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Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and State Historical Museum partner to bring Floppy to the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES – Floppy is going to the Iowa State Fair. The Governor’s Office and the State Historical Museum of Iowa today announced that Floppy, a beagle puppet from the locally produced children’s television program from 1957- 1987, will be on display at Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds’s booth in the Varied Industries Building during the Iowa State Fair from August 8-18, 2013.

“The Lt. Governor and I are proud to partner with the State Historical Museum to host Floppy at the Governor’s Office State Fair booth,” said Branstad. “Floppy is back by popular demand and we encourage all Iowans to stop by our booth to see an old friend at this popular attraction.”

“As many people know, Duane Ellett and Floppy had a strong relationship with the Iowa State Fair, so this is a perfect opportunity to let Floppy be seen at the Governor’s booth,” said Mary Cownie, director of Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees the State Historical Museum.

Ellett and Floppy hosted and performed on the “The Floppy Show” and other locally-produced television programs on WHO-TV in Des Moines. Ellett carved Floppy from Balsa wood and brought him and other puppet characters to life through ventriloquism, creating memories for children who “beeped” his nose and told riddles, such as “Why did the man put his car in the oven? Because he wanted a hot rod.” The programs also featured vintage cartoons.

Ellett died in 1987 and his family donated Floppy and his puppet friends – Uncle Taffy, The Inspector, Scary Mary, Matilda the Bookworm, and a Floppy prototype – to the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, in 1993. The artifacts were on display in the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s “Where’s Floppy?” exhibition from 1994 until June 2013.

After the Iowa State Fair concludes, Floppy will be transported to the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, a nationally-renowned conservation laboratory in Omaha, Nebraska, where conservators will conduct an in-depth examination. After its completion, the conservators will consult with Museum staff to develop a preservation treatment plan for Floppy and his puppet friends.

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