Des Moines Prepares for Iowa State Fair

Chocolate covered chocolate chip cannolis on a stick were available at the Iowa State Fair in August 2012.

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By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 450-acre section of Des Moines is about to become the busiest spot in Iowa.

The Iowa State Fair will open Thursday at its longtime east Des Moines location for an 11-day run expected to draw more than 1 million visitors.

All those people will find nearly 200 food stands, five stages for free entertainment and thousands of animals.

As always, the Butter Cow will be on hand, and there will be plenty of food people would only consider eating at the fair.

Items this year include a shrimp corndog and bacon-wrapped riblet on a stick.

There is an extra charge to see entertainers at the Grandstand. This year's Grandstand lineup includes country music performers Alan Jackson, Gary Alan, pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen and rock band Train.

Fair buildings open at 9 a.m. each day and the midway starts up at 10 a.m.

Admission is free for children 5 and younger; $5 for ages 6 to 11; and $11 for others.

Parking is available for a fee at the fairgrounds.

People also can take a bus after parking for free at three locations in Des Moines.

The Des Moines bus service charges $2 for adults and $1 for seniors, with children 5 and younger riding for free. People with an advance fair admission ticket receive half-off the fare. The buses run from 8:30 a.m. to midnight each day. Call the bus service at 515-283-8100 for details.

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