Iowa PBS has brought Iowa State Fair highlights statewide for 49 years and will once again broadcast extensive coverage on-air and online. This year’s programming begins August 7 with a live broadcast of the 2019 Iowa State Fair Parade, continues August 12-18 with Fair 2019 and the State Fair Talent Championship 2019.

The 2019 Iowa State Fair Parade will be broadcast statewide and livestreamed on Facebook and on Wednesday, August 7 at 6:15 p.m. Iowa's largest parade features high school marching bands, floats, animals, vehicles and more as the procession makes its way through downtown Des Moines.

Fair 2019 nightly highlights air Monday, August 12 through Saturday, August 17 at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Featuring contest results, unique stories, food, animals, music and more, these hour-long programs are among the network’s most-watched of the year. Fair 2019 will also be livestreamed on Facebook and Host Bill Riley will join viewers on Facebook, responding to comments and questions in the livestream chats. Episodes will be rebroadcast back-to-back on Sunday, August 18 beginning at 2 p.m.

Following the marathon, coverage of the finals of the State Fair Talent Championship 2019 will air Sunday, August 18 at 8 p.m. The annual competition showcases some of the amazing talents of Iowa's young people.

This year, Iowa PBS will also broadcast Shining Stars Talent Show, sponsored by Friends of Iowa PBS, a new talent competition organized by the Bill Riley Talent Show for people up to age 30 with special needs.

Below is a list of topics scheduled for each Fair 2019 episode. Please note, topics are subject to change. Visit for the latest updates.

Monday, August 12

  • State Fair Parade
  • New Fair Foods
  • FFA Swine
  • Butter Sculpting Contest
  • Kachunga & The Alligator
  • Mutton Bustin’
  • Iowa State Fair Volunteers
  • Food Contest — Ugliest Cake
  • Iowa Honey Producers
  • 4-H Horse Show
  • Fair Flashback
  • Open Air Painting at the Fair
  • Woodcarving
  • As If You Were There … At the Fair

Tuesday, August 13

  • Monster Arm Wrestling
  • Butter Cow
  • Cowgirl Queen Contest
  • Fair Flashback
  • Weed Identification Contest
  • Big Animals
  • Bacon Buddies
  • Walnut Center Artists
  • FFA Parade of Champions
  • Food Contest — Best Banana Bread
  • Rock-It The Robot
  • As If You Were There … At the Fair

Wednesday, August 14

  • Politics on a Stick
  • Horseshoe Pitching
  • Dairy Tours
  • Fishy Fun Day
  • Queen Contest & Interview
  • FFA Tractor Restoration
  • Governor’s Charity Steer Show
  • Fair Flashback
  • Food Contest — Jams & Jellies
  • Chainsaw Carver
  • As If You Were There … At the Fair

Thursday, August 15

  • Most Unusual Vegetable Contest
  • 4-H Sheep
  • Rooster Crowing Contest
  • Fair Flashback
  • Bandaloni
  • Youth Livestock Judging Contest
  • Veterans Parade
  • Cookout Contest
  • Sea Lion Splash
  • Pigeons
  • County Fair Kings
  • Fair After Dark: Hungry Games
  • As If You Were There … At the Fair

Friday, August 16

  • Timber Sports Contests
  • 4-H Grand Champion Steer
  • Riding the Rides
  • Fair Flashback
  • Accordion Contest
  • Have You Herd?
  • Grandstand Racing History
  • Cow Chip Throwing
  • Church Cookbook Recipe Contest
  • Shining Stars
  • Snakes Alive
  • Fly Tying Competition
  • Bubblegum Blowing Contest
  • As If You Were There … At the Fair

Saturday, August 17

  • Kids Joke Telling Contest
  • Chess Tournament
  • Rubber Chicken Throwing
  • Fair by Air
  • Fair Scavenger Hunt
  • Fair Flashback
  • Food Contest — Decorated Cakes
  • Pie Eating Contest
  • Elvis Impersonator
  • 4-H Family Volunteers
  • Goat Yoga with Kids
  • 4-H & FFA Sale of Champions

Support for Fair 2019 is provided by EMC Insurance Companies and the Iowa Lottery. 

Visit for more Fair 2019 activities and additional broadcast times.