Where: Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines
When: Thursday, August 8 to Sunday, August 18, 2024 Directions: East or West on E University Avenue, then follow
signs to the fairgrounds.
Welcome to the fair!
Considered to be one of the best state fairs in the nation, Iowa welcomes visitors from around the state and from coast-to-coast for their annual summer celebration.
This year mark your calendars as the fair runs from Thursday, August 8 through Sunday, August 18, 2024 for 11 days of A-list concert performances and lots of fun and feasting!
2024 Iowa State Fair concert lineup
And of course, what would a state fair be without the music concert lineup?
The Iowa State Fair has enjoyed great success by sticking to its agricultural roots while also attracting some of the country's most famous entertainers.
Tickets for all Iowa State Fair grandstand concerts are available online at E-Tix, and range anywhere from $25 to more than $100 depending on the performance.
Headliners at the 2023 Iowa State Fair
Chicks, Tyler Hubbard,
Jason Aldean and Marren Morris.
NOTE: Iowa State Fair concerts are usually an instant sell-out every year and tickets go FAST.
Meanwhile, keep it for the complete lineup and performance times when they are officially announced over the summer.
What else to see and do at the Fair
And wait, there's more ... LOT'S more!
One of the most entertaining parts of any state fair is the livestock, and in this the Iowa State Fair never disappoints!
Fair-goers can take in blue ribbon contests judging the finest cattle, horses and pigs, along with sheep shearing competitions, pie eating contests, wood chopping contests, and even arm wrestling.
Another mainstay of the Iowa State Fair is the life-size butter cow which has been featured at the Iowa State Fair every year since 1960, (while spawning imitators of the sculpted butter display at practically every other state fair since.)
DID YOU KNOW? Iowa State Fair fun facts
A star is born.
• How popular is the Iowa State Fair? The largest attendance in Fair history was set at 1,130,071 visitors in 2017.
• Butter sculptures have been a part of the fair since 1911. It takes about 600 pounds of butter and 16 hours of crafting to complete the famous butter cow. Additional sculptures over the years have included depictions of Elvis Presley, Abe Lincoln, and Harry Potter.
• The record holders for most attended music concert was set in 1972 when Sonny and Cher attracted 26,200 fairgoers over two shows.
• After cancelling last minute in 1990, singer Ricky Van Shelton was replaced with a fresh-faced kid named Garth Brooks, who returned the following year to the Grandstand as a country music superstar.
• Over 70 foods are available on-a-stick at the fair. This includes veggie dogs, pork chops, fried pickles, hot bologna, deep fried candy bars, deep fried hot dogs, chocolate covered cheesecakes, pineapples, salads and hard-boiled eggs.
Chowing down at the Fair
Food, glorious food! It's a major attraction at the fair including (from top left) the world-famous life-size butter
sculpture exhibit, a tasty pork chop on a stick, old-fashioned caramel apples, and the ever-popular corn dog
(all images courtesy of the Iowa State Fair.)
More families make it a point to travel to Des Moines every year to take in the most quintessentially authentic American state fair. If you're one of them, remember to plan early ...and have fun!
2024 Iowa State Fair - Check out the official site with information on
admission and ticket prices, food, concerts, entertainment, competition,
livestock and people watching, with directions, map and photos.
State Fair - Wikipedia - Get a complete history of the fair
including modern highlights and attractions, photos, and related resources.