The 2021 butter sculpture is a New York State Fair tradition that’s more than 50 years in the making and for the last 19 years, artists Jim Victor and Marie Pelton have helped make it happen.

Using more than 800 pounds of butter over a period of 12 days, Jim and Marie work together to create one of the most sought after sightings at the fair. This year the sculpture is titled “Back to School, Sports and Play … You’re Gonna Need Milk for That.” Jim says that the theme is indicative of how important it is to keep kids active. “It’s just about everyday life,” he adds.

The creation is weeks in the making and this year’s sculpture was a process and more challenging because of the three different themes and vignettes created for the project.

Both Jim and Marie do work in traditional materials as well as with butter each year and they add that creating something that is loved by so many year after year is very special.

“This is definitely a highlight for us because we really love the anticipation that builds up with the unveiling,” Marie adds. “It’s really iconic for Syracuse and for New York State and people really look forward to it.”

The butter sculpture is located inside the Dairy Products Building for fair-goers to stop in and see. Masks are required to enter the building and view the butter sculpture this year.