DES MOINES — In addition to food on a stick from Aug. 11 to 21, the Iowa State Fair will be dishing up humor on a stick when ventriloquist Jeff Dunham hits the grandstand Aug. 18 with his colorful cast of puppets, including Jose Jalapeno on a Stick.
Dunham’s television specials have been the highest-rated programs in Comedy Central history, and his shows sell out arenas worldwide, including the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
Other megawatt stars coming to the grandstand include Jason Derulo, Dierks Bentley, KISS, Steven Tyler, Lady Antebellum and Meghan Trainor. But don’t wait too long for snapping up tickets. Just a few remain for Trainor on Aug. 12, and are selling fast for Brett Eldredge on Aug. 13, the classic rock lineup of Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick on Aug. 16, and KISS on Aug. 19.
And remember, concert tickets do not include gate admission to the fair.
l Aug. 11: Newsboys with Francesca Battistelli, 8 p.m., $30 to $45, contemporary Christian
l Aug. 12: Meghan Trainor with Hailee Steinfeld and Common Kings, 8 p.m., $45 to $60, pop
l Aug. 13: Brett Eldredge with Chris Janson, 8 p.m., $32, $37, $47, country
l Aug. 14: Jason Derulo with Daya, 8 p.m., $35 to $47, contemporary R&B, urban, pop
l Aug. 15: Dierks Bentley with Tucker Beathard, 8 p.m., $57, country
l Aug. 16: Rock Hall Three for All: Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick, 8 p.m., $32, $42, $52
l Aug. 17: Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull, 2 p.m., $25 adults, $10 ages 6 to 11, free ages 5 and under
l Aug. 18: Jeff Dunham, 8 p.m., $32 to $52, comedy
l Aug. 19: KISS with the Dead Daisies, 8 p.m., $50 to $85, hard rock
l Aug. 20: Steven Tyler and The Loving Mary Band, 8 p.m., $45 to $65, rock/country
l Aug. 21: Lady Antebellum with Kelsea Ballerini, 8 p.m., $40 to $65, country
Free entertainment abounds, as well, on four stages around the fairgrounds, located at East 30th Street and East University Avenue.
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Most notably, actor Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters will rock the Bud Light Stage at 8 p.m. Aug. 21.
Other nationally known acts include the Grass Roots, Hawk Nelson, Stryper, Vixen, The Temptations, Bret Michaels, Ratt, Deana Carter and Marty Stuart.
IF YOU GO
Fair dates: Aug. 11 to 21
Hours: Fairgrounds open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.; buildings open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; midway open 10 a.m. to midnight
Grandstand tickets: State Fair Ticket Office, 1-(800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster outlets or Iowastatefair.org/entertainment/grandstand
Fair admission: $8 ages 12 and up, through Aug. 10, $12 at the gates; $4 ages 6 to 11 through Aug. 10, $6 at the gates; free ages 5 and under; Iowastatefair.org/visit/buy-tickets/