In this Rogers and Hammerstein musical, a family looks for prizes and romance at the Iowa fair.
People sing "Our State Fair." Margy Frake (Jeanne Crain) is moping and sings "It Might As Well Be Spring." Abel Frake (Charles Winninger) bets pessimistic Dave Miller (Percy Kilbride) $5 that his boar Blue Boy will win the grand prize. Abel secretly puts brandy in the mincemeat pie his wife Melissa Frake (Fay Bainter) is making. Harry Ware (Phil Brown) tells Margy he wants a modern farm for them, but she is not sure about marrying him. Wayne Frake (Dick Haymes) is disappointed that Eleanor (Jane Nigh) can't go to the fair.
The family of four stays in a trailer camp. Wayne has been practicing for a year and wins at ring toss. He criticizes the prizes of the barker (Harry Morgan) as junk, and Emily Edwards (Vivian Blame) defends him by saying she is the police chief's daughter. Margy rides the roller coaster with reporter Pat Gilbert (Dana Andrews), and they talk. In the evening Wayne and Margy split up, and Pat finds Margy. Wayne hears Emily sing "That's For Me" and dances with her. People sing "It's a Grand Night for Singing."
In the morning Margy and Wayne sing "That's For Me." Three judges taste pickles and mincemeat pie. Pat's editor (Paul Harvey) warns him to improve his writing. Melissa wins for her sour pickles and gets a plaque for her mincemeat pie. After his horse wins, Pat kisses Margy. Wayne meets song-plugger McGee (Frank McHugh), who shows him a new song. At a party Emily asks Wayne to sing, and he sings "Isn't It Kinda Fun" with her. Marty accuses Wayne of accepting payola from McGee, and Wayne slugs him. Emily asks Wayne to come back when she is alone, and he kisses her. Margy and Pat talk about marriage, but he is doubtful.
In the final boar contest Abel's Blue Boy lies down but gets up for Esmeralda and wins. Abel reads about it and the drunk judges in the paper. Marty sings "All I Owe Iowa" with Emily. McGee thanks Wayne and tells him that Emily is going to Chicago. Pat's editor tells him he has a chance for a job in Chicago. Abel and Melissa go in to see dancing girls. Emily asks Wayne to wait, but McGee tells him that Emily is married. McGee and Wayne get drunk. Margy misses Pat.
The next day the four drive home, and Margy cries. Abel asks Dave for his $5. Pat calls Margy and wants to marry her. She takes Dave's car to meet Pat, and Wayne is happy in a car with Eleanor.
This musical comedy celebrates a festival of rural life
that offers a time of unusual excitement. Wayne finds that the
moral standards in show business seem to be different.