Iowa State Fair

Events, tourism return to Iowa as pandemic, worker shortage continue

BY: - June 4, 2021

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, Iowa will see more events and tourism returning to regular scheduling in the summer of 2021. “People weren’t able to get out as much as they might have preferred last year, so we’re anticipating a lot of people hitting the road,” said Jessica O’Riley, spokesperson for the Iowa Tourism Office. “I […]

Want a taste of the Iowa State Fair? Now, you can get it from a drive-thru

BY: - June 23, 2020

Brenda Smith Parish’s business relies heavily on events, social gatherings and crowds of hungry people. As the owner of Brenda Smith Concessions, Parish would normally be found frying corndogs at the Iowa State Fair or serving cold lemonade at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market. But like other businesses across the nation, COVID-19 has resulted […]

Iowa State Fair vendors worry about how they’ll survive in 2020

BY: - June 18, 2020

The cancellation of the Iowa State Fair is an emotional loss for many Iowans, but for businesses that rely on the summer traffic, the economic toll is devastating. During a Zoom roundtable discussion, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, spoke with vendors who said they rely on the fair’s high foot traffic for most — if […]


State Fair meeting was affront to open government

BY: - June 16, 2020

The decision last week to cancel the Iowa State Fair was a reminder of the seriousness of coronavirus and the consequences of many people’s anxiety about returning to activities that normally are an important part of Iowa life. But the State Fair’s decision also illuminated an embarrassing disconnect from the norms of government transparency and […]

Iowa State Fair makes secret ballot public after legality questions

BY: - June 11, 2020

The Iowa State Fair board has publicly posted the results of its secret ballot vote that resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 Iowa State Fair after questions about the legality of the vote, said Mindy Williamson, spokesperson for the Iowa State Fair. Iowa State Fair Board members voted 11-2 to “postpone” the fair until […]

Iowa State Fair is canceled for the first time since 1945

BY: - June 10, 2020

The Iowa State Fair is canceled for 2020, leaving Iowans and the Midwest without their beloved tradition of fried corn dogs and hog calling in the humid summer heat. This marks the first time the fair has been canceled due to a pandemic, said Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater. The fair was canceled five […]

Reynolds to consult with board this week on fate of 2020 Iowa State Fair

BY: - May 26, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she will set up a call this week with the Iowa State Fair Board to discuss whether the 2020 Iowa State Fair will proceed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I know they’ve been trying to wait to see how Iowa responds to our continuing (efforts) to open up our […]

Iowa turkey hunters set record, State Fair misses out on these legs

BY: - May 19, 2020

Iowa hunters shot a spring record of 14,600 turkeys this year, the Department of Natural Resources reported. That was the highest number since the state began requiring hunters to report their kill to the state beginning in 2007. The previous high was 12,173 in 2016. Hunters killed wild turkeys in all 99 counties. The season […]

Local governments, nonprofits adjust plans amid pandemic’s financial toll

BY: - April 25, 2020

The socioeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in a homeless shelter at the State Fairgrounds, bigger demand for county aid, laid-off librarians, a growing array of online concerts and busy recreation trails in Greater Des Moines. Local governments and nonprofit organizations, like so many businesses, are adjusting on the fly. In a […]

Polk County to shelter COVID-positive homeless at fairgrounds

BY: - March 24, 2020

Polk County and partners are setting up a shelter at the Oman Family Youth Inn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds for homeless people who test positive for COVID-19. “When we are sick, we want to be comforted in a place where you feel safe and can get well. For people experiencing homeless, they do not […]

Hand sanitizer and mah-jongg: How the Branstads are coping with coronavirus in China

BY: - March 11, 2020

Ambassador Terry Branstad hasn’t had so much as the sniffles in the time he’s served as the United States’ top diplomat in China. “You know, amazing thing, I’ve been here in China over two and a half years, and I’ve not even had a cold,” Branstad said in a phone interview from Beijing. He said […]