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Iowa State Fair Readies for a Big Crowd

The 2022 Iowa State Fair starts Thursday. Gary Slater, the fair’s CEO and general manager, says the organization is still recovering financially from the cancellation of the 2020 fair due to the pandemic.

The State Fair lost $13 million when the event was cancelled in 2020 but qualified for an $11 million “shuttered venues” grant from the federal government.

Events are held at the fairgrounds in every month of the year and the Fair has nearly 60 year-round, full-time staff members. Attendance was down a bit during last year’s Iowa State Fair, but the 11-day run of the 2021 State Fair turned a $36 million profit.

Slater made his comments during an appearance this summer on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS. Slater has said Grandstand entertainment is key to drawing crowds and more than 10-thousand tickets have been sold for country star Carrie Underwood’s show on the final night of the fair.

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