What's New

Top 11 Ways to Fair

More Than Enough Fun for All 11 Days!

1. ...With Brand New Adventures

The Garden, 4-H Building and Tractor Pulls

New adventures can be found in the renovated Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building sponsored by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives of Iowa, where there’s a new layout, classrooms and appeal for all Fairgoers! Find new garden beds and ag displays in The Garden sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, north of Little Hands on the Farm. The thrill of Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulls sponsored by Titan Tire is also returning to the Fairgrounds with the completion of the Elwell Family Park.

2. ...With Fair Food

Barkdsale's State Fair Cookies, New Food Feud

Nothing Compares to a cup or bucket of fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. Visit the new Barksdale’s State Fair Chocolate Chip Cookie building! The new state of the art building makes roughly 34,000 cookies an hour using Joe and Virginia Barksdale’s famous recipe. The building is located on the Grand Concourse, west of the Grandstand. Although cookies aren’t new, there will be plenty of new foods to try in 2021. The 2021 new foods were announced on Facebook Live July 13 at 1 p.m.

3. ...With New Locations

Giant Slide, Avenue of Breeds, Iowa Craft Beer Tent

Do you Fair with shrill shrieks, a cold beer or animals? For the 50th Fair, Fairgoers can go to the top of the Reichardt Family Giant Slide, with a different view southeast of the Varied Industries Building. Experience the Iowa State Fair with a craft beer from Iowa Craft Beer’s new tent location at the west end of the Jacobson Exhibition Center lawn. The Avenue of Breeds presented by the Iowa Bankers Association is also in a new location, just west of the Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building.

4. ...With Savings

Admission, State Fair Value Pack, Thrill Parks Wristbands

Many Fair favorites are included in your admission ticket to the Iowa State Fair, and you can save $5 by purchasing Advanced Admission Tickets sponsored by Taco John’s by August 11 online, at the Iowa State Fair Ticket Office or at participating Iowa Hy-Vees, Hy-Vee Drugstores and Dollar Fresh stores, Iowa Fareways, and participating Des Moines metro Cash Saver and Price Chopper stores. Buy State Fair Value Packs and Thrill Parks wristbands before the Fair at iowastatefair.org, too!

5. ...With Ag Education

Fair After Dark, Fair After Work, Cuddles and Snuggles Chore Time, Barnyard Yoga

The Iowa State Fair is all about celebrating Iowa’s agriculture industry, and you won’t want to miss these one-of-a-kind experiences. Families can participate in the Cuddles and Snuggles Chore Time in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, or take a Barnyard Yoga class sponsored by Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, with llamas, bunnies and goats! Adults 21 and over can enjoy Fair After Dark: Moos and Brews sponsored by Midwest Dairy and Fair After Work: Beef, Beer & Bingo sponsored by Iowa Beef Industry Council. Buy event tickets at iowastatefair.org.

6. ...With Anniversaries

FFA Ushers, Central Iowa Tractor Club, Locomotive Collision

Anniversaries are special and Fair-versaries are even better! FFA Ushers are celebrating their 70th Fair of helping Grandstand concert-goers to their seats, and the Central Iowa Tractor Club is putt-putt-ing to their 30th year at the Fair. It’s also the 125th anniversary of the first of three train crashes staged at the Fairgrounds. A video of the crash is shown every day in the museum.

7. ...With Blue Ribbons

Competitions, 20th Edition Cookbook

Celebrate outstanding achievement at the Fair through the Fair’s longstanding traditions, like the Iowa State Fair Queen coronation, to be held Saturday, August 14 on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage, livestock and horse competitions, and more! Check out the Iowa State Fair website for event listings and times. We can also celebrate Food exhibitors’ blue ribbon achievements with the 20th edition of the Iowa State Fair Cookbook. The cookbook can be purchased at any of the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s merchandise sales booths around the Fairgrounds.

8. ...With Free Entertainment

Strolling Acts, Stages

Do you Fair with Free Entertainment? Find talent on three free stages, with shows from local talent to big-name acts. See performances from Hairball, Vocal Trash, Blanco Brown, We The Kingdom, Tony! Toni! Toné! and more during the 2021 Fair. Enjoy strolling grounds entertainment too, like Bandaloni, Alligator Wrestling and Frisbee dogs.

9. ...With Working at the Fair

Paid Jobs, Volunteers

We couldn’t have a successful Fair without you! From volunteers to paid employees, everybody at the Fair has a valuable position. Find out how to volunteer with different events and activities at the Fair, or make plans to spend time working behind the scenes. Learn more about volunteering and seasonal employment opportunities at iowastatefair.org.

10. ...With Safety

Hand sanitizer, outside distancing as needed, on-the-go updates

Nothing is more important than the safety of our Fairgoers, staff and volunteers. This year, you will find extra hand sanitizer and hand washing stations at every turn and plenty of outdoor and air conditioned space to spread out. All Fairgoers will walk through metal detectors at the gates and all bags are subject to search. Iowa State Fair Police and their security partners will help bring people in quickly and safely. Refer to iowastatefair.org, the official App or follow us on social media for safety updates.

11. ...With Iowa State Fair Traditions

Everything you missed last year

Last year just wasn’t “Fair,” and we can’t wait to get back to our Fair traditions in 2021! From butter, to food, to great entertainment, to activities the whole family can enjoy, we’re excited to see how you Fair in 2021.

More Information

For the most up to date information, visit our website, download the official Iowa State Fair App, sign up for our E-Newsletter or text FAIR to 844.844.8508.