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Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation receives $1 million donation for new facility

Thousands of fairgoers pack Grand Avenue during the Iowa State Fair on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021,...
Thousands of fairgoers pack Grand Avenue during the Iowa State Fair on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.(Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 11:43 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation has announced a generous $1 million contribution from Alliant Energy to build a new shelter on the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The new structure will replace the 23-year-old picnic shelter just east of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. The project, which is scheduled for completion in time for the 2022 Iowa State Fair, will nearly double the former space as well as provide accessibility in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The surrounding area will receive modern upgrades to improve the functionality of the space and provide a safe location for family and business events during the Fair and throughout the year.

“Projects like this one set a new standard for Fairground facilities,” said Peter Crownie, Executive Director of the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation. “This project will become the catalyst for numerous future improvements. Alliant Energy’s generosity will benefit all Fairgoers and we are grateful for the support.”

The open-air facility will include craftsman style columns, higher ceilings with fans, two paved ADA-compliant accessibility points, LED lighting, asphalt shingles, and expanded landscaping.

The new facility is the only publicly available rental space during the Iowa State Fair. The project also expands the marketability of the Fairgrounds, another attractive component for large and small groups.

Shows like the World Pork Expo, Good Guys Car Show, and National Junior High Rodeo as well as political events, weddings, receptions, and corporate retreats will make use of the modernized facility.

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