About the Fair

For Volunteers


Information for Volunteers

Volunteer poses with three young fair goers.

When to be there

Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Volunteers work in four-hour shifts:

Please check the Volunteer Schedule to see when volunteers are most needed. Then email Steve Parrott and Debb Thumma with your desired date and shift, your t-shirt size and a mailing address.

Getting there

The Iowa State Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and University Avenue on Des Moines' east side.

The UI booth is located in the southwest corner of the air-conditioned William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building on the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It's easy to find on interactive map of the Fairgrounds below.


Parking is available north of the Grandstand, off the University Avenue entrance, near gates 1 and 2. Lots fill fast, especially on weekend afternoons and evenings, so expect some delays. Also consider MTA State Fair Park 'n' Ride Shuttles--all shuttles drop riders off at Gate #10, located at East 30th and Walnut Streets. Parking is free at all shuttle locations. See Park and Ride for more information.

Accessibility Information

Information about accessible parking, restrooms, and more is available here.

Fair admission and parking passes

University Relations will provide fair admission and parking passes to all UI volunteers and exhibitors. We will send them via campus/ home address over the summer.

Booth coverage

Crew per shift includes:

There will be several other University of Iowa staff in the booth all 11 days, representing University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Hawk Shop, and various department and offices. In the center area of the booth, there will also be several daily exhibitors from across campus.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow for a shift change. Give yourself about two hours to make the drive from Iowa City, and allow for up to an hour for fair traffic and parking during early afternoon peak times.


Please wear the black and gold shirts provided by University Relations for a unified, professional look.

Shirts will be available at the orientations, or sent via campus/ home address over the summer.

Dress professionally, but comfortably. The Varied Industries Building is air-conditioned, but it can get very hot once you are outside on the fairgrounds. We'd suggest black or khaki slacks or shorts to go with the Hawkeye shirts.

Name tags

Your pre-printed nametag will be waiting for you at the booth. There will also be a supply of blank nametags at the booth.

Guidelines for workers