Commercial Space Frequently Asked Questions
When is the 2024 Fair?
August 8-18, 2024.
Where is the Fair located?
The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue in Des Moines. Driving directions can be found on the Maps and Directions page.
Where can I find a map of the Fairgrounds?
Click here to download a map of the Fairgrounds.
What time do the Fairgrounds open and close?
The Fair is open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily. Most Fair buildings are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. No entry or re-entry after 9 p.m. on the last Sunday of the Fair.
Are political candidates welcome to campaign at the Iowa State Fair?
Political candidates are welcome to attend the Iowa State Fair with paid gate admission.
Where is handicap accessible parking available during the Fair?
The largest area of parking reserved for visitors with disabilities is located in the North Lot. Admission to this lot is through Gate #2 at East 33rd Street and East University Avenue. Vehicle parking is on a space-available basis; some hard-packed surface parking is available. For more information visit the Disability Assistance page.
Are concealed weapons allowed on the Fairgrounds?
Guns are prohibited on the Iowa State Fairgrounds; with or without a valid Iowa permit to carry unless authorized by the Fair Board as per Iowa Code. Failure to comply with this rule shall be cause for expulsion from the fairgrounds and/or being charged under Iowa Code.
Is smoking allowed on the Fairgrounds?
In accordance with the Smokefree Air Act, portions of the Fairgrounds are smoke-free. While smoking is allowed in the walkway areas of the Fairgrounds, the law applies to sections designated by no-smoking signs. In those areas, smoking of any kind is prohibited (including use of e-cigarettes). Smoke-free areas of the Fairgrounds include:
Outdoor entertainment venues: stage areas, building porches and grounds attraction areas.
Restaurants and bars: both enclosed and open serving areas, eateries and concession stands.
Grandstand area or inside buildings: this remains the same as past years.
For more information or to report a complaint, visit the Smokefree Air Act Smokefree Air Act; call the Smokefree Air Act Helpline 1-888-944-2247; or mail a written complaint to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075.
When do advance admission tickets go on sale? Where can I purchase them?
For more information, visit the Buy Tickets page.
When do Grandstand tickets go on sale? Where can I purchase them?
For more info and the full lineup, visit the Grandstand page.
Do Grandstand tickets include Fair admission?
Grandstand tickets do not include admission to the Fair. Fair admission must be purchased separately. For more information, visit the Buy Tickets page.
Are pets allowed on the Fairgrounds?
The only animals allowed on grounds and in buildings are those that align with the ADA's service animal classification for animals specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are therefore not allowed on grounds or in buildings.
During non-Fair time, pets are welcome on the Fairgrounds. During pet-specific events, there may be a waiver to this policy allowing pets in the show building.
What can I bring through the gate – like outside food, coolers or water bottles?
Outside food and one sealed bottle of water are allowed on the grounds during the Fair. Reusable drink containers are acceptable if they are empty. There are water refill stations on the grounds. NOTE: metal and glass containers are not allowed in the Iowa State Fair Grandstand or Elwell Family Park. If perishables or medication need to stay cool, small soft sided coolers are permissible.
Where are ATMs located?
Approximately 30 ATMs will be scattered throughout the grounds, including just outside the Robert G. Horner & Sheri Avis Horner Service Center and just inside the Grandstand entrance.
Where are lost items claimed?
Lost and found is located at the Public Safety Building, located at the west end of the Grand Concourse. Public Safety can be reached by phone at 515/262-3111 x312.
Does the Fair have motorized scooters?
Yes, there are a limited number available. Reservations will be accepted for full-day rentals of wheelchairs and electric scooters. A certain number of units will be available for walk-up rentals as well. They are adjacent to Gate #11 at the west end of the Grand Concourse and east of Gate #15. For more information visit the Disability Assistance page.
Where can I rent strollers or wagons at the Fair?
Strollers and wagons are available on a first come, first serve basis inside the Grand Avenue Gate #11 and Gate #15. Stroller rental is $20 per day; co-stroller rental is $25; and wagon rental is $27 per day; covered wagon is $30 (cash deposit or id is required for rentals).
Where do I find a daily program of Fair events?
The Fair’s Daily Program will be inserted into The Des Moines Register on the Sunday before the Fair, and will be available on the Daily Program page in July. Programs are also distributed at all gates during the Fair.
Where are the DART State Fair Park and Ride locations and when are they running?
Route information can be found on the State Fair Parking / DART Park & Ride page.
Are there camping sites available during Fairtime?
Demand for a spot in our lush, 160-acre Campgrounds is always high! For more information visit the Fair Time Camping page.
Where can I find information about hotels near the Fairgrounds?
The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau provides up-to-date lodging information. You may contact them by calling 800/451-2625 or search their online accommodations listings at catchdesmoines.com.