DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Headed to the Iowa State Fair this year? Roughly 1 million visitors are expected during the popular fair's 11-day run. Here are some things to know to help you save money and enjoy the event.
FIND DISCOUNTED TICKETS
If you didn't grab advance tickets before the start of the fair, that's OK. There are other ways to save on that $11 adult ticket and $5 child ticket. If you visit the fair between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, adult tickets are $6 and child tickets are $3. There are other discounts for older fairgoers and people who bring in canned food. Keep track of the schedule for those designated days, among others. And don't forget: Children under 5 always enter the fair for free.
BYPASS THE PARKING HASSLE
There is some parking available at the fairgrounds for $10, and nearby homeowners tend to offer up their properties at a discounted price. But you'll get a better deal if you rely on Des Moines' bus service, also known as DART. It's free to park at three designated DART locations away from the fairgrounds, and round-trip fares are $2 for adults and $1 for seniors, children 6 to 10 and people with disabilities. Younger children ride free. Advance fair tickets get you a discount on the bus fare, too.
DON'T FORGET THE FOOD
You're finally inside, so it's time for food. There will be nearly 200 food stands and nearly 70 delicacies available on a stick. While you try to figure out how to expand your stomach to try them all, there's at least good news for your wallet. Some new foods on the menu this year are valued-priced, meaning they'll cost $3. Such items include the Brownie Blitz and the Caprese Salad On-a-Stick (if you want to feel less guilty).
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