50th annual Butter Sculpture Unveiled at the New York State Fair

posted by Rich Lauber - 

What’s 800 pounds, slippery and goes great on toast? It’s the 50th anniversary New York State Fair butter sculpture! Who ever said there can be too much butter? Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, the husband and wife duo and butter enthusiasts from Pennsylvania, have created every butter sculpture displayed at the New York State fair since 2003. There is no better homage to the rich Dairy farming in New York than a big hunk of butter and what’s better is if it can turn a few heads and make people happy.  Often times you have to push through the crowd like you’re at a concert just to catch a glimpse of this Syracuse Gem.  Not only is it fun to look at but not one dollop of that butter goes to waste since it is recycled into a Methane digester along with other scraps to produce electricity and liquid fertilizer. Fun fact, butter carving can be dated back to 1536, and was a celebrated craft in Tibet, Babylon, Roman Britain to name a few.

“You’re Milk Comes From a Good Place” as the sculpture is titled, brings in a little bit of the new while still celebrating the old. The name of the farm depicted in this chilled sculpture makes reference to the first butter sculpture to ever be displayed at the state fairgrounds, titled “Over the moon Dairy Farm” after “the Cow Jumps Over the Moon” which was displayed in 1969 and created by William Clements. William Clements was the sole butter crafter creating the sculptures for 18 years! To balance out the old we have in the most recent sculpture a child depicted taking a selfie with a calf. Imagine that, an ancient craft meets the selfie? Somehow, Victor and Pelton were able to reference the old while capturing the new wave of technology in a way that’s still curious, fun, and adorable.  Kudos to everybody that makes sure this tradition continues!

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