Return of the Iowa State Fair: What you need to know about tickets, parking, and safety

State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa — After being canceled in 2020, the Iowa State Fair kicks off Thursday at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Here are some things to consider, before heading out to enjoy the fair fun.

Tickets: CEO of the Iowa State Fair, Gary Slater, advises getting your tickets in advance on the fair’s website. By doing this, Slater says people can avoid standing in longer lines to enter the fair. 

Admission is $14 for adults(12 and up) and $8 for children(6-11). Kids under the age of five are free.

Parking: There will be $10 parking on-site here at the fairgrounds in the North, Northeast and University lots. 

Parking will be free at all DART locations from 8 am to midnight. When boarding a bus, show your fair ticket and get half off of your ride. Masks are still required on all Dart busses. 

Taxis, Ubers and Lyfts will be available at Gate 8 for pick up and drop off.

Security: For the first time ever, walk-through metal detectors will be placed at all nine main gates. 

People are allowed to bring sealed bottles of water to the fair. However, open containers won’t make it past the front gates. 

Pay options: This year all fair vendors will accept credit and debit cards to offer a contactless form of payment.

Fair hours: The fairgrounds are open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight and the buildings are open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The final day of the fair is Sunday, August 22nd.

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