Voters and Slipknot fans set attendance records for first Saturday at the fair

Iowa State Fair
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Fairgoers walking along the Grand Concourse at the 2004 Sesquicentennial Iowa State Fair on Saturday August 21, 2004 in Des Moines, IA. (Iowa State Fair Photo)

DES MOINES – Who knew that heavy metal and politics could bring in such a large crowd?

Attendance for the first Saturday of the 2019 Iowa State Fair is estimated to be 122,111 people. Last year, the final count was 116,583 people. From day one to day four, 418,418 people visited the fairgrounds.

The rise in attendance is most likely due to the Des Moines Register Political Soap Box and Slipknot’s Iowa State Fair debut.

Nine Democratic presidential candidates stepped onto the soap box to spread their political message. However, former Gov. John Hickenlooper had a slight delay for his speech as Slipknot started their sound checks at the Grandstand. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s speech was empowered by even more sound checks by 4:15 that afternoon.

The heavy metal band from Des Moines released their new album, We Are Not Your Kind, the day before they performed at the Grandstand. According to the fair’s website, tickets were completely sold out for their homecoming performance.

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