Nothing Compares to Iowa State Fair's Free Grounds Entertainment

DES MOINES, IA (07/14/2011)(readMedia)-- Iowa State Fair's free grounds entertainment line-up will fill the Fairgrounds with family fun August 11-21. These grounds acts are just part of the more than half a million dollars of entertainment available to Fairgoers free with gate admission. "Nothing Compares" to this mix of art, music, comedy and animals that is sure to provide fun for all ages!

As the Fair prepares to celebrate 100 years of the Butter Cow, several grounds entertainment artists will pay tribute to the buttery Iowa icon. The Butter Cow will be the focus of a sculpture in the Varied Industries Building by Canstruction, Inc., a group that creates art from canned goods before donating their sculpting material to local food banks. Also sculpting works in honor of the Butter Cow will be the sand sculpting team of Sandscapes in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center and chainsaw artist A.J. Lutter in Heritage Village.

Several new entertainment areas on the Fairgrounds will provide more entertainment options to Fairgoers. The new Kids' Zone will be packed with kid-friendly food, entertainment and activities for the youngest Fairgoers. Located north of the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, Kids' Zone includes the Blue Ribbon Kids Club Tent, the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show, the Butterfly House and the interactive Little Hands on the Farm.

The Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show will wow families with its four-legged stars who execute big air stunts, compete in grand prix-style agility racing and soar to new heights in the Extreme Canines High-Jump Challenge, all in addition to performing amazing tricks like jumping rope, dancing and turning back-flips. Shows are daily at 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.

New in 2011, Fairgoers won't want to miss the fun and excitement found in the family-friendly entertainment area located west of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center. This new area will feature the Swampmaster's Gator Show and the Fearless Flores Thrill Show several times daily.

Starring Swampmaster and native Iowan Jeff Quattrocchi and his band of playful alligators, the Swampmaster's Gator Show provides thrills, laughter, fun facts and edge-of-the-seat entertainment for all. For those looking for even bigger thrills, the Fearless Flores Thrill Show is sure to deliver. From the explosive flight of the human cannonball to the heart-stopping thrills of the Spacewheel and the Motorcycle Raceway in the Sky, this daredevil show is a must-see.

Fairgoers can also enjoy an impressive array of fun family shows across the Fairgrounds. Shenaniguns Wild West Show, a slapstick send-up of the Old West, follows the antics of Sheriff Hoppalong Casually and Deputy Leon P. Jones. This off the wall comedy is sure to provide light-hearted fun for all ages. Shows are daily at noon, 2 and 5 p.m in Walnut Square.

Bandoloni, the one man band, will be strolling the Fairgrounds to impress audiences with his harmonious multitasking. Fairgoers will want to join in the fun as he belts out familiar family favorites while playing guitar, harmonica, tambourine, high-hat, kick-drum, snare and more – all at the same time!

Rounding out the free grounds entertainment, Hedrick's Petting Zoo will allow kids of all ages to get up close and personal with many animals that may not be found in the typical Iowa barn.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit