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Iowa State Fair Wraps Up for 2023

The Iowa State Fair wrapped up Sunday in Des Moines following an eleven day run – and the numbers are showing it was the second-largest fair in its 169-year-old history.

Nearly 1,134,000 people attended this year’s State Fair – up more than 15,000 from last year. 

A strong grandstand lineup featured the largest contemporary Christian concert in Fair history (over 9,000 attendees at the FOR KING + COUNTRY concert). Other grandstand highlights included crowds of more than 17,000 for Eric Church and The Chicks; comedian Jeff Dunham enjoyed some Fair food and craft beer during his show; and the bass guitar player for Maren Morris won the State Fair’s yodeling contest.

There were more than 60 new foods offered at this year’s Iowa State Fair, with the Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese winning the People’s Choice Best New Food award. 

The 4-H and FFA Sale of Champions set eight new records, including the all-time record for all species. The Grand Champion FFA Market Hog exhibited by Delaney Runner from Gilman sold for $150,000. More than 14-thousand hogs were entered in the 4-H swine show, a 10-year-old showed the Reserve Grand Champion Biggest Boar, 16 buddies and Special Olympians participated in the Bacon Buddies Swine Show and a 71-year-old showman returned to the ring after a 56-year hiatus.

More than 700 Fairgoers also participated in the Fair’s zany contests including mom calling, whistling, timber sports, youth spelling bee, and many others. Elle Clark from Humboldt was named champion of the 63rd Annual Bill Riley Talent Search.

Start making your plans for next year’s Iowa State Fair – August 8-18, 2024.

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