Less Than Two Weeks To Iowa State Fair!

Less Than Two Weeks To Iowa State Fair!

Iowa State Fair opens on August 9 and runs through August 19 this year in Des Moines. Opening day offers free admission.

Get set for the 2012 Iowa State Fair, it runs August 9-19 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines. This year's theme is "It's Fairlicious!" There are a number of new attractions at the fair this year. For complete information, go online to www.iowastatefair.org. Here are some highlights:

The 2012 Iowa State Fair will have several new agricultural attractions, including the AgVenture Discovery Trail and a new 4-H and FFA livestock judging contest.

* Opening Day Free Admission: On August 9 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. fairgoers can take advantage of free admission with a coupon from the Iowa State Fair special section of the August 5 Des Moines Register. One coupon per person, parking included. Beginning at 6 a.m. you can join everyone else on the Grand Concourse to take part in a morning of wellness and "Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative" activities coordinated by Hy-Vee. Opening ceremonies will be at 8 a.m., followed by Iowa's largest Zumba class. Zumba is a Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness program.

* New "Fairlicious" Foods: Browse the list of tasty menu items debuting at the 2012 Iowa State Fair, including the new Fair Square flavor. The Nothing Spared Fair Square, made with marshmallows, crisped rice cereal, pretzels, potato chips, Oreos, toffee and M&Ms was named by Fair fan Margo Fox in a Facebook contest earlier this month. Or check out the other foods lists, including healthy choices, on a stick, $2 or less, or the complete food directory.

* Daily Schedule, Walking Tours & Mobile Website: The complete daily schedule is available online. Or check out the walking tours, highlighting "must see" places and events on the fairgrounds, and preview the fair's 2012 TV commercials. Beginning August 6, use any smartphone to visit the fair's mobile-friendly website www.m.iowastatefair.org. The site, developed in partnership with the Iowa Governor's Office and Iowa Interactive, makes it easy to plan your day on the go.

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* The "Way We Live Award" Winners: This award recognizes industrious Iowa families who demonstrate a daily dedication to animal agriculture and exemplify farm values derived from hard work and a love for the occupation of farming. Each family will be honored at an award ceremony during the fair. Visit the www.iowastatefair.org website for photos and information about all of the winners. Congratulations to this year's six winning Iowa farm families!

* Discount Advance Admission: Don't forget to pick up your advance admission tickets before August 8. Or use the print at home option via the Internet and the state fair website. Show your advance admission ticket at one of the DART's three State Fair Park & Ride locations and you will receive 50% off the roundtrip fare.

Save even more by purchasing zip line tickets, Fair Play Packs, food and midway tickets before the fair. These options are available through the fair's website or at the State Fair Ticket Office.

* State Fair Express. The Iowa State Fair Express bus is stopping at a town near you! Ride to the fair in comfort on board a luxury Windstar Lines charter coach and leave the driving to someone else. The State Fair Express provides round trip transportation to the fair, without the hassle of driving. For route information and pricing, visit the State Fair Express webpage on the www.iowastatefair.org site.

* Plan Your Party At The Fair: Plan a company or large group outing at the fair. The Polk County Farm Bureau Shelter is located east of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion and can be rented a half or full day. Time slots are still available. Contact Chris Baker at 515-262-3111 Ext. 221 for more information.

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