “slam dunk.”

This year, the butter display congratulates the Cleveland Cavaliers for their triumphant and first NBA Championship win for the city.

The 2016 display features the traditional butter cow and calf standing next to the fun-loving and spirited Cleveland Cavaliers mascots “Moondog” and “Sir C.C.”  Also sculpted in butter is the coveted Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy. Together, these pieces represent the strength and determination of a team and all of its passionate supporters. The buttery display gives fairgoers a chance to continue the victory party for the Cleveland Cavaliers that came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals on June 19, 2016. It was a historic and epic win for the city, and it made the entire state proud.

Fairgoers can enjoy the butter display through August 7, 2016 inside the Dairy Products Building, where they can also learn about Ohio`s dairy farms and enjoy treats like ice cream and cheese sandwiches. (Submitted)
Fairgoers can enjoy the butter display through August 7, 2016 inside the Dairy Products Building, where they can also learn about Ohio`s dairy farms and enjoy treats like ice cream and cheese sandwiches. (Submitted)

Made from about 2,150 pounds of butter, donated in part by Dairy Farmers of America, the display was completed in about 500 hours, which includes approximately 400 hours of sculpting inside a 46-degree cooler.

The sculptors begin by building wooden and steel frames to support the weight of the butter. From 55-pound blocks, the butter is sliced into manageable loaves and layered on the frames. After many hours of molding and smoothing the butter, each sculpture begins to take shape. Fine details are added last.
The 2016 display was crafted by a group of four Ohio-based technical sculptors including lead sculptors Paul Brooke and Alex Balz of Cincinnati, Tammy Buerk of West Chester, Erin Swearingen of Columbus and Matt Davidson, a dairy farmer from Sidney.

Fairgoers can show that they are really “over the moooo-n” about this year’s display with a new Snapchat geofilter that is only accessible to them. They can milk it for all it’s worth by snapping selfies with the app in the Dairy Products Building and then choosing the amazing butter cow filter.

The butter display is a long-standing tradition of Ohio’s nearly 2,600 dairy farmers. Each year, the theme of the butter display is always the best kept secret leading up to the fair.

The American Dairy Association Mideast selects an icon or theme to feature in butter that is non-political, non-controversial and reflects optimism and broad audience-appeal.  The butter display annually attracts more than 500,000 visitors at the Ohio State Fair and often gains media attention nationwide.

Tammy Buerk uses a small tool to shape the eyes on the butter calf. After several hours of shaping and smoothing the butter, sculptors chisel in the fine details last. (Submitted)
Tammy Buerk uses a small tool to shape the eyes on the butter calf. After several hours of shaping and smoothing the butter, sculptors chisel in the fine details last. (Submitted)

The butter display is in the Dairy Products Building at the Ohio Expo Center, home of the Ohio State Fair. While there, fair visitors can also learn about how Ohio’s dairy farmers care for their cows, their land and their communities. The Dairy Products Building is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and offers a variety of Ohio-produced dairy foods including ice cream, milkshakes, cheese sandwiches and milk.

The fair will run from Wednesday, July 27 through Sunday, Aug. 7.

The butter sculpture display and the Dairy Products Building are sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio’s dairy-farmer funded marketing and promotion program. For more information, visit www.drink-milk.com.