While the reserved seats are gone, you may still be standing for this retro-rock show on Aug. 18. Check the fair’s website or the fairground’s ticket office for standing-room-only admission the day of any sold-out show.
Whether your tastes run from contemporary Christian and country music to demolition derbies and tractor pulls, our state fair is a great state fair. And not just in the grandstand. Entertainment abounds over every inch of the fairgrounds in Des Moines from today through Aug. 19. What’s not to love about food on a stick, the butter cow, the show animals and all the consumer product demonstrations?
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Not to mention all the stars on the free stages, too. Nashville newcomer Glen Templeton (“I Could Be the One”), ‘70s hit maker Dave Mason (“We Just Disagree”) and ‘90s phenoms Boyz II Men (“End of the Road”) lead the national acts you can see free with your fair admission, not to mention regional favorites The Nadas and The Blue Band.
So here’s a look at the Grandstand acts. For more details on the fair and all its “Fairlicious” festivities, go to Iowastatefair.org.
TobyMac with Tenth Avenue North and Jamie Grace, 8 p.m., $32, fireworks follow.
One of the first Christian rappers, TobyMac carved his initial Grammy-winning niche with dcTalk. He’s continued his winning ways throughout his solo career, too, racking up multiple Grammy, Dove and video nominations and wins. Many of his recordings, including “The Slam,” have been used in commercials, video games and soundtracks. His new album, “Eye on It,” is due out this month.
Friday, Aug. 10
Happy Together Tour, starring The Turtles, with Flo & Eddie, Micky Dolenz from The Monkees, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams, 8 p.m., $25, fireworks follow.
This ‘60s and ‘70s explosion concert named for The Turtles’ biggest hit, also features music from the bands that gave us “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” “Young Girl,” and “Kind of a Drag.”
Saturday, Aug. 11
Larry the Cable Guy with Reno Collier, 8 p.m., $35, fireworks follow.
This Blue Collar working comic, Larry the Cable Guy, is ready to git ‘r done in the grandstand. Daniel Whitney grew up on a Nebraska pig farm, went to college, became a radio DJ, created his Southern redneck persona and hit the comedy circuit. The latter leap has taken him to television and the big screen. But can he hook up your TV?
Sunday, Aug. 12
Miranda Lambert with Pistol Annies and RaeLynn, 8 p.m., $48, fireworks follow.
Country’s reigning female vocalist of the year began by rocking “Nashville Star” with a third-place finish in 2003, then rising ever higher through a string of hits, like “Kerosene” and “The House that Built Me.” Now married to Blake Shelton, we’re far from over our fascination with her.
Monday, Aug. 13
Races: Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models, 5:30 p.m. hot laps, 6 p.m. races, $15 adults, $5 ages 6 to 11.
Tuesday, Aug. 14
The Band Perry with Easton Corbin, 8 p.m., $35, fireworks follow.
This sibling trio has burst onto the scene and landed on the top of the country charts since 2009 with “If I Die Young,” “You Lie,” “All Your Life” and the new “Postcard from Paris.” Look for their new album in the fall.
Wednesday, Aug. 15
Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull, 2 p.m., $20 adults, $10 ages 6 to 11.
Thursday, Aug. 16
Big Time Rush, 7 p.m., $38, fireworks follow.
Nickelodeon hit the big time in 2009 with Big Time Rush — the hockey-to-Hollywood TV show that scored a huge fan goal with its adorable boy band. The group is working on its third album.
Friday, Aug. 17
Hank Williams Jr. with George Thorogood and The Destroyers, 8 p.m., $39, fireworks follow.
Bocephus, son of country legend Hank Williams and father of up-and-coming Hank Williams III, has carved his own place in music, while kicking up enough controversy to have his theme song yanked from “Monday Night Football” telecasts. George Thorogood seems like a natural pairing for this event.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Demolition Derby, 11:30 a.m., $12 adults, $5 ages 6 to 11; Journey with Pat Benatar and Loverboy, 8 p.m., reserved seats sold out, fireworks follow.
Journey’s journey began in San Francisco in the ‘70s, and has continued through TV’s “Glee” and Broadway’s “Rock of Ages” with the musical mantra, “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Along ride are hard rockin’ Pat Benatar and Loverboy, ready to hit the crowd with their best shots.
Sunday, Aug. 19
Rascal Flatts with Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Edens Edge, 7 p.m., $59, fireworks follow.
Rascal Flatts was prayin’ for daylight when that debut song hit the air in 2000. The country trio’s prayers were answered with an unstoppable string of hits.
— Diana Nollen