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Vendors excited for Iowa State Fair opening day

1.09 million people attended the fair in 2021, down from a pre-COVID number of 1.17 million in 2019.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Everyone has their favorite part of the Iowa State Fair. For many, there's no better place to grab a bite to eat.

"I like to eat healthy, so I'd say it'd probably be the pork tent, because the pork is really good," said Dean Small, who was visiting the fairgrounds with his granddaughter Monday.

More than a million people came out to the Iowa State Fair in 2021, and those crowds always come hungry.

"Our family, we say 'If you don't go home from the fair sick, you didn't do it right' because of all the food," Small said.

That's music to the ears of vendors like Jane Harris, manager of Best Around Funnel Cakes. She and her staff have been hard at work making sure they are ready for all the fairgoers with empty stomachs.

"Our season starts officially Fourth of July weekend, and we head north and would just start setting up for our individual fairs. We got here last Wednesday, and we've been working every day trying to get everything set up in the heat," Harris said.

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But all that hard work is happening with a much smaller crew. Harris tod Local 5 she and many other vendors are still dealing with staffing issues. That missing help could impact the wait for some of your state fair favorites.

"Staffing has been down. It's hard to get enough help, so when people come out just make sure you're patient with your vendors that are waiting on you because they are short staffed," Harris said.

Opening day for the 2022 Iowa State Fair is Thursday, Aug. 11. Opening ceremonies kick off at the Alliant Energy Landing at 9 a.m.

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. 

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