The founder of Barksdale Cookies, an Iowa State Fair staple, dies at the age of 95

Popular founder of Barksdale Concessions, Joe Barksdale, passed away this week at the age of 95.

Barksdale became an integral part of Iowa culture by selling his signature bucket of chocolate chip cookies at the Iowa State Fair, a venture he started in 1993 with nothing but his family recipe.

Through his tenacity and determination, Barksdale changed the definition of fair food – and made cookies the ultimate snack for attendees at the legendary Iowa State Fair.

After 50 years as a concessionaire, Barksdale retired from the business in 2019, giving it – and its secret recipe – to “the people of Iowa”.

“His smile, kindness and heart will be missed,” the Iowa State Fair wrote on its Facebook page.