Saturday, November 27, 2021

Join our email blast

Feature Story

Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide


Central Iowa’s sizzling summer slate of music, theater, art, film and outdoor fun. Enjoy greater Des Moines’ most comprehensive events guide.

“Green Bridge” by Bill Luchsinger, digital painting on aluminum, 48” x 48” at Moberg Gallery. The opening reception for Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger at Moberg Gallery is scheduled for Aug. 2, 5-9 p.m., the event is free to attend. Photo courtesy of Moberg Gallery

Take this wind-chill factor and shove it! Say “sayonara” to your snow boots. It’s time to dig out your dancing shoes and enjoy May, June, July and August. Summer in the city has never looked better than it does in 2019. The greater Des Moines metro area has an events calendar loaded with arts, entertainment and the potential for adventure.

Finding fun events for the people of central Iowa is CITYVIEW’s specialty, but listing every event in the area would be pretty much impossible to print. The following selections are an array of the hottest attractions in the area, the can’t-miss highlights and a sampling of lesser-known activities as well.

Be active, prepare to smile, don’t call the fun police, and enjoy central Iowa this summer. Just don’t do anything we wouldn’t do!

Without further ado… It’s summer in the city.

NOTE: The following dates, times and the other details are believed to be accurate, but be sure to check with each specific venue for confirmation. For more arts and entertainment event information, check all summer long.


Central Iowa summers come alive as good vibrations abound in the area. This summer promises to inspire the soul with a packed playlist, including big-name local, regional and national bands. The city offers live music on almost any night, so grab your dancing shoes and go listen to something new, something old or something unknown. Maybe you will find something special.

NOTE: CITYVIEW couldn’t fit each and every concert into these pages, but these are some of the summer highlights. Dates, times and ticket prices are believed to be accurate, but check with each venue directly for confirmation.

5 p.m. — Bobaflex – Dark Sky Choir at Lefty’s Live Music
5:30-8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6 p.m. — Chicago Farmer at Vaudeville Mews
7-10 p.m. — Jazz On The House, featuring Tina Haase Findlay at Noce
8 p.m. — Gas Lamp Open Mic Every First Thursday Hosted by Tyler Frazier at Gas Lamp
9:30 p.m. — Tristen, The Vahnevants at Vaudeville Mews

6 p.m. — Lee DeWyze, Elizabeth and the Catapult at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — Come Fly With Me: Max Wellman Sings Sinatra with The Des Moines Big Band at Noce
7:30 p.m. — SYBARITE5 at Hoyt Sherman
7 p.m. — Cardi B at Wells Fargo Arena
8:30 p.m. — She’s Crafty – Beastie Boys Tribute at Gas Lamp
9:30 p.m. — The Bowling Green Massacre, Bitter Friends at Vaudeville Mews

2 p.m. — The Jedi Training Yoga Experience at Lefty’s Live Music
5:30 p.m. — Hold For Swank, Tough Ghost, Alex Carter at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls and Shovels and Rope at Hoyt Sherman Place — $29.50-$47.50
7 p.m. — Paige Harpin Sings Whitney Houston (encore performance) at Noce
7 p.m. — Shovels and Rope / Frank Turner (co-headline) at Hoyt Sherman
9:30 p.m. — Castle at Vaudeville Mews

5:30 p.m. — Chrome Waves, Into The Cove at Vaudeville Mews

5 p.m. — Black Magic Flower Power, Origami Animals, Gallivant, Iowa Junk at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Peelander – Z at Wooly’s — $10-$12
9:30 p.m. — Matthew McNeal at Vaudeville Mews

4 p.m. — Signs of the Swarm, Depths of Hatred, Sentinels, Band of Sacrifice, Hallowed Hysteria, Drowning Life at Vaudeville Mews
7-10 p.m. — Jazz Masters: The Des Moines Big Band Plays Thad Jones at Noce
7:30 p.m. — The Beach Boys at Stephens Auditorium — $54.50

Chicago is the first American band to chart albums in Billboard’s Pop Top 40 in six consecutive decades. The band boasts 47 albums that have earned gold or platinum certification. They will play the Civic Center on May 22. Photo submitted

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6 p.m. — Satsang at Vaudeville Mews
7-10 p.m. — Jazz On The House, featuring Trumpeter Rishi Kolusu at Noce
7 p.m. — Tacoma FB’s Heffernan at Wooly’s — $25
9:30 p.m. — Arkansauce, The Mighty Pines at Vaudeville Mews

5:30 p.m. — Zap Tura, Annalibera, Erik Jarvis at Vaudeville Mews
7-10 p.m. — The Soul Searchers at Noce
7:30 p.m. — Twin Peaks at Wooly’s — $16-$18
8 p.m. — The Prince Experience at Brenton Skating Plaza — $25-$28
9 p.m. — No Good Deed – Blindspot – Longbottom Leaf at Lefty’s Live Music
9:30 p.m. — Illi (The Boy Illinois), Johnny Marz at Vaudeville Mews

5 p.m. — Felix Martin – Sarah Longfield Live at Lefty’s Live Music
5:30 p.m. — Vicious Rumors at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — Steve Berry: 1969 at Noce
7 p.m. — Hatebreed at Wooly’s — $30

7 p.m. — Chris Myers and Fred Love at The Goldfinch Room – Stephens Auditorium, Ames
7:30 p.m. — Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty with the Des Moines Symphony at Des Moines Civic Center
9:30 p.m. — Will Bennett and the Tells, Blind Adam and the Federal League, Tough Ghost at Vaudeville Mews

4:30 p.m. — Carnographer, Xenophonic, Mutilated By Zombies, Heir of Sorrow, Frontal Assault at Vaudeville Mews

6:30 p.m. — Steve Hofstetter at Vaudeville Mews

8 p.m. — Dave Matthews Band at Wells Fargo Arena
8:30 p.m. — Taiyamo Denku, Soultru, Chill Mac at Vaudeville Mews

Stephens Auditorium’s Iowa Songwriter Showcase at The Goldfinch Room features Iowa songwriter Chris Myers at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Photo submitted

7-10 p.m. — The Des Moines Big Band, in residence at Noce
7 p.m. — Will Hoge at Vaudeville Mews

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7-10 p.m. — Jazz On The House, featuring The Heartland Trio with Hannah Marks at Noce
7 p.m. — Kenny Chesney: Songs for the Saints Tour with David Lee Murphy and Caroline Jones at Wells Fargo Arena
7:30 p.m. — Derek Hough at Stephens Auditorium — $69.50 and $49.50
8:30 p.m. — The Well, Superchief, Into The Cove at Vaudeville Mews

4:30 p.m. — Cult Classic at Vaudeville Mews
5 p.m. — Bitter Sweet Presents Celebration Of A Survivor at Lefty’s Live Music
7 p.m. — The Crystal Method at Wooly’s — $20-$25
7-10 p.m. — NOLA Jazz Band at Noce
8 p.m. — Tool with TBA special guest at Wells Fargo Arena

4 p.m. — Rod Picott with Patresa Hartman at Gas Lamp
7-10 p.m. — Chicago-Based Chris Greene Quartet at Noce
7 p.m. — Primitive Man, Aseethe, Body Void, Blood Spell, Idolist at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Masterworks 7: Season Finale – Bernstein’s West Side Story at the Des Moines Civic Center

9 p.m. — FEM-BOMB at Lefty’s Live Music
10:30 p.m. — Late Night Jazz: Des Funk at Noce

2:30 p.m. — Masterworks 7: Season Finale – Bernstein’s West Side Story at the Des Moines Civic Center

8:30 p.m. — Grivo, Alluvion at Vaudeville Mews

7 p.m. — The Cactus Blossoms at Wooly’s — $12-$15
7-10 p.m. — Jazz Masters: The Des Moines Big Band Plays Count Basie at Noce
7:30 p.m. — EYEHATEGOD, Phobia, Traffic Death at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Chicago at the Des Moines Civic Center — $55 – $115

Kosmic Kingdom is focused on pushing the limits of the festival experience. The two-day event is hosted at Des Moines Sleepy Hollow’s 40-acre sports park, May 31 – June 1. Photo submitted

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7-10 p.m. — Jazz On The House with Gina Gedler at Noce
7:30 p.m. — Katie Thiroux Trio at the Temple Theater — $29-$60
7:30 p.m. — Badflower at Wooly’s — $15-$17

5:30 p.m. — The Spirit of the Beehive, Strange Ranger, Goatfoam at Vaudeville Mews
8 p.m. — Arch Allies at Brenton Skating Plaza — $20-$25
7 p.m. — Minneapolis Vocalist Joyann Parker Sings Patsy Cline at Noce

7-10 p.m. — Fred Gazzo and The Metropolitan 6 at Noce
8 p.m. — The Crown Jewels – Queen Tribute Band at Prairie Meadows

6 p.m. — Walter Salas-Humara at Vaudeville Mews

4 p.m. — Famous Last Words, Dayshell, Awake At Last, At My Mercy, These Fading Visions, Forget Me at Vaudeville Mews
7-10 p.m. — Season Finale! The Des Moines Big Band, in residence at Noce

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7-10 p.m. — Jazz On The House with SHEVELIA at Noce

4:30 p.m. — The Emblem Faction, Shattered Crown, Doppelganger, Drowning Life at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — The Nadas at Brenton Skating Plaza — $20-$25
7:30 p.m. — Tribute to Frank Sinatra at the Temple Theater — $39.50 – $49.50

9:30 p.m. — Southpaw Sonata, Cold Winds, Dire Wake at Vaudeville Mews

MAY 31 – JUNE 1
Kosmic Kingdom Music Festival at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park

5 p.m. — Gravespawn, Agrinex, Y Incision at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — Euforquestra with Cory Wong and Public Property at Brenton Skating Plaza — $20-$25
8 p.m. — Dan Tedesco at Wooly’s — $15-$100

7 p.m. — Tech N9ne at Wooly’s — $35

4 p.m. — Filth – Rig Time – Albert The Cannibal – Drowning Life – Romeo Tried – Brevity at Lefty’s Live Music
6 p.m. — Luke Redfield at Vaudeville Mews

6 p.m. — Sarah Grace and The Soul at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Zenith Chamber Music Festival Gala Opening Concert with internationally-acclaimed cellist Amit Peled at Drake University Sheslow Auditorium — free

9 p.m. — Reckless Kelly at Wooly’s — $20-$23

6 p.m. — Brother Trucker at Gas Lamp
6 p.m. — Zenith Chamber Music Festival at Jasper Winery — free
6:30 p.m. — Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. the Tour at the Des Moines Civic Center

Ben Folds plays the new Water Works Park
Amphitheater at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15.
Photo by Rachel Feikema

5 p.m. — Neckbeard Deathcamp, Theories, Dryad, Everlasting Light at Vaudeville Mews
5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6:30 p.m. — Jazz with Damani Phillips at Zenith Chamber Music Festival at Noce — free
7 p.m. — Ghostemane at Wooly’s — $25-$30

7:30 p.m. — Zenith Chamber Music Festival at Walnut Hills United Methodist Church, Urbandale — free
8 p.m. — Aftershock – Governor’s Days at Waterworks Park in Grimes — free

7:30 p.m. — Zenith Chamber Music Festival at Drake University Sheslow Auditorium — free
8 p.m. — Monkey Monkey Monkey at Waterworks Park in Grimes — free
8 p.m. — Kill Tony at Wooly’s — $20
9 p.m. — Hummingbird Horizions at Lefty’s Live Music
9:30 p.m. — In The Whale at Vaudeville Mews

7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free
7:30 p.m. — New Kids On The Block Mixtape Tour with Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty By Nature at Wells Fargo Arena

6:30 p.m. — J.S. Ondara at Vaudeville Mews — $12-$14

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7 p.m. — Steve Miller Band and Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives at Wells Fargo Arena

5:30 p.m. — Square Hammer (Ghost Tribute), The Maension at Vaudeville Mews

3-7 p.m. — Brian Congdon; 8 p.m. — to midnight, Jimmy the Weasel at Mickey’s Irish Pub in Waukee, the official Finish Line Post Party for BACooN 6 — Mickey’s is within walking or biking distance to Centennial Park.

6:30 p.m. — Set It Off at Wooly’s — $19-$22
6:30 p.m. — Willy Porter at Vaudeville Mews
7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free
7:30 p.m. — Taj Mahal Quartet at Hoyt Sherman Place

7 p.m. — Buckcherry at Wooly’s — $25-$30

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6 p.m. — Drinking Pants Pageant at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Melissa Etheridge – The Medicine Show at Hoyt Sherman

5 p.m. — Nequient, Acoustic Guillotine, Nostromo, Primal Breath at Vaudeville Mews

6 p.m. — Gaither Vocal Band at the Des Moines Civic Center — $28 – $73
7:30 p.m. — Delta Rae at Wooly’s — $18-$20
7:30 p.m. — Shawn Mendes: The Tour with special guest Alessia Cara at Wells Fargo Arena
9:30 p.m. — The DSM Comedy Roast Battle 2 at Vaudeville Mews

6-7:30 p.m. — Jake Gill at the Bandshell at Wagner Park in Ankeny
7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free

7 p.m. — Lake Street Dive at Brenton Skating Plaza — $30-$35
7:30 p.m. — The High Divers, Babe Club at Vaudeville Mews

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free

9:30 p.m. — Sic (Slipknot tribute), Vent to Atmosphere, Alter Within at Vaudeville Mews

5:30 p.m. — Public Safety, The Copper Smoke Trials, Superquiet at Vaudeville Mews
6-7:30 p.m. — Gimikk at the Bandshell at Wagner Park in Ankeny
7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free

7 p.m. — Fitz and The Tantrums at Brenton Skating Plaza — $30-$130
7:30 p.m. — Car Seat Headrest With Naked Giants at Wooly’s — $22-$25

8:30 p.m. — Des Moines Symphony’s 26th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops with Joseph Giunta at the Capitol — free

5 p.m. — Blue Felix, FreakTwent4, Brevity, Star Biter at Vaudeville Mews

7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free

7:30 p.m. — Boz Scaggs: Out of The Blues Tour 2019 at Hoyt Sherman

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6 p.m. — Jazz in July: Charmin Michelle at Hoyt Sherman
8 p.m. — Eli Young Band at Brenton Skating Plaza — $20-$25

JULY 12-13
80/35 at Western Gateway Park

7 p.m. — Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall — free

7:30 p.m. — The Struts at Water Works Park Amphitheater — $25-$30

6 p.m. — Michigander at Vaudeville Mews — $10-$12

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7:30 p.m. — An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band at Hoyt Sherman

6 p.m. — Jazz in July: Debbie Duncan at Hoyt Sherman

6 p.m. — Johnny Pemberton at Vaudeville Mews
7:30 p.m. — Brit Floyd at Stephens Auditorium — $50

6-7:30 p.m. — Ankeny Community Band and Chorus at the Bandshell at Wagner
Park in Ankeny

5:30-8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
6 p.m. — Jazz in July: Damani Phillips at Hoyt Sherman
7:30 p.m. — STRANGELOVE at Wooly’s — $20

7:30 p.m. — Band of Horses at Hoyt Sherman

6-7:30 p.m. — Oreo Meatwagon at the Bandshell at Wagner Park in Ankeny

7:30 p.m. — Red Wanting Blue at Wooly’s — $15

AUG. 2-4
Hinterland Music Festival 2019 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater and Event
Center — $20-$694

5:30-8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7 p.m. — Turnpike Troubadours at Brenton Skating Plaza — $30-$35
8 p.m. — for King and Country with special guest Zach Willams at Iowa State Fair — $45/40/35

8 p.m. — The Chainsmokers at Iowa State Fair — $80/75/70

8 p.m. — Slipknot at Iowa State Fair — $60/53/43

8 p.m. — Zac Brown Band: The Owl Tour at Iowa State Fair — $85/75/70

TBA at Iowa State Fair
7 p.m. — John Bulter Trio at Brenton Skating Plaza — $40.25 – $613

8 p.m. — Dan + Shay with special guest Carly Pearce at Iowa State Fair — $47/37/27

8 p.m. — Gabriel Fluffy Iglesias at Iowa State Fair — $45/37/32

5:30–8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free
7 p.m. — Ben Folds and Violent Femmes at Water Works Park Amphitheater — $35-$279
8 p.m. — Foreigner with special guest Night Ranger at Iowa State Fair — $42/32/27

8 p.m. — Luke Bryan “What Makes You Country” with special guest Jon Langston at Iowa State Fair — $80/75/70

AUG. 16-17
515 Alive Music Festival at Des Moines Water Works Park

8 p.m. — Pentatonix The World Tour with special guest Rachel Platten at Iowa State Fair — $50/40/35

8 p.m. — Hootie and the Blowfish, Group Therapy Tour with special guest Barenaked Ladies at Iowa State Fair — $75/65/55

5:30-8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free

7 p.m. — The Pork Tornadoes and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Brenton Skating Plaza — $20-$25

7 p.m. — The Best of Both Worlds: Travis Ness and Domita Sanchez at Noce

5:30-8:30 p.m. — Music in the Junction in Historic Valley Junction — free

7:30 p.m. — KISS announced the second leg of their final tour ever. The appropriately named End of the Road at Wells Fargo Arena

7:30 p.m. — The Cadillac Three at Wooly’s — $22-$25

8 p.m. — Koe Wezel at Wooly’s — $15-$20


Laugh. Cry. Get angry. Live talent performing on stage can excite the inner you, enrich the mind and dazzle the soul. This summer, Des Moines’ local stages offer classic plays, world-class musicals, Shakespeare productions and comedy. Lights. Laughter. Action. Enjoy!


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical comedy, “School of Rock,” follows a wannabe rock star as he poses as a substitute teacher and manages to turn a class of straight-A students into a rock band. The show plays at the Des Moines Civic Center through May 5. Photo submitted

Through May 5 — Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock”
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
“School of Rock” is a musical comedy that follows a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher. He manages to turn a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane hit offers 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Through May 19 — “It’s Not You, It’s Me” – The Second City
Temple Theater
1011 Locust St., Des Moines
The Second City has been laughing at love and its infinite side effects for decades. In “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” The Second City lampoons love, heartbreak, missed connections and human relationships.

May 2 — Chris D’Elia’s “Follow the Leader” tour
Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Chris D’Elia — best known for his stand-up comedy and his starring role on the NBC comedy series “Undateable” — is one of the most sought-after comedians in the nation.

May 4 — “Shovels and Rope”
Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
“The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine,” wrote Anne Brontë in her Victorian novel, “Agnes Grey.” “Shovels and Rope” is a musical that embodies that bond.

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty join the Des Moines Symphony at Des Moines Civic Center, Saturday, May
Photo submitted

May 9-12 — “The Friendly Hour”
Theatre Midwest
Grand View University – Viking Auditorium
“The Friendly Hour” is a play based on the actual minutes of a women’s club formed in rural South Dakota starting in 1934 and running through 2007. Charting seven decades of personal and national history, this poignant comedy includes tales of skinning skunks, julebukking in the 1930s, and restoring native prairie in the new millennium. Through the 70-year timespan, the women engage
in theological disputes, discussion regarding God’s purpose, and the purpose of community.

May 10-19 — “Disgraced”
Kum and Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club
900 Mulberry St. Des Moines
“Disgraced” follows a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. His artist wife is white, and her work is influenced by Islamic imagery. When the couple hosts a dinner, what starts out as friendly banter escalates into something searing and damaging.

May 11 — Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty with the Des Moines Symphony
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty join the Des Moines Symphony to offer a night of Broadway hits and unforgettable music.

Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa is on her first multi-city, live concert tour. The singer, dancer and entrepreneur visits the Des Moines Civic Center June 5. Photo submitted

May 21 — Ballet British Columbia (Ballet BC)
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Founded in 1986, Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed collaborative and creation-based contemporary ballet company. Known for its bold innovation, the company’s dancers are a group of artists who use their dynamic movement to share an intuitive passion for dance.

May 22 — “Chicago”
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
As one of the longest-running and best-selling groups of all time, Chicago is the first American band to chart albums in Billboard’s Pop Top 40 for six consecutive decades, and it is the highest charting American band in Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists. Chicago boasts 47 albums that have earned gold and platinum certification.

April 26 – May 19 — “Ella Enchanted”
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines
Ella was given the “gift” of obedience as a baby by her wacky fairy godmother, Lucinda. As she grows into being a teenager, Ella realizes how dangerous her curse could be. Trying to find a way to break the spell, Ella encounters an evil stepmother and her two unpleasant daughters who take advantage of the curse. Despite this problem, Ella saves Prince Char and his knights from an ogre, leading to a lasting friendship.


May 31 – June 16 — “Silent Sky”
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines
“Silent Sky” is centered on the untold stories of female astronomers through the eyes of a real scientist, Henrietta Leavitt, a female “computer” at Harvard College Observatory.

June 5 — “Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour”
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Nickelodeon star and YouTube sensation JoJo Siwa is on her first multi-city, live concert tour. The singer, dancer, entrepreneur, social media influencer and New York Times bestselling author connects with her fans through many channels.

June 7-16 — “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Ankeny Community Theater
1932 S.W. Third St., Ankeny
During WWII, as Nazi-Germany occupied the Netherlands, 13-year-old Anne Frank kept a diary while hiding with her mother, father, sister and three others. The group was concealed within a sealed-off portion of her father’s office building in Amsterdam. The rooms also contained a hidden door that the Franks hid behind when Nazi soldiers were investigating. They remained hidden for two years and one month, until they were found, which resulted in their deportation to concentration camps.

June 7-22 — Pyramid Theatre Company: “Too Heavy For Your Pocket”
Stoner Theater
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
From the mind of Pyramid Theatre Company’s founding artistic director, member and rising national playwright, Jireh Breon offers “Too Heavy For Your Pocket.” Flashback to the Deep South in the summer of 1961. Bowzie Brandon, a 20-year-old, is willing to give up what could be a life-changing college scholarship, but is shaping his country’s future worth jeopardizing his own? Artistic Director Tiffany Johnson brings audiences right into the thick of the Civil Rights movement, providing a lens to the Black experience during these troubled times of injustice.

June 8-23 — Pyramid Theatre Company: “How I Learned What I Learned”
Stoner Theater
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
The life of the playwright August Wilson is portrayed in this one-man show. Wilson reflects on his everyday life experiences while offering thoughts and insight into the artistic world, specifically his inspiration for and completion of the infamous Pittsburgh Cycle. Get an inside look at the life of one of the greatest black playwrights in American history.

June 11 — “Game Grumps: The Final Party”
Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan will be playing games, making jokes and having a blast, as usual, as the duo entertains a live audience at Hoyt Sherman. “Game Grumps” is a comedy gaming show.

June 12-16 — Shakespeare on the lawn: “Macbeth”
Salisbury House and Gardens – 4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines
Unadulterated ambition, black magic and brutal chaos ignites the dark of night in the shadow of the looming Salisbury House Castle. This classic drama is set in medieval Scotland and based in part on an historical account. Watch the bloody rise to power and the tragic downfall.

June 20 — Melissa Etheridge – The Medicine Show
Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Melissa Etheridge visits for an evening performance of unforgettable songs and new music from her forthcoming album The Medicine Show. Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. Her popularity grew around such memorable originals as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy.” Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for nearly three decades.

June 25–30 — “The Play That Goes Wrong”
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? Find out at “The Play That Goes Wrong.” This murder mystery offers mishaps by the bundle while telling the story of “The Murder at Haversham Manor” and its opening night. Things quickly go from bad to disastrous. The leading lady is unconscious, the cast features a corpse that can’t play dead, and clumsy actors trip on everything — especially their lines.

June 28 – July 21 — “La Bohème”
Des Moines Metro Opera
513 North D St., Indianola
A flickering candle and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark begins one of the greatest love stories ever told. Witness the bohemian revolution from your opera seat in Indianola.

A flickering candle and an accidental touch of cold hands begins “La Bohème.” Witness this classic tale presented by the Des Moines Metro Opera, June 28 – July 21, at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola. Photo submittedCITYVIEW

June 29 – July 20 — “Candide”
Des Moines Metro Opera
513 North D St., Indianola
“Candide” is said to be part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent. The stage performance draws on everything from European operetta to Latin American dance rhythms.


July 6-19 — “Wozzeck”
Des Moines Metro Opera
513 North D St., Indianola
“Wozzeck” is a modern opera by Alban Berg. The masterpiece tells the tale of a man berated by his captain and overcome by jealousy as he attempts to make sense of his fragmented, dreamlike mental state.

July 11 — “#IMOMSOHARD”
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut St., Des Moines
Two moms and best friends are funny ladies and the creators of the viral web-series #IMOMSOHARD. Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley discuss the good, the bad and the funny about motherhood — with the help of a bottle of red wine.

July 12 – Aug. 4 — “Disney’s Newsies”
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines

Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley discuss the good, the bad and the funny about motherhood — with the help of a bottle of red wine — #IMOMSOHARD plays the Civic Center, July 11. Photo submitted

Inspired by the New York newsboys’ strike of 1899, this musical comedy-drama offers insight into the lives of newspaper delivery boys as the teenagers struggle against publishing behemoths Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Filled with high-energy action and dance numbers, this is a show for the whole family.

July 18-21 — “Bon Appétit!”
Iowa Culinary Institute
2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Through a unique partnership with the acclaimed Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College, the Des Moines Metro Opera is offering a Julia Child-inspired dinner and a performance of Lee Hoiby’s “Bon Appétit!” A full dinner is included with the price of admission.

July 18 — An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Hoyt Sherman Place
1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
The career of American icon Lyle Lovett has spanned multiple decade and 14 albums. The Texas-based storytelling musician fuses elements of country with swing while including jazz, folk, gospel and blues to form a convention-defying unique style that breaks down barriers and thoroughly entertains.

July 19-28 — “Annie”
Urbandale Community Theater
Franklin Junior High, 4801 Franklin Ave., Des Moines
“Annie” is a worldwide phenomenon and boasts seven Tony Awards, including best musical. The score features some of the greatest hits ever written, including “Tomorrow.” Watch as the beloved little orphan Annie charms her way from being an orphan in 1930s New York City to befriending President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finding a new home and family.

July 26 – Aug. 4 — “Beauty and the Beast”
Pella Community Center
712 Union St., Pella
Beauty. Beast. Music. Dancing. It all comes together on stage starting in this classic performance by Union Street Players at Pella’s award-winning community theater.


Aug. 2-11 — “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Ankeny Community Theater
1932 S.W. Third St., Ankeny
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a PG comedy written four centuries ago by William Shakespeare. The classic production centers on the marriage of the Duke of Athens to the former queen of the Amazons.


Sept. 6-29 — “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”
Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 42nd St., Des Moines
A distant heir to a family fortune aims to speed up his fortune by way of charm, wit and a dash of murder.


Summertime movies offer an experience unlike any other, especially the blockbusters. So move over serious dramas of the Oscar season; it’s time for some guilty pleasures.

Action, adventure and animation are on the agenda in central Iowa, and you won’t want to miss the films listed below. The upcoming season offers a full slate of sequels and remakes as the silver screen is bringing back beloved characters like Woody and the “Toy Story” gang, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and the not so friendly Godzilla.

Nothing quenches the spirit like beating the summer heat and escaping into an air-conditioned movie theater. So splurge on an ice-cold soda and settle into a chair sure to even please Goldilocks. Lights. Camera… Popcorn?

Can’t wait.


MAY 31

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”
(Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Zhang Ziyi, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance)
Guess who’s back? Godzilla is back! In this continuation of the iconic monster story, the Earth is in shambles and humanity’s existence is hanging by a post-apocalyptic thread. Monarch is a crypto-zoological agency left to navigate the earth’s aftermath, but not without a few obstacles. Godzilla rises again from the ashes to take on Monarch, other god-sized titans, and his old nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. Brown and Farmiga are seasoned actresses of the sci-fi genre and shouldn’t disappoint eager viewers. This action-packed adventure is expected to be a wild ride.

(Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Bell, Max Croes)
The next blockbuster musical biopic is just around the corner. “Rocketman” chronicles the story of music legend Elton John, his rise to fame, and his lasting footprint on the modern music industry. Reginald Dwight was a shy boy from Middlesex, England before he evolved into Elton John, the flashy glamorous superstar. But like many tales of stardom, his fame didn’t come without a cost. Elton confronts issues of identity, stardom and otherwise. All the while, some of the greatest hits to ever climb the charts make their way to the big-screen. Longtime fans and others alike are sure to enjoy witnessing the rise of one of the biggest musical icons of the 20th century.


“Dark Phoenix”
(Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult)
The X-Men are back. But this time, the foe they must face is one of their own. Jean Gray begins to spiral out of control after colliding with a mysterious cosmic force while on a rescue mission in outer space. Her tragic twist of fate leaves her infinitely more powerful but equally unhinged. Now it’s up to the X-Men to save her from herself and the clutches of aliens who seek to harness her powers for a far more sinister purpose. The film is sure to satisfy a craving for action and stunning visuals.

“Late Night”
(Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Hugh Dancy, Amy Ryan, John Lithgow)
Mindy Kaling writes and stars in this new comedy about being a woman in the entertainment industry. Molly is a new staff writer for a late night comedy show… And she is the only woman. When her boss finds out she could be in danger of losing her long-time position as host, she turns to Molly for help. The two women soon bond in hilarious and desperate ways while navigating the power dynamics of the entertainment industry. A satire on women in the workplace among other things, fans of Kaling are in for a treat.


“Men in Black: International”
(Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Najiani)
The men in black are back, but this time with a fresh female face. Agent M is recruited to work alongside Agent H in one of MIB’s most intense missions yet. Action, adventure and comedy follow the plot all the way to London where the agents must combat a mole from inside their own organization. Complete with silly space aliens and memory wiping devices, this film is expected to be a true homage to the beloved franchise.


“Child’s Play”
(Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Gabriel Bateman, Ty Consiglio, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson)
Cinema’s scariest doll is returning to the big screen. In this remake of the 1980s horror cult classic, children’s toys are made to be objects of terror. Unaware of its wicked nature, a mother gifts her young son a doll on his birthday, and the Chucky doll begins its evil rampage on the boy, his family and the world. What follows is a sinister bloodbath lovers of horror will not want to miss.

“Toy Story 4”
(Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Joan Cusack, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Wallace Shawn)
One of animated film’s most beloved ensembles is back to the big screen after what appeared to be a completed trilogy. The last time we saw Woody and his toy gang was when they were tenderly donated to little Bonnie as Andy left for college. Now, Bonnie is taking the toys along for a road trip which reunites Woody with an old pal from Andy’s bedroom: Bo Peep. As they reminisce about old times, they soon realize more may have changed for them as toys than they thought. Pixar has done it again.


(Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran, Ana de Armas, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, James Corden)
In this musical comedy, the world experiences a widespread momentary power outage. Afterward, struggling musician Jack Malik is the only person who has ever heard of The Beatles. As he single-handedly delivers the band’s hits to the world as his own, his entire world changes. He gains massive musical popularity as he plays their songs, making him renowned as the greatest songwriter of his time. Still, his newfound fame doesn’t come without personal consequences. Filled to the brim with humor and homage, this film will be a must-see for music fans here, there and everywhere.


“Spider-Man: Far From Home”
(Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Cobie Smulders, Marisa Tomei)
Tom Holland is back in the latest installment of your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. Peter Parker is relieved to take a break from defending New York City by going on a school trip to Europe with his closest friends and confidants. But as it turns out, the world still needs saving even when he’s on vacation. Nick Fury interjects his trip with a new mission to defeat the evil Mysterio as he attempts to let chaos reign over all of Europe. This exciting new chapter for one of Marvel’s most adored heroes is sure to be a treat.


“The Lion King”
(Donald Glover, Beyonce, James Earl Jones, Eric Andre, Seth Rogan, John Oliver, Chiwetel Ejiofor)
One of Disney’s most beloved classics is making a comeback after 25 years. With a star-studded cast, updated animation, and the same iconic soundtrack, audiences around the globe can’t wait to revisit “The Lion King.” Lion cub Simba is initially eager to claim his place as King of the jungle but is rudely interrupted when his father Mufasa is killed with Simba left for dead. Simba makes his hero’s journey alongside a colorful cast of animal companions, namely Timon, a sardonic meerkat, and Pumbaa, a lovable warthog. Loosely based on the story of Hamlet, this much-anticipated remake is a must-see for all ages.


“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
(Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margo Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Luke Perry)
The latest film from one of Hollywood’s most iconic directors, Quentin Tarantino, delivers a new crime dramedy about the glitz and glamour of 1969 Los Angeles. The film follows actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth as they strive for further fame towards the end of Hollywood’s golden age. As the film industry evolves, the actors must adapt, and they don’t like the changes they see. Following multiple story lines with a strong ensemble cast, this latest installment by Tarantino is expected to be as nostalgic as it is gritty.

AUG. 2

“Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw”
(Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Idris Elba, Jason Statham, Eiza Gonzalez, Vanessa
Kirby, Roman Reigns, Helen Mirren)
This hot new action comedy film is a spin-off of the long-lived “Fast and Furious”
movie franchise. Two characters from the earlier movies, Luke Hobbs and
Deckard Shaw, carry this summer blockbuster into new territory. Rule-abiding
federal agent Hobbs and lawless outcast Shaw find themselves in an unlikely
alliance in this action-packed adventure. These two comical tough guys must
join forces to stop a new threat: a cyber-genetically enhanced international
terrorist. The former foes must now partner up to save the fate of humanity, and
that leads to hilarity in the latest installment of this infamous franchise.

JULY 19-20, JULY 31 – AUG. 1, AUG. 15

Des Moines Social Club – 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines
During the Des Moines Social Club’s 48 Hour Film Project, the area’s filmmakers
compete to see who can make the best short film. The catch? Each team only has 48 hours. Once the films are complete and in the can, the works are screened at the Fleur Cinema and judged. The film named as the best overall advances to compete against films from around the globe at Filmapalooza 2020 and for a chance at the grand prize and an opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2020.
July 19-20 – filmmaking weekend
July 31 – Aug. 1 – film screenings
Aug. 15 – best of screenings


Inspiration via fine art is important for any populace. Fortunately, central Iowa offers fun art options of many varieties. Museums, festivals, galleries and art-centered events adorn the calendar throughout the summer. The city’s art scene is hot and brings out the best in all of us. Listing every summer art event would be impossible. The following list contains many of the area’s highlights.


Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines
The Des Moines Art Center is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of engaging local and international audiences. The art museum and its school add to the cultural record through their collections and programs.

Through May 12 — “Without You the World Goes On” Anna K. Meredith Gallery
Time, materials, labor and value, Susan Collis’ work deals with conceptual ideas that are full of rich, poetic, intrinsic contradictions.

Through May 19 — “Edge of Alchemy” Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery

Silent film stars Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor are cast into this surreal epic. The film is handmade and animated as Stacey Steers employs found film footage and collages she creates with 19th-century engravings and illustrations.

