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State Fair Grandstand Stage Coming Down as Crews Start on New Project

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  An Iowa State Fair icon is coming down.

As part of a three-year project, crews started tearing down the Grandstand stage on Monday to make space for a new stage.

This year, fair organizers added the new midway area called Thrill Ville. Next year, they'll add a sports area that could include a track and spot to hold the tractor pull. Fair leaders say the old Grandstand stage had to go.

"The acts coming to the fair are going to be super excited about our stage because our stage was antiquated--originally from the 80s--very small for many of today's acts. So they'll be very happy. The sounds and the acoustics will be great for our fairgoers. We're adding about 4,000 seats, as well," said Mindy Williamson, marketing director for the Iowa State Fair.

Construction will be done by the start of next year's fair, which is August 9th.

Casting Crowns will be the first act to break it in, followed by Reba McEntire on Friday, August 10th.

The rest of the acts will be announced before the end of the year.