The Iowa State Fair ranks in the top 10 of U.S. state fairs. And what better fair to go to than one that has a 600-pound butter cow or that was the setting for a Rogers & Hammerstein musical? More than a million visitors flock to the Iowa State Fair every year, and 2017 promises to be another fun-filled, blockbuster year you don’t want to miss.


Iowa State Fair — When, Where and How It Began

The first Iowa state fair took place in 1854 — 163 years ago! Iowa has staked its claim to fame as the country’s most famous state fair for many years now. Three motion pictures have used it as settings, and the fair even inspired Iowan author Phil Stong to write his novel State Fair, a story about an Iowa family with two teenagers who went to the fair and fell in love.

Fast-forward to 2017, and you’ll find the fair’s attractions still draw people from all over the world. Come to the fair! The Iowa State Fair in Des Moines opens Thursday August 10 and ends on Sunday, August 20.


Fair Entertainment and Attractions


The 2017 Grandstand entertainment includes big name artists like King & Country, Nickelback, Pentatonix, Paramore, Flo Rida, Alabama, Little Big Town, John Mellencamp and Kid Rock, to name a few.

Free entertainment (covered by the gate admission fee) features rock legends and up-and-coming country artists.  There are four stages where fans can gather. Entertainment is always going on.

Among the many artists performing, you’ll see the late Merle Haggard’s sons Ben and Noel Haggard kick off the fair on August 10 at the Midamerican Energy Stage. Tonic Sol-Fa opens August 10 at the Anne and Bill Riley Stage, and Emmy award-winning songwriter of “Chain Breaker,” Zach Williams will play there with Big Daddy Weave and Chris Tomlin on August 20. You can catch Journey’s former lead vocalist Steve Augeri along with Bang Tango and Slaughter on the Bud Light Stage. The Susan Knapp Amphitheater features Jason Brown on August 10. His performance history includes playing with well-known artists like Blake Shelton, Rascal Flats, The Band Perry, Little Big Town and more.


There are plenty of thrill rides at the fair to entertain those looking for adventure. You can fly down roller coasters, ram into each other on bumper cars or enjoy the bird’s eye view from a towering Ferris wheel. Three thrill parks await visitors this year, including: Thrill Ville, Thrill Town and Thrill Zone.

There are many competitions to visit. Farmers take blue ribbon prizes for their animals and crops. Women get awarded for their family recipes and local talent compete in talent shows.


State Fair Food

Delicious food is always a staple at the fair. Take your pick of fantastic food — whether you want to go healthy or decadent.

Healthy food choices include entrees with less than 600 calorie and side dishes with less than 300 calories. Here are some selection options:

Baked Potatoes and Corn-on-the-Cob

Caprese Salad on-a-Stick

Caramel Apple Slices

Carrots with Ranch

Dried Fruit Log

Fresh Fruit, Melon and Berry Cups and Shishkabobs

Fruit on-a-Stick

Green Bean or Potato Bowl

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Grilled Turkey Sandwiches

Margherita Pizza

Not Your Mamma’s Taco

Shrimp Corndog

Veggie Corndog


New foods for 2017 include some mouth-watering innovations that are hard to resist:


Iowa’s Big Pork Leg

Mig’s Applewood Smoked Chicken Wrap

Chocolate Lava Cake

Cheesy Fried Enchilada Funnel Cake

Apple Taco

Bauder Mud

Pancake Taco

Golden Fry Choco Pocko

Brushetta Sundae “Mt. Vesuvius”

Rah! Edible Cook E Dough

Fruit & Chocolate Fondue

Thanksgiving Balls

Sweet Potato Totchos

Campfire Cones

Iowa State Fair Infographic


Avoid Traffic and Parking Hassles Through Bus Rental from US Coachways

Any event that draws large crowds means traffic can be a nightmare. You can avoid the driving frenzy by chartering a coach through US Coachways. Here are some of the advantages:

Safe Travel. A professional driver can deal with directions, navigate the traffic and find parking.

Security. Any items you bring are securely stowed on the bus for safekeeping.

Schedules/Timing. Getting a big group to arrive at the same time is no easy task. You won’t have to deal with separate cars, meeting up at the fair or discovering someone in your group is delayed.

Affordability. You’ll save on gas and everyone can chip in, which brings down the individual costs. Besides, it’s hard to beat the rates you get for motorcoaches.

Travel in comfort. Legroom is not an issue. Sit back and relax. Coaches these days have roomy interiors and restrooms, which really come in handy when taking a bunch of kids.

Reserve Your Charter Today

Book the fast and easy way. But if you need questions answered or want to check out discounts, call 1-888-340-9122. We’re always available to help.




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