May 10 – Aug. 4 — Lea Grundig’s Anti-Fascist Art
Lea Grundig’s artwork is haunting, riveting, hard to look at and mesmerizing — all at the same time.

May 24 – Sept. 22 — “I Was Here” Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Video Gallery
Artist Jeffrey Gibson addresses themes such as race, gender, sexuality and religion.

June 1 – Sept. 8 — “Queer Abstraction” Anna K. Meredith Gallery and I.M. Pei Building
This is the first exhibition in the Des Moines Art Center’s 70-year history to focus exclusively on this subject matter.

June 21 – Oct. 13 — Iowa Artists: Noah Doely
Blank One.
Iowa artist Noah Doely produces work focused on science and the history of visual perception, as well as the origins of photography, myth and the world.

Des Moines Arts Festival attracts professional artists from around the nation, as well as more than 200,000 visitors. This year’s event is scheduled for June 28-30 at Western Gateway Park. Photo submitted

Ankeny Art Center
1520 S.W. Ordnance Road

June 5 – July 25 — “Somewhere, Across the Sea” by Jerry Ranch
Reception: Thursday, June 7, 5-7 p.m.
Fine Art Photography

June 5 – July 25 — “Colors of Snow” by Mavis Simms
Reception: Thursday, June 7, 5-7 p.m.
Fine Art Textiles

July 31- Sept. 26 — Works by Janet Hart Heinicke
Reception: Thursday, Aug. 2, 5-7 p.m.
Fine Art Drawing and Painting

July 31- Sept. 26 — Works by Pam Hibbs
Reception: Thursday, Aug. 2, 5-7 p.m.
Fine Art Acrylic Painting

May 19 — Valley Junction Arts Festival
Historic Valley Junction
Valley Junction’s art committee has redefined art in Valley Junction. With a focus on juried exhibitions of fine arts and crafts, the format allows the public opportunities to interact with artists and purchase original work. Musical entertainment is also scheduled for this event, as are art activities for kids and artist demonstrations throughout the day. The Valley Junction Arts Festival will be held rain or shine, and the event is free.

June 21-28 — Art Week Des Moines
Western Gateway Park
Art Week Des Moines is an annual celebration designed to build year-round awareness about local artists, studios, galleries and museums. Venues, organizations and businesses are encouraged to host events during the week leading up to the Des Moines Arts Festival. The goal is to provide rich programming throughout the week to reach across generations and across art genres.

June 28-30 — Des Moines Arts Festival
Western Gateway Park
Des Moines Arts Festival is arguably the city’s crown jewel of summer culture. The event attracts 180 professional artists from around the nation, as well as eclectic foods, interactive art, live music and the Interrobang Film Festival. More than 200,000 visitors attend each year. Don’t neglect your optic nerve. #GoWhereItTakesYou at #DMAF2019.

June 28-30 — Interrobang Film Festival
Central Library
What do you get if you combine a traditional film production festival with a public screening? Meet the Interrobang Film Festival. Accepted films are screened at various times throughout the three days of the Festival in the south wing of the Downtown Library.

June 29-30 — ArtFest Midwest
Iowa State Fairgrounds – Varied Industries Building
This downtown art show is held on the same weekend as the Des Moines Arts Festival. The two art extravaganzas piggyback on each other to form one huge art-tastic weekend in the metro. ArtFest Midwest features Iowa and regional artists — more than 250 total artists participate. ArtFest Midwest bills itself as an alternative, affordable art show — a complement to the downtown show.

June 29 — Too Broke for the Arts Festival Fest
Vaudeville Mews
Find them on Facebook
Shop for art from 20 local and regional artists from around the Midwest at prices that might not break the bank. The event is for all ages and is hosted at Vaudeville Mews in downtown Des Moines.

June 20 — Iowa Fine Arts Education Summit
FFA Enrichment Center, Des Moines Area Community College, 1055 S.W. Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny
What role do the arts play in 21st-century education? How do the Iowa Fine Arts Standards support a “well-rounded” education for all Iowa students? Those questions will be answered during the inaugural Iowa Fine Arts Education Summit. For fine arts educators, administrators, nonprofit arts leaders and teaching artists to refine their skills in understanding Iowa’s new fine arts standards and how to implement them in the classroom. Keynote speaker Olivia Gude is the chair of art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a professor emerita at the University of Illinois of Chicago. The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit


Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines
Mainframe Studios purchased a 160,000-square-foot facility in order to repurpose it into a hub for creative culture. Eventually the venue will feature 180 artist studios to go with its arts-related nonprofit offices, commercial kitchen and event rental space. The organization is currently in the first phase of development, and it offers 71 studios to artists of varying disciplines. Each first Friday night of the month, Mainframe is open to the public for free events featuring different genres of art so visitors can learn more about a variety of art disciplines. The popular gatherings offer live musical performances, food and refreshments.

“Apollo and Venus” viewings
Hoyt Sherman Place, Historic Sherman Hill,
1501 Woodland Ave.. Des Moines
This rare masterpiece was discovered in 2016 by Executive Director Robert Warren. As Warren was looking for something else in a little-used storeroom, he noticed a painting wedged between a table and the plaster-and-lathe wall. Viola. He discovered a 400-year-old early Baroque panel painting. It had been “lost in the shuffle” for decades. After years of restoration, Otto van Veen’s “Apollo and Venus” is on permanent display inside Hoyt Sherman’s art gallery. It is open for viewing Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Viaduct Gallery at the Des Moines Social Club
900 Mulberry St.

Kavanaugh Art Gallery
228 Fifth St., West Des Moines

Olson-Larsen Galleries
203 Fifth St., West Des Moines

July 26 – Sept. 7 — Lines and Layers
Tim Frerichs – Andrew Kaufman – Susan Chrysler White
Opening Reception Friday, July 26, 5-7 p.m.

May 31 – July 20 — Annual Landscape Show
Thomas F. Agran – Mathew Kelly – Justin Rogers – Barbara Walton
Opening Reception, Friday, May 31, 5-7 p.m.
40th Anniversary Exhibition and Spring Gallery Night

Through May 24 — All Gallery Artists
Opening Reception, Friday, April 12, 5-9 p.m.
Moberg Gallery
2921 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines

June 21 — Opening Reception for Jason Woodside’s Street Art Exhibit, 5-9 p.m., free

Aug. 2 — Opening Reception for Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger, 5-9, p.m., free

Steven Vail Fine Arts (SVFA) – Project Room
1501 Walnut St., Des Moines
The exhibition space at Vail is for modern and contemporary prints, multiples and works on paper that include artists from around the world. Coming in the spring of 2019, SVFA will relocate from its current space in the Historic Teachout building in East Village to Gateway West. The space has been converted from a dim, dark raw environment on the ground level of Des Moines Fitch Building, into a beautiful, light-filled gallery. While the gallery prepares for its reopening, its recent acquisitions include, but are not limited to, Joel Shapiro, Alex Katz, John Baldessari, Brice Marden, Ed Ruscha and Richard Tuttle.

The Polk County Heritage Gallery
111 Court Ave., Des Moines
April 29 – May 10 — Des Moines Public School
May 13 – June 21 — Evolution of The Revolution Show
June 24 – Sept 6 — Iowa Exhibited, Annual Juried Show
Sept. 9 – Oct. 4 — Jeff Rider – Solo Exhibition

Salisbury House
4025 Tonawanda Drive, Des Moines


Summer breeze. Sunshine. Friends. Family. Crisp and refreshing lake water. Central Iowa’s outdoor event schedule is packed with bicycling, ball games, racing, food, fundraisers and other entertainment options. Enjoy the easy to reach camping, fishing, aquatics and all the free oxygen you can inhale.

Don’t forget the sunscreen.

May 4 — Kites on the Green. Kites. Kids. Community. Johnston’s Kites on the Green returns in 2019 and is bigger and better than before. This free public event is family friendly and features a giant show kite display, a kite-performance team, kite contests for people of all ages and abilities, celebrity bol races, free kite building, sidewalk art, live music and delicious food. Go fly a kite! Kites on the Green is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Road. Visit for more information.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market offers sizzling morsels of scrumptiousness as well as fresh farm produce, music and more. The Market opens in May and runs through October. Photo submitted by Greater Des Moines Partnership

July 26 – Aug. 3 — National Balloon Classic. For nine days each central Iowa summer, the skies come alive as nearly 100 brilliantly colored hot-air balloons drift up, up, and away. The Indianola event, just south of Des Moines, dazzles the eyes of people of all ages. Prepare to be awestruck. Visit for more information.

Aug. 9-10 — Color Codes. Iowa’s largest invitational graffiti writing exhibition returns this summer boasting a roster of graffiti writers from across the nation. The festivities are hosted by the Des Moines Social Club, which is also offering free graffiti writing workshops, b-boy and b-girl (break dancing) performances, and hip-hop music during the event. For more information, visit

Aug. 24 — Ingersoll LIVE. Des Moines celebrates the Ingersoll and Grand District with its annual Ingersoll LIVE summer event. This family-friendly street festival offers live music, art, street performers, vendors, inflatables, rides and other activities for kids and adults. Visit for details.

