New fun at the Iowa State Fair

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

The Iowa State Fair will offer a wide variety of new things to taste, watch and experience this year. New Fair foods, attractions and entertainment are available in addition to the many traditional Fair favorites. “Nothing Compares” to the array of new excitement that awaits Fairgoers, August 11-21.


This year’s Fair foods feature twenty-six new items. New treats include 2016 Iowa State Fair People’s Choice Best New Food Contest finalists Not Your Mamma’s Taco, Pride of Iowa Wrap and Ice Cream Nachos. Try them and vote for your favorite. Fair Squares, the official Fair treat, will also debut the newest flavor, Salted Caramel, a tasty treat comprised of marshmallows, chocolate and original crispy rice, all drizzled with salted caramel. For a list of all 26 new foods, visit

Special Events and Attractions

From family traditions and childhood memories to must-see exhibits and foods you have to eat, everyone has their own unique State Fair story. This year we are celebrating those aspects that make the Iowa State Fair uniquely yours. Stop by a #MyIowaStateFair selfie station during the Fair, and share your Iowa State Fair experience with those near and far. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MyIowaStateFair.

Fairgoers can enjoy $3 off the purchase of an admission ticket with the donation of three cans of non-perishable food on opening day, Thursday, August 11. Donations will be accepted at all gates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be donated to the Food Bank of Iowa. One in eight Iowans are food insecure, so this is a great opportunity to enjoy the Iowa State Fair while helping Iowans in need.

Built from 1939-42, renovations on the 74 year old building began back in 2014, and we are proud to announce the work is finished. Hundreds of exhibitors call the Oman Family Youth Inn home during the Fair, and thanks to generous contributions, they will enjoy air-conditioned accommodations with new restroom facilities and mattresses. The downstairs kitchen also received and update, and elevators were added for accessibility. On the main level you can find a new stage and auditorium with balcony seating. We invite you to come see all the improvements and enjoy the daily Olympic coverage by WHO TV 13.

Come watch the Olympics Iowa State Fair-style every day on the Grand Concourse at 4:30p.m. Cheer on your favorite Fairlympic team as they compete in a chore-themed relay race. Each day, two teams of five meet up to go head-to-head for Fair Gold. Teams will have to carry a hay bale, throw cow chips through a tire, pedal a kid’s tractor, be a human wheelbarrow, and chomp a corndog and chug lemonade. The fastest time to complete the race will take home an Iowa State Fair Fairlympics medal and bragging rights.

Stop by the newly renovated milking parlor, located on the north side of the Cattle Barn, to get a glimpse into the day in the life of a dairy farmer. With updated equipment and additional milking stalls, you’re sure to get a front row view of the action. Cows will be milked daily at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m.

Stage Entertainment

This year’s line-up features southern rock band Confederate Railroad. The group boasts more than five million in albums sales, with eighteen charted hits such as “Jesus and Mama,” “Queen of Memphis,” “Trashy Women” and more. Other rock groups include Vixen, Lynch Mob, Bret Michaels, Femme Fatale and Billy Bob Thornton and the Box Masters.

After breaking into country music in 1996, Deana Carter secured her spot in country music history. With hits that include “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” and “Strawberry Wine,” which won Single of the Year and Song of the Year from the 1997 Country Music Association Awards. Other country acts include Chase Bryant, Canaan Smith, Marty Stuart, CAM, Sammy Arriaga, and Country Gold.

“Nothing Compares” to the excitement that awaits Fairgoers August 11-21. Discounted admission tickets are available now through August 10, with savings of over 30 percent. Purchase tickets online at, at Iowa HyVee or Fareway stores, or at the ticket office located in the Administration building on the Fairgrounds.