Iowa State Fair Grandstand.

We are just in the first week of July — but the administrators of the Iowa State Fair are getting ready for its August run.

Fair spokesperson Mindy Williamson says Saturday is the “Corn Dog Kickoff” fundraiser. She says they have a fair food grazing party, a silent and a regular auction, fireworks and the skyglider will give rides. “So you can sort of see the fair before the fair starts.” The event is hosted by the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, which was created in 1993 to raise funds for the upkeep of the fairgrounds.

“The fairgrounds were sort of disrepair and a group of very smart folks came together and said ‘I think that we can raise some funds to make sure that our historic fairgrounds gets the love that it needs’,” Williamson explains. They have upgraded various buildings and attractions through the years.

“This year we are updating our grandstand area — and not the historic part of our grandstand — but more so the stage and the restrooms and adding about four-thousand seats to that,” according to Williamson. She says that work will be ready for this year’s edition of the fair.

“On August 9th when we open the gates here at the fair the grandstand will be new and ready to roll. Our first concert on Thursday is our Christian show ‘Casting Crowns’ and it’ll be people’s first glimpse to see the new stage, the new sound, the new lights,” Williamson says. She says the stage will be almost twice the size that it was.

The Corndog Kickoff begins at 6:30 Saturday evening in the Varied Industries Building.