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McConnell family carries on concessions legacy at Iowa State Fair

Three members of the McConnell family operate concession stands at the Iowa State Fair, a tradition they've continued since 1975.

DES MOINES, Iowa — One of the biggest draws of the Iowa State Fair is the new foods and experiences. However, some of the best things about the fair have been around for years — 47 years, to be exact. 

McConnell Concessions first appeared at the Iowa State Fair in 1975. Now, three different family members have their own booths at the fair. 

Larry McConnell, founder of the McConnell Concessions legacy and patriarch of the McConnell family, operates 11 concessions stands including a vintage soda fountain. 

His son, James McConnell, was born during the Iowa State Fair in 1993. Now, he operates two concession stands, one in Thrill Ville and the other on the east side of the Anne and Bill Riley Stage. 

"We've had a lot of good times out here eating food, trying everyone else's food and making our own creations," James said. 

Larry's daughter, Anna Lamoureux, also got in on the family business: She's in her second year of operating Georgie's Concessions, just west of the Varied Industries building.

Anna began working at the Iowa State Fair in high school, when all of her friends helped to staff the stands. Her love of the state fair parallels the passion Larry brings to the concessions business every year. 

"I love all the people from Iowa, all around the state, that we get to see here and celebrate," Anna said.

Local 5 and CW Iowa 23 are bringing exciting 2022 Iowa State Fair experiences to you, from live newscasts to an interactive Local 5 Weather Lab experience. Come see us in front of the Administration Building (Grand Concourse) each day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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