Oct. 12-13 — Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. The beauty of Winterset and its nearby covered bridges inspired the romantic love story “The Bridges of Madison County,” by Robert James Waller. The century-old rural relics continue to amaze onlookers, and the community is celebrating again this year with crafts, food, activities, entertainment, antiques and guided tours. For more information, visit

Ankeny Market and Pavilion Park, 715 W. First St. in Uptown Ankeny
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. The farmers market is open every Saturday — except July 13 — starting May 18 and going through Sept. 28.

On Urbandale Avenue between Beaver Avenue and 42nd Street
Tuesdays, 4-7:30 p.m., June 4 through Sept. 10. Shoppers gather to relax and meet with friends and neighbors while enjoying food from vendors and live music.

Historic Court Avenue District, downtown Des Moines
Saturdays, May through October, 7 a.m. to noon; October hours are 8 a.m. to noon. Generally packed with people, the Downtown Farmers’ Market offers sizzling morsels of scrumptiousness as well as fresh farm produce, music and more. Spanning nine city blocks and hosting nearly 300 farmers, growers and artisan food entrepreneurs from more than 50 Iowa counties, the offerings include fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, cheese, wine and more.

Along Fifth Street in West Des Moines’ Valley Junction shopping district
Thursdays, 4-8 p.m., May through September. Home to more than 100 weekly vendors of fresh produce, baked goods, plants, flowers, arts, crafts and prepared foods. Live music accompanies the market from 5:30-8:30 p.m. — Both the market and Music in the Junction are free to attend.

Grimes Public Library, Waterworks Park at 200 N. James St.
Fridays, 5-8:30 p.m., July through third week in August. Open-air market features farm fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade items, flowers, plants and more.

Johnston City Hall parking lot, at the corner of Merle Hay Road and N.W. 62nd Avenue, Johnston
Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m., starting May 21 and running through the beginning of October. Area vendors offer fresh baked goods, homegrown produce and more.

The Iowa skies come alive near Indianola as nearly 100 hot-air balloons drift up, up and away. This year, the event dazzles eyes of all ages July 26 – Aug. 3. Photo submitted

Waukee’s Downtown Triangle on Sixth Street, south of Highway 6
Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m., June through September


Food and drink events

May 4 — Coffee and Donut Festival. This is central Iowa’s third annual Coffee and Donut Festival. The 2019 version is said to be bigger and even more caffeinated. New features include jelly donut wrestling, Donuts of Glory, The Donut Games, more vendors, plus the “Best Coffee” and “Best Donut” of 2019 competition. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 8 a.m. in downtown Des Moines’ Capital Square. For more information, visit

May 4 — Food Truck Throw Down. Bring your taste buds and a big appetite to the Des Moines Social Club’s annual Food Truck Throw Down. The unique culinary event is in its fifth year and kicks off DMSCB’s summer events onslaught. The celebration of food allows attendees to access more than a dozen food trucks while enjoying live music and art activities. This year is the Social Club’s 10th year as an organization and fifth year within the iconic Des Moines Firehouse. Food Truck Throw Down is scheduled for May 4, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. at 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines. For more information, visit

May 24-25 — CelebrAsian. CelebrAsian brings communities together to do great things. This event attracts a reported 60,000 festival attendees who have the opportunity to attain an Asian experience without leaving the city. Celebrate authentic Asian cuisine, dance, fashion, games, demonstrations and more in the Western Gateway from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, May 24, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., May 25. Visit for a full listing of offerings.

May 31 – June 2 — Greek Food Fair. Lamb gyros, baklava, Greek potatoes… Yum. The Greek Food Fair offers a weekend of food, drink, dancing and fellowship at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Des Moines, 1110 35th St. Visit for more details.

Bring a big appetite to the Des Moines Social Club’s annual Food Truck Throw Down on May 4. Photo by Alyssa Leicht Photo

June 1 — Celebrate Waukee. Celebrate Waukee focuses on bringing the community together to celebrate another wonderful year in Waukee. The event offers a 5K run, the Warrior Challenge arts council activities, inflatables for little ones, bands and beverages. The event is free and held in Waukee’s Centennial Park. Visit for more information.

June 1 — Pizza Fest. This is the fourth annual Pizza Fest, and it is gearing up to give attendees everything they love about pizza. The event is scheduled to dazzle taste buds in The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. Visit for more information.

Beginning in June — Sips and Songs. Sips and Songs is a free weekly summer celebration of music. The community event features musical performances by local bands of varying genres in the new Town Square at The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. The music, games and fun begin in June. The events are scheduled for June 7, 14, 21, 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; July 5, 19, 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 9, 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m. — Visit for more information.

July 26-27 — Italian American Heritage Festival. The best of central Iowa’s Italian culture is on display at the Italian American Heritage Festival. The celebration is held in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. The festivities include authentic food, live music, contests, bocce ball and more. For a complete list of activities, visit

Aug. 13 — Sweet Corn Festival. Seven tons or so of Iowa sweet corn is consumed off the cob with salt, butter and whatever else you like at Adel’s annual Sweet Corn Festival. This summer celebration offers sun, fun and, of course, sweet corn. The event has been a summer favorite for four decades. It is held the second Saturday in August in downtown Adel, an easy 20-minute drive west of Des Moines. Let the shucking begin. For more details, you can find the festival on Facebook.

Sept. 1 — FlashDine DSM. Elegance and wonderment. These are the two words organizers use to describe Des Moines’ biggest “Diner en Blanc.” As is done in cities around the globe, the evening’s location won’t be announced until the morning of the event. Then, later that same day, foodies and fun lovers flock to the recently revealed destination adorned in white. The event is BYOE, including tables, chairs, white dishes and décor. Simple? Fancy? To each his or her own. Just bring something and indulge in the evening’s elegance while enjoying easy conversation. You can find FlashDine DSM on Facebook @flashdineDSM.

Sept. 6-8 — The 53rd Annual ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off. Eat chili. Drink beverages. Love music. That is the winning recipe for this popular event. The 53rd Annual ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off is coming to central Iowa. The event will be held in The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. For more information, visit

Sept. 20-22 — World Food and Music Festival. World-fabulous food. Marvelous music. Sensational atmosphere. The three-day World Food and Music Festival at Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines offers flavorful bites to satisfy demanding appetites. The event also includes music, dancing and a global kind of fun. For more information, visit


Fairs, festivals and other celebratory events

Summertime central Iowa festivities include food served from four-wheeled kitchens, art, a butter cow, melodic music, salsa dancing… We couldn’t list every festival in the area, but the shindigs below are making us smile.

Friday nights — Rendezvous on Riverview. Courtesy of the Highland, Oak Park and Union Park neighborhood organizations. Rendezvous on Riverview is a fun, family-oriented neighborhood festival hosting a free summer concert series. The Friday night events start weekly at 5:30 p.m., take place at 4640 N.W. Morningstar Drive in Des Moines, and they are open to the public. Visit for more information.
The lineup for Rendezvous on Riverview:
June 7 Soul Searchers
June 14 Stutterin’ Jimmy and the Goosebumps
June 21 Sons Of Gladys Kravitz
June 28 James Biehn
July 5 Stark Raving Madge (fireworks)
July 12 Standing Hampton
July 19 Final Mix
July 26 Fahrenheit

May 3-5 — DemiCon 30: It’s About Time. DemiCon is celebrating its 30th year as a local science fiction convention. The event features nationally renowned authors Gail Carriger and Joe Haldeman plus the award-winning artist John Picacio. Attendees will enjoy costume contests, workshops, panels, animé, board games, role playing and live music. Activities for kids and teens will be available along with an art show and rooms stocked with unique merchandise for sale. DemiCon 30 will be held at the Holiday Inn Northwest — 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines. For more information, visit

May 4 — Cinco de Mayo Festival. Valley Junction presents its 15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival. Visitors will enjoy Mexican food, artwork, live music, dancing, family activities and the crowning of a Cinco de Mayo King and Queen. Valley Junction’s Cinco de Mayo Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, noon – 10 p.m. — in Valley Junction. Visit for details.

Third Friday of the month — Bike Down to I-Town. Indianola’s bike night takes place just south of Des Moines every third Friday of the month, starting on May 17 and continuing through September. The events are from 6-10 p.m. The bike night has become one of central Iowa’s most anticipated summer celebrations. The family-friendly festivities attract thousands of attendees to the town square to see the sites and hear the roars. For more information, visit

Every Friday starting May 31 — Chill on the Hill. Wrap up the work week with Chill on the Hill, Pleasant Hill’s premier event for live music, beverages, food trucks and socializing. This year’s lineup of bands includes the following:
May 31: Faculty Lounge. This initial event location is different than the rest of Chill on the Hill. Military Night will be on the grassy area on the corner of North Hickory Boulevard and Maple Drive next to Hy-Vee.
June 7: Gimikk
June 14: Royce Johns
June 21: Shock Collar
June 28: Ctrl C
July 12: Final Mix
Chill on the Hill is held at Copper Creek Lake Park. Visit for updates and other details.

