Try local flavors at the Iowa State Fair — and throughout the year

Brag Magg’s doughnuts at the state fair look almost too good to eat. Almost.

Writer: Madeline Cisneros

Brad Magg thinks back fondly on stories his parents and grandparents told him of packed lunches in picnic baskets at the Iowa State Fair. And now he helps recreate those memories with his fair food stands.

“We’re excited to bring back some nostalgic items that used to be in those picnic baskets,” said Magg, who owns Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City.

For a fourth year now, he’s run the Bacon Box — where you can find the famous bacon balls — and this summer has introduced two stands, the Snack Box and G-Pop’s Candy Box, both near Pioneer Hall.

Whether you want a caffeine fix or a sugar high, the Snack Box has you covered. Order a cup of cold-brew coffee from Windmill Coffee in Ames or grab a homemade doughnut. Be sure to check out the comfort foods, too, including the Webster City Meats ham salad sandwich and the Magg family’s secret recipe potato salad.

Hit up G-Pop’s for classic sweet treats like saltwater taffy, popcorn from Snappy Popcorn in Breda, cotton candy and homemade vanilla ice cream.

As you can tell, Magg seeks out locally sourced ingredients. “Not only is it just the right thing to do, it’s the best thing to do because at the end of the day, you want the best-tasting product,” he said. “I want to be proud of what we do, and I want all of our team to be proud of what we do.”

Magg’s partnerships extend beyond Iowa producers. He’s surrounded by his friends and family, too.

“All of our staff are family and friends,” he said. “It just makes for a better experience because the people working in our stands and helping us accomplish all these wonderful things truly care.”

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