Sculpting is underway for the 2021 version of a New York State tradition: an 800-pound sculpture made of butter that is a star attraction of the New York State Fair, which opens later this month.
Last year's sculpture (above) debuted online when the fair was canceled, but this year's will again have a live audience at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse. The sculpture, which will be the 53rd annual work, will be revealed when the fair opens on August 20.
Sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, who have had the job for nearly 20 years, unpacked the butter and their tools and began work on the sculpture over the weekend. The butter, produced from over two-thousand gallons of milk, came from Batavia, N.Y.-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products.
It is what is called 'scrap' butter, rescued from damaged packaging and the like. Instead of being trashed, it goes for the sculpture. After the fair, it's now wasted either: It goes to a firm that runs it through a digester along with other food waste from Wegman's grocery stores, sponsor of the sculpture, to produce about 450kw of electrical power.