The Iowa Pork Tent

Look for the Iowa Pork Tent, along with its two companion Chop Shops, during the Iowa State Fair to find some of the most popular foods during the fair's 11-day run every August. The Iowa Pork Producers Association recruits more than 900 volunteers to operate the food stands that bring Iowans their favorite pork products, as well as give fairgoers the opportunity to talk with Iowa pig farmers.

You'll find the Iowa Pork Tent on the east end of the Grand Concourse, and one of the Chop Shops, which exclusively serves Pork Chop on a Stick. Pork Chop on a Stick was voted by fairgoers as their favorite state fair food.

Our Menu

Every day of the fair, we are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Our menu includes something for everyone!

The Pork

  • Iowa Pork Chop (12 to 14 ounces)
  • Pork Loin Sandwich
  • Shredded BBQ Pork Sandwich
  • Iowa Pork Burger
  • Pork Picnic in a Cup
  • 1/4-lb Brown Sugar Pork Belly on a Stick
  • Pork Chop on a Stick (Order from the Chop Shop)
  • 6-PAK of Pork Chops (Order from the Chop Shop)


  • Baked Beans
  • Creamy Coleslaw
  • Applesauce
  • Potato Chips


  • Milk
  • Ice tea
  • Variety of soda fountain drinks
  • Water

Plenty of Seating

The Pork Tent has ample sit-down seating both under roof and out on the patio.

There is no shortage of comfortable seating options for Iowa Pork Tent customers. It's a great place to meet family and friends to rest while recharging your energy with some pork protein!

Pork Tent History

Since 1981, Iowa's pork producers have worked every year to bring pork to Iowa State Fairgoers as a food option. The Pork Tent is a tradition for families to enjoy a good meal at a reasonable price.

For more than 40 years, the Iowa Pork Tent has been a must-visit destination during the Iowa State Fair. Tens of thousands of fairgoers stop by every year to taste some delicious Iowa pork. It’s also a great place for pig farmers from across the state to visit with colleagues and spread the word about the pork industry with fairgoers.

The tradition started back in 1981.  Although Iowa was the leading pork production state in the country, there were no food stands offering pork on the fairgrounds. Pig farmers who led the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) decided to change that.

The original Iowa Pork Tent at the State Fair was a large circus tent. In 1987, the tent was retired in favor of a permanent building.  In 2023, a new building was erected that provided more modern amenities. Through it all, the location remained the same. So did the name.  Although it has solid walls, it is still known as the Iowa Pork Tent. 

Visitors come back for the hospitality, and of course, the delicious food. The sheer volume of pork provided to fairgoers is staggering. During the course of more than 40 years, IPPA has provided more than 2.5 million pork servings at the Iowa State Fair. On a typical day, an Iowa State Fair patron receives a pork product approximately every 4 seconds.

Pork Leads the Way for Food on a Stick

One of the most popular food items at the state fair is the Pork Chop on a Stick™. But it wasn’t always that way. “We almost had to beg people to buy them the first year (1999),” said Dave Moody, a Collins, Iowa pig farmer that has volunteered at the tent for many years. “I think we sold around 6,000 that year.”

The Pork Chop on a Stick is a 9-11 ounce, “frenched rib pork chop”. This is a rib pork chop with the rib bone left on, so that it can work as a handle or “stick”. You eat the Pork Chop on a Stick with your hands and a napkin – no utensils.

Sales doubled to around 12,000 the next year. “That was kind of the start of people wanting to walk around the fair with grab-and-go food items,” he said. In an independent poll before the 2023 Iowa State Fair, the Pork Chop on a Stick was voted the favorite food of the fair.

Presidential Hopefuls Recognize the Power of Pork

Besides the food, the Iowa Pork Tent has become THE place to be seen for U.S. presidential hopefuls the summer before Iowa’s famous January caucuses take place.

It’s also a favorite spot for Iowa celebrities to serve as an honorary “Chef of the Day.” Each year, that includes Iowa’s governor and congressional delegation, other political candidates, and university football and basketball coaches.

We hope you stop by during your next trip to the Iowa State Fair.