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Iowa State Fairgrounds

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Address: E. 30th St. and University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-262-3111
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Description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event...
The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is Iowa’s great celebration, a salute to the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. It is the true heartbeat of the Midwest, unequalled and unduplicated.The Iowa State Fair, the inspiration for the original novel “State Fair” by Iowan Phil Stong, three motion pictures and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical, is without a doubt the country’s most famous state fair. National media frequently rank the Fair as one of the top events in the country. In 2004, USA Weekend named the event the #2 choice for summer fun in America, topping New York City’s Times Square, Cedar Point Amusement Park Resort in Ohio and Disneyland in California. Midwest Living magazine named the Fair one of the “Top 30 Things Every Midwesterner Should Experience.” The Fair is also included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1000 Places to See Before You Die and the subsequent travel book, 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before you Die. Join us August 7-17, 2014.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Most recent review
Our State Fair IS the Best State Fair!

There is a reason the Iowa State Fair is listed as one of 100 must see before you die! This is another multi-generation thing for our family. We like to park in the Dean Street... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 22, 2015
PatIowa67
,
Des Moines area
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334 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Des Moines area
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

There is a reason the Iowa State Fair is listed as one of 100 must see before you die! This is another multi-generation thing for our family. We like to park in the Dean Street neighborhood and enter at the South gates. Easy access to the barn exhibits! The Big Boar, little kids can milk a real Jersey cow and... More 

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2015 via mobile

Nothing like the state fair!!!! Funnel cakes!!!! Turkey legs!!!!!! Rides!!!! Games!!! Animals!!! Love it!

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

I went there last weekend for a gun show. The on-line information did not give the venue. However, the Fairgrounds had great directions including placement of big signs and plenty of parking. They even let me pull up to the 4-H building to load some heavy items that I otherwise would have had to tote over 500 yards.

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Jeffersonville, Indiana
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

We have been to several state fairs, Indiana, Kentucky. I was really impressed with the Iowa state fair. The people were really nice, the fair grounds were clean, prices were not bad at all, attractions were plentiful. The parking can be a challenge if you arrive later in the day. Exhibits were interesting but I guess what was most surprising... More 

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

love the funnel cakes, the ag building, the people watching, the beef and pork tents, and the free entertainment stages

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Des Moines, IA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

A family of 2 should be able to go to the fair, not the midway, for $100. Nope. Food takes up all of it. C'mon, it's hot dogs in corn meal and $6? Water, $5? The fair needs to take greater control over the prices charged especially the for-profit booths. As a family, I'm not sure we can afford to... More 

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Ankeny, Iowa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

If you like fairs, this probably is one of the best if not the best. Variety is the key word, there is something for everyone at the Iowa State Fair, including a lot of walking (rides are available as well). There are air conditioned attractions as well as areas where you "enjoy" the Iowa August heat and humidity. Food is... More 

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Cancun
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

You will find a lot of the same things to look at that would normally be at any large state fair. I will say that the fair has a number of good concerts every year along with a number of free concerts that are usually pretty good. There is always a lot of fun to be had.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Come to visit the Iowa State Fair. It is the best state fair in the nation. Enjoy the sites and the unique food.

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Norwalk, Iowa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Iowa State Fair has a little something for everyone. From farming to floral arrangements. From photography to the best homemade quilts. From hertiage of Iowa and it's beauty to horses and grandstand shows. We have all the food you could think of eating on a stick. Like a pork chop on a stick to fried butter on a stick. Not... More 

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?