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Iowa State Fair returning in 2021 with new attractions and COVID-19 safety plan

Discounted tickets are on sale now through 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2021.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair is scheduled to be back this year after being postponed in 2020 because of the coronavirus.  

The Aug. 12-22, 2021 edition promises to be packed with the regular food, rides and livestock attractions. 

And for this year, they are adding bigger performers and new attractions for children. 

"We're excited about this year's fair coming up," Iowa State Fair CEO and Manager Gary Slater said. 

One of this year's big performers at the Grandstand is Blake Shelton, who takes the stage on Aug. 13.

"We hope that Blake Shelton is a sellout which would be 16,000 tickets sold," Slater said.

Other performers for the Grandstand series will be announced in the coming weeks.

Slater said artists who were scheduled to perform last year, are slated to perform this year: Sam Hunt, The Beach Boys, Styx, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.

People who purchased concert tickets for last year's fair were given the option for a refund or the ability to hold onto those tickets and use them for this year's shows.

According to Slater, approximately 75% of people who held onto their concert tickets.

Admission tickets bought for last year will also be good for this year.

Besides big performers, there will be a new addition for children.

"We've added a garden project that will highlight vegetable-growing, as well as soybeans and corn and wheat growing," Slater said. "We are expanding our education process into the crop production area."

Fair organizers also have plans to make sure anyone who attends the 2021 fair is safe, in case COVID-19 is still a major issue. 

"[There will be] hand sanitizer all over the grounds, asking people to socially distance when they're standing in line and asking people to wear their mask if they're comfortable with doing that," Slater said.

Tickets for the Blake Shelton concert go on sale Friday. Also, individuals who want to buy tickets for admission can buy them now for five dollars off the regular price. 

Discounted admission tickets are on sale now through 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2021. Adult tickets are $9 each and children six to 11 years old are $5 each. 

Children five and under are free.

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