Iowa State Fair Says Grandstand Project Will be Done by Opening Day

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa State Fair is less than a week away and some areas are still under construction including the Grandstand.

The renovated Grandstand will seat 14,500 people compared to the original 10,500.

“I say we have four things, ease of getting in. You’re going to get in easier. You don’t have to have tickets for the food and beverage this year, so the lines should be shorter for that.
We have new concessions and new restrooms and a bigger stage,” Iowa State Fair Manager and CEO Gary Slater said.

The bigger stage and additional seats go hand in hand and allow the fair to bring in more expensive music artists and the guests to be more comfortable.

"Our stage in the past was so small that we couldn't get all the equipment from these bands on it. So now you're going to see the same show that you would see at any amphitheater across the nation. As well as it allows us to have more seating which allows us to bring in bigger bands, more expensive bands and still pay for it without having ticket prices get so high that they are unaffordable," Slater said.

In addition to the renovated Grandstand, there are new activities at the fair this year including goat yoga and Fair After Dark.

One fair goer said it’s hard to choose her favorite part.

“I love horse shows. I love food. I love just walking around. I like the atmosphere. It’s just a fun time, always,” Dee Vanzee said.

The state fair manager said this year’s theme is “Moments.”

One volunteer said her favorite moments are the interactions she had with people from all over the world.

“One of my favorite memories is a man that stopped by our booth. He was from australia and he said that he saw the Iowa state fair on their public television and that just blew me away. I just thought that was so awesome that the Iowa state fair was in australia and he came just to see the fair,” Iowa State Fair Volunteer Ruth Mease said.