Travel & Tourism
Iowa State Fair Animal Learning Center Brings New Exhibits and Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 08:37

DES MOINES, IA (07/24/2012)(readMedia)-- Celebrating six years at the Iowa State Fair, the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center continues to educate and delight Fairgoers of all ages. "Nothing Compares" to this hub of agricultural activity that will feature young farm animals and fresh educational programming August 9-19.

Learn about fish farming in Iowa at the new aquaculture exhibit, which features two 500 gallon tanks with viewing windows to see tilapia at different stages of development.

The state-of-the-art agricultural education exhibit also features live births of various species including cattle, swine, goats and sheep, allowing young and old alike to learn about the animal birthing process. Fairgoers can also catch a glimpse of chicks, ducks and polts (baby turkeys).

Animal lovers won't want to miss kid-friendly educational stage presentations on various agricultural topics, including honey bees, farm animal safety and butterflies. Other favorites include such contests as Milk Chug-A-Lug, Puzzling Puzzles and Minute to Win It - Farm Edition.

Also taking the stage, the TAF Magic Show will enchant kids of all ages. This magical extravaganza educates kids about agriculture through storytelling, juggling and music. Shows are daily at 10 a.m., noon, 2 & 4 p.m.

Fairgoers can learn about life on the farm by checking out The Way We Live Award display and award ceremonies. The award honors six Iowa farm families for their love of the land and the product they produce.

Visit for a complete schedule of events at the Animal Learning Center.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. Save money on advance admission tickets now through August 8 (while supplies last). For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Fabric and Threads Offers State Fairgoers Hands-On Crafts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 08:36

DES MOINES, IA (07/24/2012)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair invites Fairgoers to get involved with the Fabric and Threads department with a variety of hands-on crafts and sewing projects to participate in. "Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair set August 9-19.

The State Fair Sew-In will be open each Fair day from noon until 5 p.m. in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building. This Fair-long project offers Fairgoers a chance to try their hand at simple sewing and quilting while providing warm blankets to local children in need. Every participant will receive a commemorative pin for donating their time. No experience or pre-registration necessary. Volunteer sewing assistants and a site supervisor will be on-hand to supply materials and help with machines.

The Fabric and Threads department also holds a variety of Make It and Take It classes each Fair day. Fairgoers can choose from a variety of crafts offered such as tatting, hand appliqué and quilt block on-a-stick, to name a few. Make It and Take It sessions are held in the Varied Industries Building. Each session has a $10 materials fee and lasts approximately 1-2 hours.

For a complete list of the Make It and Take It projects and times, view the daily program online at

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. Save money on advance admission tickets now through August 8 (while supplies last). For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Appear in Butter PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:43

DES MOINES, IA (07/19/2012)(readMedia)-- The world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will share the spotlight this year with the fairytale classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The sculptures will be on display in the Agriculture Building's 40 degree cooler throughout the Fair, August 9-19.

The fairytale celebrates its 75 year anniversary this year since first premiering as a Disney film in 1937. It has seen recent fame for several remakes: feature films "Mirror, Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," and television shows "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time." The butter sculptures will be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the Fair.

In addition, the Ag Building offers a variety of events and exhibits. New this year is the Seed Survivor exhibit. Kids can learn about plants and what makes them grow with this interactive display. It includes multi-media and virtual reality games, an insect video scope, a sunflower seed planting station, a watershed center and talking walls.

Also, explore the AgVenture Discovery Trail's 10 stops and discover the wide array of Iowa's agricultural commodities ranging from livestock production to wind energy to viticulture (grapes). Start by picking up a map and lanyard at the USDA booth in the Agriculture Building or the Canstruction exhibit in the Varied Industries Building.

Ice carver Bill Gordish returns to transform blocks of ice into works of art. He will demonstrate his creativity on August 9, 10, 11 and 14 just outside the front doors of the building.

Giant pumpkins will take to the scale August 10 and other jumbo vegetables weigh in on August 14.

Members of the Polk County Master Gardeners will be on hand from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Discovery Garden to answer Fairgoers' gardening questions.

Fairgoers will find traditional favorites including FFA, 4-H and open class horticulture and floriculture displays, an apiary exhibit, daily stage presentations and inside gardens as well.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Register Now to Ride State Fair Express PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:21

DES MOINES, IA (07/17/2012)(readMedia)-- There are only two weeks left to reserve your spot on the State Fair Express. The convenient and affordable State Fair Express provides round-trip transportation to the Iowa State Fair from 42 locations throughout the state. The 2012 Iowa State Fair runs August 9-19.

Each State Fair Express ticket includes:

• Round trip transportation on a deluxe Windstar Lines motor coach

• Fair admission

• A complimentary bottle of water

• Fair coupon book offering food and drink discounts with more than $30 in savings

• Daily Program with map of the Fairgrounds

• Easy pickup and drop off in the Fair's North Lot at Gate 15

The State Fair Express will arrive at the Fair at approximately 10 a.m. and will depart at 6 p.m. Adult fare includes ages 12 and over, child fare includes ages 5-11 and children under 5 ride free. Persons under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Ticket pricing varies by location. A complete list of routes, pricing and pick-up locations is attached.

