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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State Fair is about a month away. This weekend, a fundraiser is taking place to get people in the fair spirit.

The Corndog Kickoff allows people to get a taste of the fair before the fair. The benefit auction and fair food grazing event helps raise money to renovate and restore the fairgrounds. Since its beginning 24 years ago, it’s raised more than $6 million. 

After being canceled last year due to COVID, the Blue Ribbon Foundation is excited to have the event this year and raise money for its mission.

“People want to see this place do well,” Peter Cownie, executive director of the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, said. “They want their kids and their grandkids to have the same memories that they did. So they want to support it, they want to see it grow. They want to see new and great things out here, while also maintaining our traditions. so by supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation, that’s exactly what you’re doing.”

To get tickets for the Corndog Kickoff, click here.

The actual fair is taking place August 12-22. Iowa State Fair Manager and CEO Gary Slater says no current capacity requirements from the state, county, or city will help them function as close to normal as possible.

Fair officials will respect people who want to social distance, there will be plenty of hand sanitizer on-site, and masks will be encouraged but not required. Also, Hy-Vee pharmacies will be on-site to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.

Slater says they’ve been waiting a long time to welcome people back and they are excited.

“With the vaccination rate going up and the virus rate going way down, we’re really looking to have a fair that’s as close to normal as we can have at this time,” Slater said, “and I think the pent up demand of people just wanting to get out and do stuff will be here and we’ll have an excellent fair.”

To learn more about the events happening at the Iowa State Fair, click here.