May 11 — Market Day Spring Craft Show. Market Day is a curated pop-up market offering goods by original artists and collectors from Des Moines, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City and other cities. Market Day began as a way to get people to see the multitude of cool stuff that people are making. The idea was to get shoppers to “meet their makers.” For more than a decade, Market Day vendors have converged on Des Moines to take Black Friday back, returning it to handmade creators. Market Day is free to attend and scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. — at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines. Visit for more information.

June 2 — Mustang Car Show. Ford powered vehicles populate this annual car show in Valley Junction. Spectators enjoy the top-notch show cars visiting from around the Midwest. The show is put on by the Mustang Club of America, which means it offers both MCA-judged classes and 38 popular vote classes. There is something for everyone. For more information, visit

June 6-8 — Governors Days. This Grimes summer celebration has grown into one of the biggest in the area. Held entirely within the Governors District in the heart of Grimes, the event is family friendly and offers concerts, parades, a carnival and more. Admission to the festival is free. Visit for more information.

June 7-9 — Capital City Pride Fest. Capital City Pride is celebrating again this summer in downtown Des Moines’ East Village. The festivities include a free parade at noon on Sunday, and it offers the city and its LGBTQ residents and allies a chance to further unify while celebrating life. Visit for the parade route and other details.

Starting June 9 — Music Under the Stars. Music Under the Stars is in its 73rd season, making it central Iowa’s longest-running free professional performing arts series. Pack your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets and gather with friends at the Iowa State Capitol to enjoy the fresh air and music. The concerts feature a variety of standard and contemporary works by premier composers performed by Iowa’s own professional musicians. The weekly outdoor event begins on June 9 at 7 p.m. and continues at the same time on June 16, June 23, June 30, July 7 and July 14. Visit for more information.

June 9 — Summer Antique Jamboree. Historic Valley Junction is a six-block shopping area known for its antique shops, specialty stores, art galleries, fashion boutiques, hair salons, service businesses and eateries. So it is no surprise that its annual Antique Jamboree is one of the largest outdoor antique shows in the Midwest, and the event is free. The nostalgic event takes attendees back in time, with more than 100 antique dealers from across the Midwest displaying a wide array of antique furniture, primitives, architectural pieces, vintage clothing, jewelry, linens, quilts, glassware, stoneware, textiles, toys and much more. Visit for details.

June 13-16 — Johnston Green Days. Activities include a parade, a carnival, live entertainment, a beverage garden, the Bill Riley Talent Search, a 5K run, interactive games for kids, and the second annual King and Queen of Green coronation. This year’s theme is “A Lit Bit Country, A Lit Bit Rock and Roll.” Green Days is organized by Johnston’s chamber of commerce and held at Terra Park. Admission is free. For more information, visit

June 28-30 — Des Moines Arts Festival. The Des Moines Arts Festival is a remarkable international phenomenon. The annual event decorates the city’s downtown with talented artists and thousands of art lovers enjoying Western Gateway Park. For more information, visit

July 11-14 — Ankeny SummerFest. This fun four-day celebration offers carnival rides, parades, live music, family activities, coloring contests, a parade, the Teen Ankeny contest, a boat regatta, and too many other attractions to list them all. Visit for more information.

July 12-13 — 80/35 Music Festival. With two days of mind-bending music, eye-popping art and the best of festival foods, 80/35 has become a staple in central Iowa. Time flies while humming to an impressive array of nationally known music. 80/35 is put on by the Des Moines Music Coalition in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway. Ticket prices vary. Visit for more information.

July 12-14 — AnimeIowa. AnimeIowa is an Anime and Japanese culture convention. It is billed as Iowa’s oldest anime convention, having been in existence since 1997. AnimeIowa will be held at the Iowa Events Center. For a complete list of activities, visit

July 17-22 — Polk County Fair. Offering free admission and free parking and held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the Polk County Fair is the county’s annual warm-up event for the state’s 1-million-person mother of all fairs held in August. For a full list of activities and times, visit

July 19-20 — Clive Festival. With live music playing each night, plus fireworks, a kids corner and other activities, the docket is full for this year’s Clive Festival. The family-friendly community event is loaded with well-known local musicians and a long list of fun activities for children. Visit for more information.

July 20 — Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival. One of the most notable figures in cumbia music, Celso Piña, a renowned Mexican accordion player and singer, will make his Iowa debut on July 20 at the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival at the Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines’ East Village. Boasting more than 30 albums and a plethora of awards and nominations, Piña should make a splash at this family-friendly festival showcasing Latin music. For more information, visit

Aug. 8-18 — Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair boasts approximately 1 million attendees each year, so the Hawkeye state’s infatuation with butter cows, and foods on sticks and enjoyment of midway rides and carnival games is undeniable. “Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair.” Fly high on the Ferris wheel, people watch under the beer tent, kick back and enjoy the end of Iowa’s summer. For details, visit

Sept. 28-29 — Latino Heritage Festival. Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival is a two-day celebration of the Latino community. Attendees enjoy art, food vendors, Latin music, activities and more. The festival takes place in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. For more information, visit


The Yankee Doodle Pops Fourth of July celebration has become a family-friendly tradition in downtown Des Moines. The event is scheduled for July 3 this year. It is one of state’s largest single-day concert events, attracting thousands of onlookers with music from the Des Moines Symphony and fireworks. Photo submitted

Ooohhh… Ahhh…. Wow! Ogling the lights in the night sky has become a magnificent national pastime on Independence Day. The following is a sampling of the area’s events and other patriotic celebrations. All dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but check with each of the local venues for verification as the festivities near.

Yankee Doodle Pops
July 3
Iowa State Capitol
Last year marked a quarter century of the Yankee Doodle Pops. The local concert has become a central Iowa tradition. Friends and families sit together and bring their own blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets to see the dazzling fireworks and listen to the Des Moines Symphony. Annually, this is one of the largest events in the state. It is said to attract tens of thousands of people to the Capitol lawn. This free patriotic concert is scheduled for Wednesday, July 3. The music begins at 8:30 p.m. — with fireworks to follow.

Urbandale 4th of July Celebration
July 2-4
Lions Park
Midway games. Carnival rides. Street dance jubilee. Parade candy. Fireworks. Urbandale offers a Fourth of July celebration that is second to none. As one of the area’s biggest Fourth of July multiple-day celebrations, the family-friendly festivities are free and the fireworks are spectacular. The Fourth of July Parade begins at 10 a.m., starting at the Old City Hall on 70th Street and running north to Aurora Avenue before finishing at 82nd and Aurora. Check online for more information.

All Iowa Bash
July 3
Historic Valley Junction
Independence Day fun focused on celebrating Iowa, the Historic Valley Junction is again hosting its All Iowa Bash. The event boasts food and beverages from Iowa vendors, crafts from Iowa makers, live music from Iowa bands and more. The event is free, the shops will be open, and the celebration will be held along the 300 block of Fifth Street in West Des Moines, before, during and after the West Des Moines Independence Day Parade — which ends at Fourth and Maple. Check online for updates and for other details.

Living History Farms
July 4
11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale
What was celebrating the Fourth of July like in the days of yore? Living History Farms’ Independence Day celebration takes you back in time to the 1875 town of Walnut Hill. The event offers Independence Day activities portraying what the day meant to 19th-century citizens. Family fun includes pie-eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, a town parade, watermelon seed spitting contests and the Walnut Hill Bluestockings baseball game at 2:30 p.m.

Iowa Cubs
July 4-5
Principal Park
The Triple-A Iowa Cubs baseball team is just one level below its parent club, the Chicago Cubs. The team competes in the Pacific Coast League, and it plays home games at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines. Fireworks will follow the I-Cubs home-game action, July 4-5. Both competitions are against the Memphis Redbirds, and both of the first pitches are set for 7:08 p.m.


Participatory competitions, games and sports

Saturdays, starting May 5 and running until Sept. 29, 8-9 a.m. — Yoga in the Park. Yoga in the Park is designed for improving community health, energy and relaxation. Families are welcome, as well as people with varying levels of skill. Bring a yoga mat and join professional instructors at Wagner Park, located at the corner of West First and Northwest Ash Drive. Visit for more information.

May 11 — NANBF Natural Iowa. Natural Iowa Muscle presents its 25th annual NANBF Natural Iowa competition. This is one of the longest-running, drug-free physique contests in the nation. The event attracts some of the best natural athletes in the nation and includes bikini, figure, women’s physique, bodybuilding, men’s physique and classic physique competitions. For more information, visit

May 18 — Pigtails. Pigtails III at Prairie Trail is a bicycle event for women. The one-day 48-mile fun ride on the High Trestle Trail starts and ends in The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. Visit for details.

