Central Iowa Fair board Vice President Jodi Breniman said this year's fair offers much of the same activities as the Iowa State Fair - except for the admission or parking charges.
"We have a lot to offer this year," Breniman said. "Every night there is something special going on."
This year's fair is themed "Ridin,' Rockin,' and Livestockin'" and spans Wednesday through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Marshalltown. Admission and parking is always free.
The 2013 Central Iowa Fair Queen candidates are pictured. The queen coronation will be held Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. as part of the Central Iowa Fair. The candidates are, front row, from left, Bridget Coulter, Paige Slifer, Genivyve Smith and Brandy Grogan. Back row, Tamera Harre, Ashley Criswell, Rachel Freland, Casey Matney and Samantha Stalzer.
While livestock entries are a big part of the fair, Breniman said there is a wide range of activities aside from the animals. There are kids games, live music and other entertainment and a wide array of activities for all age groups.
"There's something for everybody and it's not just animals," Breniman said.
Breniman said the variety also comes in the form of food vendors, where people can munch on anything from frog legs to funnel cakes.
"We have wonderful food vendors this year," she said.
Kid Land will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day at the fair and include inflatables, a dunk tank, mini golf and other activities for a $5 flat fee.
Activities begin with the horse show at 8 a.m. at the outdoor arena and last throughout the day. The Central Iowa Fair Queen will be crowned at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. This year's queen candidates include Bridget Coulter, Paige Slifer, Genivyve Smith, Brandy Grogan, Tamera Harre, Ashley Criswell, Rachel Freland, Casey Matney and Samantha Stalzer.
"They are just a fantastic set of girls," Breniman said.
Prior to the coronation, there will be the surprise 7 p.m. announcement of the newest inductee into the fair Hall of Fame.
Another full day of activities Thursday wraps up with the 5:45 p.m. Sweet Adeline's performance followed by the Marshalltown Municipal Band at 7:30 p.m. The ice cream social will be held at 7:30 p.m. as well.
Blank Park Zoo will have live animals on display from 2 to 4 p.m at the picnic shelter on Friday.
The R&B/pop band Final Mix will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight under the big top tent.
"Final Mix has a big following and they have played in the Marshalltown area before," Breniman said.
While the music is in the big top tent, there will be racing at the Marshalltown Speedway beginning with hot laps at 6:45 p.m.
Saturday is dubbed "Family Fun Day" with activities throughout the day beginning at 8 a.m. A truck pull will be held at the grandstand at 7 p.m.
Saturday night's headlining band is the country group Lonesome Road, which will perform from 8 to midnight under the big top tent.
"They are very good and also have a big following," Breniman said.
Both Final Mix and Lonesome Road are Iowa-based bands.
This day belongs to the recognition of the livestock entries and other 4-H projects. The awards presentation will begin at 10 a.m. with the parade of champions at 11:30 a.m., both in the pavilion.