DES MOINES, IA (07/26/2012)(readMedia)-- Music-loving Fairgoers still have time to purchase tickets for this year's line-up of award-winning Grandstand entertainment and track events. "Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair set August 9-19.

Seats are still available for performances by hit Christian performer TobyMac, country stars Hank Williams Jr. and Miranda Lambert, pop-rockers Big Time Rush, and comedian Larry the Cable Guy.

All reserved seats for the Journey concert with Pat Benatar and Loverboy on Saturday, August 18, are sold out.

Tickets for all other concert and track events are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, and through the Iowa State Fair Ticket Office. All concert events are reserved seating; track events are general admission. The Fair's Ticket Office, located on the front porch of the Administration Building, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays for walk-up orders only (no mail, phone or fax orders). During the Fair, the Ticket Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Convenience charges will apply to all tickets. Grandstand tickets do not include admission to the Fair.

Complete line-up follows:

2012 Iowa State Fair Grandstand Line-up

Presented by U.S. Cellular

Thursday, August 9 TobyMac with special guests Tenth Avenue North and Jamie Grace, 8 p.m., $32

Friday, August 10 Happy Together Tour 2012 starring The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams, 8 p.m., $25

Saturday, August 11 Larry the Cable Guy with special guest Reno Collier, 8 p.m. $35

Sunday, August 12 Miranda Lambert with Pistol Annies and special guest RaeLynn, 8 p.m., $48

Monday, August 13 Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models, 5:30 p.m. Hot Laps, 6 p.m. Races, $15 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Tuesday, August 14 The Band Perry with special guest Easton Corbin, 8 p.m., $35

Wednesday, August 15 Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull sponsored by Iowa Farmer Today, 2 p.m. $20 Adults, $10 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Thursday, August 16 An Evening with Big Time Rush, 7 p.m., $38

Friday, August 17 Hank Williams Jr. "Taking Back the Country Tour," with special guest George Thorogood and the Destroyers 8 p.m., $39

Saturday, August 18 Demolition Derby, 11:30 a.m., $12 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Saturday, August 18 Journey with Pat Benatar and Loverboy, 8 p.m., $48

Sunday, August 19 Farmers Insurance presents Rascal Flatts with Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Edens Edge, 7 p.m., $59

"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

* * *

DES MOINES, IA (07/25/2012)(readMedia)-- Fairgoers can enjoy special half price savings and extended hours for DART Park & Ride shuttles to the Iowa State Fair. Park for free at any of the three Park and Ride locations and catch the bus for a quick and easy direct trip to the Fair. "Nothing Compares" to saving time and money with DART Park & Ride. The Iowa State Fair is set August 9-19.

Receive 50 percent off your Park & Ride roundtrip fare by showing an advance Fair admission ticket. Discounted roundtrip prices are $1 for adults and 50 cents for children ages 6-10, seniors (65+) and people with a disability. Children 5 and younger ride for free. Regular roundtrip fares are $2 for adults and $1 for children, seniors and people with a disability. Cash only; exact fare required. Catch the #1 Fairgrounds Route at any of the Park & Ride locations to receive your discount.

Park & Ride offers three convenient locations where Fairgoers can park for free:

• Center Street Park & Ride (7th and Center St., enter on 7th St.)

• Southeast Polk Schools (N.E. 80th St. and Highway 163)

• State Capitol (East 12th and Grand Ave.)

Service at all locations runs from 8:30 a.m. to Midnight every day of the Fair, with a few exceptions. On August 9, service will begin at 6 a.m. to accommodate Opening Day activities. Service will also be extended for late-ending Grandstand shows.

Shuttles from Southeast Polk Schools will drop off and pick up Fairgoers on Dean Avenue south of the Swine Barn. Shuttles from the Center Street Park & Ride and the State Capitol will continue to drop off and pick up Fairgoers near Gate 10.

Most buses are wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call DART at 515.283.8100 or go online to or

Parking in the Fair's North Lot is $10. New this year, paid parking will also be available in a new paid parking lot located just east of E. 36th St. on E. University Ave. Fairgoers utilizing this lot will enter through the campgrounds to Gate 4.

Fair advance admission tickets are on sale through August 8 while supplies last at participating Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee Drugstores, Dahl's Food, Fareway stores and the State Fair Ticket Office, located on the Fairgrounds. Or purchase your tickets online at and print them at home, fee free.

"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

* * *

Google to Broadcast Fair Highlights and Special Events

DES MOINES, IA (07/25/2012)(readMedia)-- A media partnership was announced today between Google and the Iowa State Fair to bring a new perspective on the Fair to both Iowans and non-Iowans. Using Google's video and social media platforms, the Iowa State Fair will use the power of the internet to show the world that "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, set August 9-19.

During the Fair, Google will be capturing events that represent the spirit and uniqueness of Iowa by posting videos each day that will be broadcast on the Fair's YouTube Channel,

In addition, the Fair will be launching their Google+ page as a new platform to interact with fans. The page will feature special events, such as Hangouts with bands before concerts, Events in Party Mode so attendees can upload and share pictures, and competitions for the opportunity to get admission tickets into the Fair. The Google+ page will allow fans to share their love of the Fair by engaging in new and exciting ways.

Fairgoers interested in learning more, and getting involved in Hangouts and Events, should circle the Iowa State Fair's page on Google+ and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

"Google's participation as a major sponsor of the Iowa State Fair further demonstrates their commitment to Iowa and her citizens. We are grateful for Google's support of an institution so revered by Iowans and look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship," said John Putney, Blue Ribbon Foundation Executive Director.

