OPENING DAY: Iowa State Fair Underway

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The Iowa State Fair kicked off its 11 day run Thursday morning in Des Moines.

As always there is a lot to see and do at the fair, but this year the fair is also working to give back. Until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, volunteers for Meals From The Heartland will package 250,000 meals.

The event is part of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions “Dream Big” food drive.  Fairs and festivals around the world are working to collect 20-million pounds of food, that’s enough to meet the daily food needs of nearly six million people.

The usual fair activities are also going on and there are a few things you won’t want to miss Thursday. If you head to Pioneer Hall you can catch turkey calling, duck calling, rooster crowing and chicken calling contests.

The Big Boar contest is at 1:00 p.m. and the Super Bull contest is at 7:00 p.m.

Casting Crowns takes the stage at the grandstand Thursday night.

The fair is open each day from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. through August 18th. Adult tickets are $11 and tickets for kids ages 6 to 11 are $5.

Parking can be a challenge, so if you want to avoid it, you can catch a ride with DART.

There are three Park and Ride locations they’re at 7th and Center Street, at Southeast Polk High School and at the State Capitol. Roundtrip tickets cost $2 for adults and $1 for seniors and children six to ten.  Five and under are free.

If you purchased an advanced ticket, rides are half price. Those shuttles run from 8:30 in the morning until midnight.

For more stories and information about the Iowa State Fair click here.

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