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08/18 -- How Minnesota State Fair is winning the battle with casinos for grandstand acts -- Eight of the 11 acts at this year’s Minnesota State Fair grandstand have never headlined there. One has a Top 10 hit on the country and pop charts. Another has a YouTube channel with more than 2.6 billion views. One did a remarkable seven-concert stand at a Minneapolis theater. “It’s probably one of the most diverse lineups we’ve had for quite some time,” said Renee Alexander, the fair’s deputy general manager for entertainment and marketing . . . more -->

08/18 -- Missouri State Fair Pig Exhibitors See Barn Improvements -- Thousands of youth and adult exhibitors who show in the Missouri State Fair Swine Barn will notice major differences in the facility and show ring this year, as the first stage of improvements to the historic barn are complete. Gone are the thick metal gates surrounding the north show ring and placing pens, and the wooden bleachers that were packed during championship drives. Private donations and two special projects have funded a new show ring system . . . more -->

08/18 -- 'Don't Write Us Off': After Financial Troubles, Vermont State Fair Works To Rebound -- The 172nd Vermont State Fair is underway in Rutland with a shorter five-day schedule. Officials say it's part of a rebuilding effort after a rocky few years. Historically the merry-go-rounds, animal barns and carnival attractions would run for 10 days, around Labor Day weekend. But Robert Congdon, vice president of the Rutland County Agricultural Society, which operates the fair, says it was difficult to sustain crowds after school started and finding carnival companies for that time slot became increasingly difficult . . . more -->

08/18 -- Wyoming County Fair Association looking to replace dairy barn -- This year could be one of the last for Wyoming County Fair’s dairy barn in its current form. Back in April, the Wyoming County Fair Association received $192,000 in grant money from New York State to go toward infrastructure upgrades at the fairgrounds. And given that the dairy barn was constructed back in 1977, and sees arguably the most traffic throughout the week, it is a contender to see the money . . . more -->

08/17 -- Montgomery County Fair officials to break ground at new location -- After 165 years in Dayton, Montgomery County Fair officials will break ground Saturday at the fairground’s new home at Arthur O. Fisher Park in Jefferson Twp. The public is invited to the 2 p.m. ceremony to launch the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds & Event Center, a complex designed for year-round use. “It’s a new and exciting beginning,” said John Yancik, president of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society Board . . . more -->

08/15 -- This sleepy boy and his heifer at the Iowa State Fair are winning over the internet -- Mitchell Miner and his heifer, Audri, have spent nearly every day together for the past two months. They've developed an unspoken connection during that short period of time. So when a photo of the pair nestled close to each other sound asleep made its way to social media, it was evident to witness their special bond . . . more -->

08/14 -- Filling the Big E’s Concert Bill Is Equal Parts Art, Science, and Hustle -- John Juliano has been booking entertainment at the Big E for almost 30 years, but his first job for the fair was a little less glamorous. Specifically, it was a part-time gig cleaning out horse stalls in 1982. He didn’t mind, though, because it was money in his pocket, and a chance to be a part of a regional icon he’d loved from his childhood. “It was always my favorite thing to do,” said Juliano, senior director of Sales, Marketing & Entertainment for the Eastern States Exposition. “When I was in junior high school, across the street in Agawam, I’d hop the fence and sit in the bleachers . . . more -->

08/14 -- Miki Sudo sets new ice cream eating world record set at Indiana State Fair -- Passion. Determination. Brain freeze. All were on hand at the Indiana State Fair on Sunday afternoon as a collection of some of the world's top competitive eaters came together to lay waste to gallons of Prairie Farms ice cream. But there was no unity on the stage erected in front of Indiana Farmers Coliseum. For six minutes, that stage became a vanilla-drenched battlefield where only the spirit of competition was present . . . more -->

08/14 -- 'Fiscally conservative' Indiana State Fair gets less for rides than others -- Indiana's annual state fair is now under way, featuring elephant ears, a new sky lift and concerts — with a multimillion-dollar bill to be sent to taxpayers. While many states are pushing their fairs to be self-sustaining — and a few are even cutting off state sponsorship — Indiana's fair and fairgrounds still rely on an annual infusion of state general fund appropriations . . . more -->

08/14 -- Why we haggle over private vs. public space at the Iowa State Fair -- Grandfather’s Barn near the east end of the Iowa State Fairgrounds, 152 years old, is the only building left that stood in 1886 when the fair purchased this land to give a permanent public home to our state's summertime mass homecoming. This year, the fair’s newest structures took shape next door: four modular homes with patios that command sweeping views of the trees and rooftops of the fairgrounds laid out below . . . more -->