Iowa native and Olympic Medalist Shawn Johnson will serve as Parade Marshal for the 2009 Iowa State Fair Parade, set Wednesday, August 12. The parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Des Moines. The Parade is the state's largest and the annual kick-off to the Fair, which runs August 13-23.

Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines competed at the 2008 Olympic Games and earned an individual gold medal along with three silver medals. Johnson also became the youngest ever contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," where she danced her way to becoming the champion of season eight.

Spectators will be able to watch over 100 floats, animals, vehicles, novelty and performing units during the parade on August 12. Staging will take place at the State Capitol Complex. Parade entrants will then travel west on Grand Avenue to 13th Street. Dispersion will take place between 13th and 18th Streets.

A viewing area accessible to disabled persons is located at the northwest corner of Sixth and Grand Avenues.

Highlights of the gala event will be re-broadcast on parade night throughout central Iowa on FOX 17 beginning at 10 p.m.

The 2009 Iowa State Fair runs August 13-23 - "State Fair Time." The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th Street and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or check out