The first weekend at the Iowa State Fair

Crowds broke the Iowa State Fair single-day attendance record with 128,298 visitors Aug. 20, 2022. What records will we break this year? Photo: Iowa State Fair

The Iowa summer tradition is finally here, with plenty to do, animals to see and delicacies to taste. Whether you’re a one-and-done visitor or a multi-day marathoner, here are some good bets for an action-packed first weekend in Des Moines.

Bright and early at 9 a.m. on Friday, see some classic cars at the Grand Concourse. Otherwise, if you have to work that day and venture out later, catch a 7 p.m. free concert with Rockland Road at the Anne and Bill Riley Stage or the Nadas at the MidAmerican Energy Stage.

Saturday, take embroidery sewing classes at noon in the Varied Industries Building. Later, watch ice carvers work their chilly magic at 6 p.m. in the John Deere Agriculture Building.

Sunday morning, watch a watercolor and oil painting demonstration or learn how to make candles in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center. In fact, you could stay all afternoon for how-to demos on 3D printing, polymer clay jewelry and origami.

This weekend’s Grandstand lineup includes Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line on Friday, the New Kids on the Block on Saturday and Eric Church on Sunday. Here’s the full schedule.

If you see the fair’s new CEO, Jeremy Parsons, walking around, say hi. You can get to know him in this article from dsm.


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