Breaking News
More () »

Butter cow... or is it? Fans make shocking discovery about Illinois State Fair attraction

Some social media users said they felt like they've been lied to this whole time.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois State Fair butter cow is at the center of controversy after a post on social media revealed a secret hiding beneath the surface of the 800-pound sculpture.

The butter cow is a beloved tradition of the Illinois State Fair that pays tribute to the state's dairy farmers. Crowds gather to catch a glimpse of the famed sculpture, which lies behind a refrigerated glass case in the Dairy Building. 

This year's butter cow was the 102nd in the history of the fair and was a life-sized model of Mill-R-Mor Dairy's Lorilee Shultz milking one of her cows.

When the Illinois State Fair came to a close on Aug. 20, the cow was disassembled and a still from the butter cow webcam surfaced on social media with 15 million views.

Fans of the butter cow were surprised to learn she wasn't made entirely out of butter. The video revealed a wire frame with steel mesh beneath the buttery exterior.

Some social media users said they felt like they've been lied to this whole time.

"Should have never shown how the sausage is made," one user replied on X, formerly known as Twitter, "now everyone is disappointed that the cow wasn't pure butter."

"#ButterGate," another user said.

"You were warned," a user replied along with a photo of a tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spread.

"I feel deceived," a user replied solemnly. "It should have been a solid block of butter. If we cannot believe in butter cows, what can we believe in."

While the materials used to create the butter cow are being questioned, the sculpture will no doubt return for next summer's state fair and remain a tradition in the Land of Lincoln for long after that.

5 On Your Side on demand

Quickly find out what’s going on in St. Louis by watching the first segment of our broadcasts, including Today in St. Louis and 5 On Your Side at Noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Before You Leave, Check This Out