The Illinois State Fair started this week, leading countless Illinoisans to exclaim, “TGIF!” (“Thank God It’s Fair!”) I won’t have a chance to visit the fairgrounds, which are located a few hours south of Takeout headquarters, in Springfield. Luckily for me, the fair’s premiere attraction is on virtual display via webcam. I’m referring, of course, to the Butter Cow Cam.
What, you may ask, is the Butter Cow? Why, my good fellow, it’s an 500-pound cow sculpted entirely out of butter. Per NBC 5 Chicago, the Butter Cow is a 100-year tradition at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the result of centuries of dairy obsession and five days of hard sculpting labor. This year’s Butter Cow sculpture also features what appears to be a little butter girl clinging adoringly to the cow. Ah, to be that Butter Girl with her big Butter Cow.
(Quick and very funny note: the Butter Cow’s 2021 debut was derailed by a heat wave, which created a layer of condensation on the sculpture’s refrigerated glass-sided case and obscured the sculpture from view.)
We’ve addressed the Butter Cow—but what of the Butter Cow Cam? I actually wasn’t aware of the cam until my former Takeout colleague Aimee Levitt texted me “hot scoop for you” along with a link to a tweet from reporter Zach Long. “The butter cow is melting,” Long joked. It’s not (it’s refrigerated), but Long also linked to a 24-hour live webcam showing round-the-clock footage of the beautiful bovine. As far as I can tell, the Butter Cow Cam just shows the butter cow rotating slowly on a pedestal as spectators gawk at its splendor.
I love the Butter Cow Cam. Even though I can’t be at the fairgrounds in person, I can say goodnight to the Butter Cow before I lay me down to sleep. I can pull the Butter Cow Cam up when I need a friend. I can show my boyfriend the Butter Cow and yell “BUTTER COW.” In these trying times, we’re lucky to have 24/7 access to grainy video footage of a gigantic cow made of butter. TGIF! (Thank God It’s... Fridge!)