"With our deep roots in Iowa, we are proud to partner with the Iowa State Fair in 2012. We all know "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair...and it's our desire to share those experiences with a national and international audience. Google has invested nearly $1 billion in the state of Iowa, and we are constantly looking for unique ways to give back to a state that has been such a great partner in our growth. Showcasing the Iowa State Fair is a perfect fit for us, and we're proud to be a 2012 sponsor," said Chris Russell, Council Bluffs Data Center Manager.

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

DES MOINES, IA (07/13/2012)(readMedia)-- "Nothing Compares" to the heart-stopping thrill rides on the Midway at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. With a new ride and a variety of amusement savings packages, Fairgoers can enjoy even more entertainment. The Fair is set August 9-19.

Fairgoers can save big at the Midway by planning ahead for this year's Fair. Purchase a set of five Midway tickets for $13; each ticket is good for one ride. For an even bigger day of Midway excitement, purchase a Mega Pass wristband for just $25. It includes unlimited mechanical rides any one Fair day from open to close, including weekends. These Midway special savings must be purchased by August 8 and are available while supplies last at or the Iowa State Fair Ticket Office, as well as statewide Walgreens and Des Moines area Hy-Vee stores.

The Iowa State Fair welcomes back Belle City Amusements for 11 days of twists, turns and thrills that are guaranteed to delight Fairgoers of all ages. New this year, ride the Space Roller and experience lateral G Force and head-over-heel action with massive hang time and horizontal flips as the enormous boom rotates the satellite to heights of 70 feet. Young Fairgoers can experience age-appropriate thrills on two mini coasters, take a spinning carousel ride, soar through the air on the Yo-Yo Swings and more.

For more heart-pounding action, try the thrill rides located, west of the Varied Industries Building. The Area 51-Scare Zone will be on site to test Fairgoers' level of thrill. The haunted attraction will send Fairgoers into a neon-green trailer for a variety of amusement and freights while inside. The Crazy Mouse rollercoaster returns sending riders speeding down a zig-zagging track while simultaneously spinning each car around in a complete circle. Fairgoers' thrills will reach new heights with the other returning rides Sky Scraper, Ejection Seat, Turbo Trampoline and Climbing Experience. Ride costs may vary.

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

* * *

DES MOINES, IA (07/10/2012)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair will offer a plethora of new attractions to try, taste and watch this year. New Fair foods, attractions and contests are available in addition to the many traditional Fair favorites. "Nothing Compares" to this array of new excitement that awaits Fairgoers August 9-19.


Experience the Fair's new zipline, located west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. Leap from the 28-foot tower and fly 130 feet across the grounds. Buy your tickets now and save $4. A two ticket zip pack is $10 through August 8. Details at

Get your adrenaline pumping with the BMX Pros Trick Team, also located west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. This BMX show features the world's most extreme bicycle stunt riders in a spectacular, non-stop, action-packed event. Visit the Bengal Tiger Encounter in Kids' Zone for an inspirational program featuring the Bengal Tiger. On display all day with three shows every day of the Fair, these tigers are helping to educate the public on the loss of habitat and the killing of tigers for profit in India and Africa.

The eco-friendly transformation of Expo Hill will be complete for the 2012 Iowa State Fair. The latest additions include a uniquely-designed covered structure which provides a new location for free entertainment and solar panels worked into the design of the structure which will provide a portion of the venue's power needs. Expo Hill will feature the Red Trouser Show each day at noon, 2 and 5 p.m. This duo amazes audiences with their flawless combination of acrobatics, juggling and comedy.

Ag Education

Sheep Stop joins our other agricultural education stops Pig Place, Horse Haven and Cattle Corner; each located in its respective barn. In this newest exhibit, learn how many sheep there are in Iowa and how much wool they produce.

Learn about Iowa's agricultural commodities with the AgVenture Discovery Trail. Explore ten stops by starting at the USDA booth in the Agriculture Building or the Canstruction exhibit in the Varied Industries Building. Learn about plants and what makes them grow with Seed Survivor. This interactive display is located in the John Deere Agriculture Building. The Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center will also be expanding its programming for the 2012 Fair by adding an aquaculture exhibit.


The Elwell Family Food Center will house a life-size moose made of Dutch chocolate. This delectable creature, crafted by the master chocolatiers at Chocolaterie Stam, will stand more than 9 feet tall. The building is also home to the largest foods department in the nation with 893 contests, 43 of which are new this year. New contests include A Taste of Ireland, Seattle's Best Coffee "Search For Deliciousness," Best Pizza in Iowa, Gramp's Bacon and more.

New mouthwatering foods to join the list of Fair favorites include :

• Gourmet s'mores, available at Beaverdale Confections in the Shoppers' Mart;

• Peach, apple or cherry crisps, available at Iowa Orchard located inside the southwest entrance of the Agriculture Building;

• Caribbean-style crab fritters, available at Ollie's Crab Fritters west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center;

• German chocolate funnel cakes, available at The Best Around on the Triangle;

• Carrot cake funnel cakes and blue sapphire funnel cakes from Westmoreland Concessions, located south of the Riley Stage;

• Chocolate chip cannolis and chocolate chip cookie dough pops, both dipped in chocolate and on a stick, will be featured at Oasis Concessions on the southwest corner of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion;

• Deep fried pickle "dawgs," available at the Dawg House on the Triangle.

Also, look for our new Fair Square flavor made with marshmallows, crisped rice cereal, pretzels, potato chips, Oreos, toffee and M&Ms®. Find the Fair Square stand on the northwest corner of the Administration Building.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. A complete listing and details of all daily programs is available online, for more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

* * *