New in 2012, the State Fair Express will offer four non-stop routes. These routes include Cedar Rapids (August 9), Charles City (August 10), Sioux City (August 10) and Ames (August 12).

To register, call Windstar Lines Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 888.494.6378 or visit Payment must be made in full at the time of reservation. Windstar accepts Visa and MasterCard.

Reservations can be made up to one week prior to departure. The State Fair Express runs rain or shine and no refunds will be issued. A minimum of 30 people must book for the trip to run. If the trip does not meet the minimum requirement, cancellation of the trip will occur seven days prior to departure and you will be notified by Windstar Lines. If a cancellation occurs refunds will be given.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Fun Fair Entertainment and Activities Just For Kids PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 16 July 2012 13:43

DES MOINES, IA (07/16/2012)(readMedia)-- At the 2012 Iowa State Fair "Nothing Compares" to the kids activities and entertainment all free with gate admission. From Blue Ribbon Kids to the Fun Forest Stage and family-friendly fun in the Kids' Zone, Fairgoers will always have something to see or do. The Fair is set August 9-19.

The Kids' Zone - a special area packed with food, games and entertainment - is planned with young Fairgoers in mind. Check out the stunts at the BMX Pros Trick Team show, try your green thumb at Little Hands on the Farm and visit the Blue Ribbon Kids tent for a fun activity. Stroller and wheelchair rentals are also located in the Kids' Zone.

Blue Ribbon Kids, the Fair's special club for ages 10 and under, allows children to experience the Fair from a unique perspective. Blue Ribbon Kids members will get to be part of the action during special club activities. All events start at 2 p.m. at the kids' club tent in the Kids' Zone, north of the Animal Learning Center and will last 30-60 minutes. Membership is free and children can sign up at any club event or download a form from and bring it along.

Schedule of Blue Ribbon Kids Events:

Thursday, August 9 – Fair Food Day

Friday, August 10 – Photo Scavenger Hunt Day

Monday, August 13 – Baby Farm Animals Day

Tuesday, August 14 – Iowa State Trooper Day

Wednesday, August 15 – Make and Take Craft Day

Thursday, August 16 – Pella Wildlife Day

Friday, August 17 – Kids' Club Final Event

Fun Forest Stage:

The Fair's family-friendly Fun Forest Stage is nestled in 1.5 acres of fun, located east of the Agriculture Building. All shows are ASL interpreted, courtesy of the Deaf Action Center and the Iowa State Fair.

Babaloo is best described as a one-man musical comedy performance and is a high-energy experience. He has been wowing children with his zany brand of entertainment for nearly a decade. Shows daily at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.

Matt's Family Jam brings together many musical tastes to encourage families to play and sing together. Audiences will hear new tunes and familiar favorites, all arranged to appeal to little and big ears. Shows daily at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

VSA Iowa strives to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. VSA presents a variety of entertainment acts throughout the Fair. Shows daily at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

More Entertainment:

The Bengal Tiger Encounter is an inspirational program featuring the incredible Bengal tiger and educates the public on the loss of habitat and the killing of tigers for profit in other parts of the world. These tigers are protected and cared for by loving trainers. Tigers are on display all day with shows daily at 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.

During the Swampmaster's Gator Show, Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi and his band of playful alligators provide thrills, laughter and fun facts as they give valuable information and edge-of-the-seat entertainment guaranteed to please. Shows held daily at 11 a.m., 1:30 & 3:30 p.m., west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center.

The Red Trouser Show is a high-end street theater performance that exceeds expectations. This professional and highly skilled duo is a unique and visible attraction that leaves awe-struck audiences laughing. Using fire, juggling and illusions, the show provides a whole new kind of acrobatics that is sure to entertain audiences of all ages. Shows daily at noon, 2 and 5 p.m on Expo Hill.

Seed Survivor, an interactive exhibit in the Agriculture Building, is designed to teach kids about plants and what it takes to grow them. Or explore the AgVenture Discovery Trail by picking up a map and lanyard, visiting all 10 stops and turning it in to receive a prize.

The young pop band Action Item has been played regularly on Radio Disney and has worked with Nick Jonas, producing songs for their album, "The Stronger the Love." The band will be making their Fair debut on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage on Friday, August 10 at 8 p.m.

There's no knowing what tricks Silly Sally the Clown will pull out of her hat. This fun-loving, kid-friendly clown has created shows that both teach and entertain audiences of all ages. She wows the crowd with magic, music, puppetry and dancing. The performance will be held on Thursday, August 9 at 2 p.m. on the Anderson Erickson Stage.

Local singer and story teller Nina Givan as Mother Goose travels throughout Iowa providing children with educational and engaging entertainment. Story time will be held August 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 10 a.m. and noon on the porch of the Ralph H. Deets Historical Museum and at 2 p.m. in the Country School.

No matter what your age, fun will be had by all on Iowa Park and Recreation day. Visit the Anne & Bill Riley Stage and Grand Concourse on Thursday, August, 16 and participate in bubble gum blowing and pie eating contests, big wheel races, arts & crafts and scavenger hunts.

In addition to feeling the squish of grapes between your toes during the Grape Stomp (daily, 11 a.m., 2, 3 and 6 p.m.), more Grape Getaway Kids' Activities will be held daily at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in a tent north of Grandfather's Barn.

"Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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