Iowa State Fair Officials Moving Forward with Plans for a Safe Return in 2021


DES MOINES, Iowa — During an interview on The Insiders with Dave Price, Governor Kim Reynolds said that there will be an Iowa State Fair this year. 

Currently, the Iowa State Fair is set to take place from August 12-22nd. CEO of the State Fair, Gary Slater, said he is relying on a majority of Iowans being vaccinated for COVID-19 by early summer. 

The Iowa State Fair team is monitoring COVID-19 across the state and will examine the next 90 days to make a final decision on whether the fair will be in person or virtual. 

When asked if they will require patrons to wear masks, Slater said the Iowa State Fair will follow recommendations that come from the governor’s office and also the CDC. 

Slater said the 2021 Iowa State Fair will be the exact same as the one they were planning for 2020, but was nixed because of the pandemic. 

Headliners such as Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Sam Hunt are set to take the Grandstand stage.

The 4H and FFA livestock show will also take place. This year the fair will introduce new attractions such as a community garden, new food contests, a refurbished giant slide and a renovated 4H building. 

Slater said they expect to have their regular vendors present with around 200 food vendors being at every state fair. 

Normally the fair sees over a million attendees every year. According to Slater, organizers are working on an efficient plan to hold a safe event. 

“We’ll be looking at what types of socially distancing areas might be pinch points or points where people are shoulder to shoulder or whatever and if we need to distance folks,” Slater said.  “We’ll try to put those circles on the ground and different things like that as we need them.”

The Iowa State Fair team will also add hand washing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers across the fairgrounds. 

The CEO of the Iowa State Fair said their goal is to make Iowans feel comfortable to attend this annual tradition.   

“Most of our event is outdoors, the Iowa State Fair covers 455 acres. So it’s not like you’re going into a space where you’re relying on the ventilation factor of the HVAC and it’s even in large buildings,” Slater said. “So still, you, you don’t have to go into buildings to enjoy the Iowa State Fair.” 


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