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Your guide to the 2022 Iowa State Fair

Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair. Here's what you need to know if you're heading to the fairgrounds Aug. 11-21.


The 2022 Iowa State Fair is officially here.

Whether you’re making the trip to see the Butter Cowwatch a concert or just try the food, get all the information you need to make your trip a success.  

When and where is the fair? 

The 2022 Iowa State Fair starts Thursday, Aug. 11, and ends Sunday, Aug. 21. It is held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds at E 30th St and E University Ave in Des Moines.  

Daily fair hours are 8 a.m. to midnight. 

Watch: Opening ceremony for the 2022 Iowa State Fair

Posted by Iowa State Fair on Thursday, August 11, 2022

Where can I purchase tickets?  

Tickets for the fair can be purchased at the Iowa State Fair Ticket Office or participating Iowa Hy-Vees, Hy-Vee Drugstores, Dollar Fresh stores, Fareways or Des Moines metro Price Chopper stores. 

Looking to save a trip? Buy discounted Iowa State Fair tickets online at this link.

Tickets can also be purchased at the fair.  

Here are the prices:  

  • Adult (12 and up): $14 ($9 in advance) 

  • Child (6-11): $8 ($5 in advance) 

  • 5 & under: Free 

Tickets to the fair are only valid for one admission. There are no refunds, exchanges or replacement tickets. 

Pro Tip: Click here to see all discounts and deals available at the fair.  

Should I pay with cash or card?

Cash and credit card are accepted at all of the Iowa State Fair food stands and vendors.

For the 2021 Iowa State Fair, all food vendors were required to implement a credit or debit card payment system.

ATMs will be available for use throughout the fairgrounds. 

Where do I park?  

There are three parking lots available for parking at $10 per vehicle. Find a map of each lot on the map below:

Motorcycles can park in any lot, but for designated motorcycle parking, check out the northeast corner of the North parking lot, between the Gate 1 and Gate 2 entrances.  

Bicycle parking is available inside Gate 11 for free.  

Pro Tip: Not feeling like parking at the fairgrounds? Show an advance ticket at one of DART’s three State Fair Park & Ride Locations to receive half off round-trip fare to the fairgrounds. Parking is free at all DART locations from 8:30 a.m. to midnight every day of the fair.  

Is there a map of the fairgrounds?  

Yes – you can view and download a digital version here. 

What new foods should I check out?  

There are 53 new foods at the fair this year. While it may be impossible to try them all, a panel of judges (including members of the "Good Morning Iowa" team) determined three foods to be the best of the best. They are:  

  • "OMG" Chicken Sandwich: Chicken City 
  • Pork Picnic in a Cup: Iowa Pork Tent 
  • The Finisher: The Rib Shack

These three foods are finalists in the 2022 Iowa State Fair People's Choice Best New Food contest. 

Fairgoers can sample the top three finalists and cast their vote starting Thursday, Aug. 11. Voting ends Monday, Aug. 15.   

Who is performing at the Grandstand this year? What about free concerts? 

A full list of the free concerts at the fair can be found here. 

Tickets to the Grandstand concerts must be purchased separately from your Iowa State Fair tickets.  

Grandstand headliners include: 

  • Thursday, August 11: Skillet 
  • Friday, August 12: Brooks & Dunn 
  • Saturday, August 13: Nelly 
  • Sunday, August 14: Demi Lovato 
  • Monday, August 15: Alanis Morrissette 
  • Tuesday, August 16: ZZ Top 
  • Wednesday, August 17: John Crist 
  • Thursday, August 18: Kane Brown 
  • Friday, August 19: Disturbed 
  • Saturday, August 20: Keith Urban 
  • Sunday, August 21: Carrie Underwood

Local 5 and CW Iowa 23 are bringing exciting 2022 Iowa State Fair experiences to you, from live newscasts to an interactive Local 5 Weather Lab experience. Come see us in front of the Administration Building (Grand Concourse) each day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Welcome to Day 1! 🥳 We’re live at the brand new Alliant Energy Landing for opening ceremonies. 🎉

Posted by Iowa State Fair on Thursday, August 11, 2022

Before You Leave, Check This Out