The Iowa State Fair is right around the corner!

This year's fair is set for Thursday, August 12 through Sunday, August 22 and there are some big changes this year that you should be aware of.

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New Metal Detectors Enhance Security at the Iowa State Fair

According to KCRG, for the first time EVER the Iowa State Fair will have metal detectors. You will have to pass through them to get in as they will be at all nine fair entrances. These new devices were able to be installed thanks to an additional $300,000 to $400,000 that was added to the fair's budget. Along with the detectors, that extra cash in the budget is also going toward adding more officers.

Now let's get to the good stuff. CAUTION: You may start to get hungry.

New Iowa State Fair Foods 2021

The Iowa State Fair has unveiled 63 NEW fair foods for this year. The menu includes items such as:

  • Flaming Hot Cheeto Funnel Cake
  • Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Loaded Crab Bites
  • Bacon Pickle Mac N' Cheese
  • Large Duke's Quebec Style Poutine

That's just naming a few. There are also three new foods up for the "2021 Iowa State Fair People's Choice Best New Food Award". These include the Chicken Egg Salad with Indian Fry Bread, Peanut Butter and Fluff Cookie Dough, and Island Noodles with Teriyaki Chicken (my vote is for the dough).

Now, we can't forget the stuff on a stick...

2021 Iowa State Fair has Over 70 New Foods on a Stick

There will be the standard stick food items like corndogs, candy apples, but there will also be a ton of interesting new stick foods. I'm not sure how they came up with some of these items, but there are a bunch that sound amazing. For example:

  • Loaded Tators on a Stick
  • Deep-Fried Brownie on a Stick
  • Caramel-Dipped Pecan Pie on a Stick
  • Chicken in a Waffle on a Stick

There are some odd options as too, like Salad on a Stick. How does that work? You can check out the full list of new foods on a stick here. There are literally SO MANY food choices, I don't know how you'd ever try them all or pick a favorite. But, if you had to choose a fair food favorite, what would yours be?

Now, let's take a slight turn toward a food item, that you're NOT going to get to eat--the butter sculptures!

2021 Iowa State Fair Butter Sculptures

Of course the famous butter cow will be there, but the second butter sculpture that will be on display is shaped after an iconic fair ride--The Giant Slide. The green and yellow beauty will be displayed in butter in honor of its 50th anniversary. You can read some interesting facts about the slide here.

Lastly, let's slide into what's changing in the fair beverage area (see what I did there).

Iowa State Fair Tent BIGGER in 2021

The Iowa Craft Beer Tent has been relocated just to the west of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center, near Gate 10. The brand new permanent tent is three times the size of the old one! Hopefully, that means even more beer options too!

As far as entertainment goes, there are a ton of big-name acts.

2021 Iowa State Fair Grandstand Concerts

There's a ton of great concerts going on too! Here's a list of this year's Grandstand acts:

  • Thursday, August 12: Casting Crowns
  • Friday, August 13: Blake Shelton
  • Saturday, August 14: Sam Hunt
  • Sunday, August 15: Boyz II Men
  • Monday, August 16: Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch
  • Tuesday, August 17: The Beach Boys
  • Wednesday, August 18:  STYX
  • Thursday, August 19: Chris Stapleton
  • Friday, August 20: Five Finger Death Punch
  • Saturday, August 21: Dan + Shay
  • Sunday, August 22: The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour

This year's fair kicks off Thursday, August 12, and runs through Sunday, August 22. That's plenty of time to get the full experience and try the delicious new foods. See you there!

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