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Iowa State Fair 101: Dates, tickets, Grandstand acts and more

The 2022 fair dates are Aug. 11-21. Grandstand headliners include Kane Brown, Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato and more. Here's how to buy tickets.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair returns this year Aug. 11-21. Between musical performances, amusement park rides, excellent food and livestock shows, it's sure to be a great addition to your summer plans. 

Here's what you need to know. 

When is the 2022 Iowa State Fair?

Dates: Thursday, Aug. 11-Sunday, Aug. 21.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day.

Where can I buy tickets? How much do they cost?

General Admission to the fair is $14 for adults and $8 for kids ages 6-11. The Iowa State Fair ticket offices are not open yet, but you can purchase advance admission tickets here at a cheaper price: $9 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-11.

A GA ticket does not get you into everything, however. Other ticketed activities and events within the fair include things like Ye Old Mill and the Giant Slide. Additional tickets are also needed for the Grandstand shows.

Grandstand concert tickets can be purchased here. Speaking of the Grandstand...

Who are the Grandstand acts?

Click here for a list of free entertainment at the 2022 Iowa State Fair

The Grandstand runs one performance each day of the fair, and 10 have so far been announced: 

Thursday, Aug. 11: Skillet, the American Christian rock band, kicks off the festivities, with an opener by Dante Bowe, an American Christian worship singer. 

Friday, Aug. 12: Brooks & Dunn, the country music duo from Nashville, TN, perform night two. Opening for them is Alex Miller, a country music singer who competed in the last season of American Idol.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Nelly the rapper performs night three, with an opener by R&B artist Ginuwine.

Sunday, Aug. 14: Demi Lovato, pop rock singer, takes the stage night four.

Monday, Aug. 15: Alanis Morrissette, rock singer, performs night five, with country singer Morgan Wade taking the opening act.

Tuesday, Aug. 16: ZZ Top, Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame band takes the stage on night six joined by Heart singer Ann Wilson.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: John Crist performs his comedy routine Fresh Cuts for night seven of the Iowa State Fair. Opening for Crist is Nashville, TN comedian Dusty Slay.

Thursday, Aug. 18: Kane Brown, country pop singer, performs night eight, with an opening act from country pop singer-songwriter Jessie James Decker.

Friday, Aug. 19: Disturbed, the heavy metal band from Chicago, takes the stage night nine, with an opening act by the rock band Chevelle.

Saturday, Aug. 20: Keith Urban, country music legend, performs the penultimate grandstand concert, with an opener by country music singer Ingrid Andress.

Sunday, Aug. 21: Carrie Underwood, another country music legend, gives the final performance of Grandstand 2022, with country music singer Adam Sanders as the opening act.

How many people attend the Iowa State Fair?

Attendance at the Iowa State Fair was on the rise before the pandemic. In 2018, the number of attendees reached an all-time high of over 1.1 million, only to be beaten out the very next year in 2019 at almost 1.2 million attendees. 

However, in 2020, the fair was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and when the fair re-opened in 2021, those numbers were down.

  • 2021: 1,094,480
  • 2020: 0 (canceled due to COVID-19)
  • 2019: 1,170,375
  • 2018: 1,130,260

Where can I learn more about the Iowa State Fair and its history?

For over 160 years, the Iowa State Fair has been the biggest event in Iowa, celebrating its agricultural and industrial sectors. Learn more about the fair's history in the 2021 Historical Highlights guide here

When will more information about the Iowa State Fair be finalized?

The final schedule for the Iowa State Fair will be released sometime in July.  To stay up-to-date on the latest news, check out Local 5's coverage of the fair here

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