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Palace to open early for festival concerts

The Corn Palace will open half an hour earlier than normal for concerts during this year's festival to help ease any problems caused by the ongoing renovation at the city-owned tourist attraction.

According to Corn Palace Box Office Assistant Micaela Erickson, guests attending concerts during the Corn Palace Festival, which is scheduled to begin today and run through Sunday, will be allowed to in the doors at 5:30 p.m. That's half an hour earlier than is typical, and an hour and a half before each concert is scheduled to begin.

Guests who bought tickets in advance of the shows will be able to enter through entrances on both the north and south sides of the Corn Palace.

"That hopefully will alleviate some of the crowd and the congestion," Erickson said.

Guests without advance tickets will still be able to purchase them at the box office, which will be located outside near the south entrance to the building.

Work on a nearly $7.2 million renovation of the Corn Palace will be halted for a week during the festival. Certain closed areas in the lobby because of the construction will be temporarily reopened during the festival to allow greater access to the bathrooms during concerts.

The Dweebs will perform a free concert Wednesday on the Freedom Stage in the Fifth and Main parking lot

The festival's lineup of headline acts begins Thursday with a performance by Chris Young. It continues with performances Friday by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and Saturday by Crystal Gayle. Tommy James and the Shondells will wrap up the festival with a Sunday performance.