Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. This year marks the 159th annual Iowa State Fair and continued tradition of local agriculture, industry and deep-fried goodness!
The fair runs August 8-13th at the Iowa Sate Fairgrounds in Des Moines. To kick off the 11-day celebration, the 2013 Iowa State Fair Parade will be held in Downtown Des Moines on Wednesday, August 7th at 6:15 p.m. Families and individuals alike are invited to spectate the gala event, including an estimated 200 floats, animals, vehicles, novelty and performing units.
The parade is expected to draw in very large numbers... but fear no more! UnityPoint Health-Des Moines has a few insider tips to help you avoid the stress and headache of navigating this year's crowd:
Parade entrants will be staged at the State Capitol Complex, traveling west on Grand Avenue to 13th Street. To avoid major congestion, find a shady spot and plant your lawn chair between 13th and 18th Street to catch the show as it disperses throughout the streets.
Take I-235E to EXIT 8B/ E 6th St exit toward Penn Ave or find directions here.
Arrive early! There are over 30,000 public parking spaces and 4,000 parking meters in Downtown Des Moines, but space will fill up quickly.
Looking for a healthy alternative?
Park your vehicle at Gray's Lake Park, and ride your bicycle into Downtown Des Moines through the neighboring bike trail. It's a free, fun and active form of transportation. And the best part? Parking is always guaranteed for your bicycle!
In the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to overlook the little things. Here's a list of parade essentials:
• Lawn chair or blanket to sit comfortably
• Quarters to pay for metered parking before 6:00 p.m.
• Bag to collect all of the sweet treats and goodies
• Sunscreen to beat the heat
• Camera to capture your little one's "hip-hip-hoorays!"
Can't Make It?
Don't worry! Beginning at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7th, the 2013 Iowa State Fair Parade highlights will be broadcast throughout central Iowa on KDSM FOX 17.
We hope to see you at the "fairtastic" event of the summer! For detailed information, visit the Iowa State Fair website.