The 25th anniversary of the NANBF Natural Iowa competition is scheduled for May 11 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Joseph Gilmore and Colleen Lowe (pictured) were winners at least year’s event. Photo submitted

May 18 — Walk MS: Des Moines. A study published in 2019 by Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, reports that nearly 1 million people live with MS in the United States. That is more than double previous estimates. Ending multiple sclerosis is the goal. Walk MS helps people team up with friends, loved ones and co-workers to change the world. “And with every step we take, every dollar we raise… we’re that much closer.” The event begins and ends at Principal Park Stadium, 1 Line Drive in Des Moines. For more details, visit

June 1 — Dam to DSM. It is not over until it is over. From the Saylorville Dam to downtown Des Moines, this endurance challenge is a run to remember. Visit for more information.

June 1-2 — Tour the Raccoon. This is one of the Des Moines Cycle Club’s most popular annual events. Tour the Raccoon is an opportunity to get into the swing of the biking and camping combination. Ride the Raccoon River Valley Trail from Waukee to Jefferson the first day, then spend the night camping with friends before waking and riding the return leg the next day. Round trip, the estimated ride is about 100-112 miles. Visit for more details.

June 5-9 — Iowa Senior Games. The Senior Games is an Olympic-style sports festival for men and women who are at least 50 years of age. The 33rd annual Iowa Senior Games main weekend is held in West Des Moines. Nearly 1,000 athletes compete from around Iowa and the nation in 30 sports and nearly 100 events. A complete list of dates, times and other details for each event is located at

June 13 — Botanical Bath Bombs. What are botanical bath bombs? Whatever they are, they sound better than a rubber ducky. Take your bath to the next level as this class explores the science behind creating bath bombs, while teaching the basics of bath botanicals, essential oils and petals to use. Craft your own set of bath bombs and then return home for a floral soak. For more information, visit

June 15 — BACooN Ride. BACooN Ride SIX hits the road on June 15. If you like to ride bicycles and you like bacon, then BACooN Ride might be the thing for you. The event utilizes the Raccoon River Valley Trail, and the 71-mile ride starts and ends in Waukee, while featuring numerous bacon stops and a bacon-themed lunch along the way. Visit for more details.

June 22 — Relay For Life of Johnston-Urbandale-Grimes. Help fight cancer in the community. Register for a Relay For Life event and then raise as much as you can between March 18 and March 31. Relay supports the American Cancer Society. It is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities spanning 27 countries. At Relay For Life, no donation is too small and every dollar counts. This event is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 8 a.m. – noon. It begins at Crown Point Community Center, 6300 Pioneer Parkway, Johnston. Find more details at

July 13 — Altoona Tune-Up Ride. Altoona Road Riders hosts its eighth annual tune-up ride, offering multiple distances for varying skill levels. Cyclists may ride at their own pace through eastern Polk County. For more information, visit

July 19 — Iowa Games Opening Ceremony. The gates open to Jack Trice in Ames at 7:15 p.m., Friday, July 19, for the Opening Ceremony of the Iowa Games. The event runs from 8-9:15 p.m. — For a complete list of events, dates and times, visit


Spectator sporting events

Triple-A baseball. Elite amateur soccer. Championship-caliber indoor pro football. The central Iowa sports scene offers fast-paced action and freaky athletes competing at or near the highest levels of competition in their respective sports. Let the excitement begin.

Principal Park
One Line Drive, Des Moines
If it is summer in central Iowa, then the bats will be cracking at Principal Park. Enjoy a tasty ballpark treat while gulping in fresh Iowa air and engaging in easy conversation. Evenings at the ball yard are special, indeed.
I-Cubs 2019 home schedule: The first pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. — unless otherwise noted.

• Thursday, May 2 vs. San Antonio Missions (12:08 p.m.)
• Saturday, May 11 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers
• Sunday, May 12 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, May 13 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (12:08 p.m.)
• Tuesday, May 14 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (12:08 p.m.)
• Thursday, May 16 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (6:38 p.m.)
• Friday, May 17 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes
• Saturday, May 18 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (4:38 p.m.)
• Sunday, May 19 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, May 20 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (12:08 p.m.)
• Tuesday, June 4 vs. El Paso Chihuahuas
• Wednesday, June 5 vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (12:08 p.m.)
• Thursday, June 6 vs. El Paso Chihuahuas
• Friday, June 7 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes
• Saturday, June 8 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes
• Sunday, June 9 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, June 10 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (12:08 p.m.)
• Thursday, June 20 vs. Round Rock Express
• Friday, June 21 vs. Round Rock Express
• Saturday, June 22 vs. Round Rock Express
• Sunday, June 23 vs. Round Rock Express (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, June 24 vs. Round Rock Express (12:08 p.m.)
• Tuesday, June 25 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers
• Wednesday, June 26 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers
• Thursday, June 27 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers
• Friday, June 28 vs. Omaha Storm Chasers
• Thursday, July 4 vs. Memphis Redbirds
• Friday, July 5 vs. Memphis Redbirds
• Saturday, July 6 vs. Memphis Redbirds
• Sunday, July 7 vs. Memphis Redbirds (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, July 15 vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers
• Tuesday, July 16 vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers
• Wednesday, July 17 vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers
• Thursday, July 18 vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers (12:08 p.m.)
• Friday, July 26 vs. Round Rock Express
• Saturday, July 27 vs. Round Rock Express
• Sunday, July 28 vs. Round Rock Express (1:08 p.m.)
• Wednesday, Aug. 7 vs. Las Vegas Aviators
• Thursday, Aug. 8 vs. Las Vegas Aviators
• Friday, Aug. 9 vs. Las Vegas Aviators
• Saturday, Aug. 10 vs. Salt Lake Bees
• Sunday, Aug. 11 vs. Salt Lake Bees (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, Aug. 12 vs. Salt Lake Bees
• Tuesday, Aug. 13 vs. Salt Lake Bees (12:08 p.m.)
• Monday, Aug. 19 vs. San Antonio Missions
• Tuesday, Aug. 20 vs. San Antonio Missions
• Wednesday, Aug. 21 vs. San Antonio Missions
• Thursday, Aug. 22 vs. San Antonio Missions (12:08 p.m.)
• Friday, Aug. 23 vs. Nashville Sounds
• Saturday, Aug. 24 vs. Nashville Sounds
• Sunday, Aug. 25 vs. Nashville Sounds (1:08 p.m.)
• Friday, Aug. 30 vs. Memphis Redbirds
• Saturday, Aug. 31 vs. Memphis Redbirds
• Sunday, Sept. 1 vs. Memphis Redbirds (1:08 p.m.)
• Monday, Sept. 2 vs. Memphis Redbirds (12:08 p.m.)

730 Third St., Des Moines
Led by Head Coach Dixie Wooten, the Iowa Barnstormers won last season’s United Bowl — the pro indoor football championship. The team plays all of its home games at Wells Fargo Arena. For ticket information, call the Barnstormers at 515-633-2255 or visit
Iowa Barnstormers 2019 home schedule:
All games begin at 7:05 p.m.

• Saturday, May 4 vs. Cedar Rapids River Kings
• Saturday, May 11 vs. Quad City Steamwheelers
• Friday, May 24 vs. Bismarck Bucks
• Saturday, June 8 vs. Sioux Falls Storm
• Saturday, June 15 vs. Nebraska Danger


May 28-June 2 — Principal Charity Classic. The award-winning PGA TOUR Champions event returns to the city’s southside at the Wakonda Club at the end of May. Since 2007, the Principal Charity Classic has raised more than $17.7 million in order to help Iowa kids succeed — including a record $4,356,321 last year. Visit for more information.

Friday, May 31 — IHYC Golf Classic. This isn’t your average golf tournament. Duffers in the IHYC are offered an interactive experience to learn about Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. The tournament is a four-person best shot, and it begins at 8 a.m. The event will take place at Copper Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill, 4825 Copper Creek Drive. Visit for details.

Saturday, July 13 — Polo on the Green. Fast horses. Big hats. Cool cars. Great food. Live music. Helping kids. Polo on the Green is an annual event for Variety Iowa that raises funds to support Variety’s mission to improve the lives of underprivileged, at-risk, critically ill and special needs children throughout Iowa. For details, visit


Live horse racing is on the agenda in Altoona. Attendees are offered the opportunity to take a chance, live a little, and watch the ponies. Racing season begins in May and continues through the summer. Photo submitted

1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona
Live horse racing is on the agenda in Altoona — just east of Des Moines. Widely regarded as the nation’s only “racino” — a combination of a racetrack and a casino — attendees are offered the opportunity to take a chance, live a little, and watch the ponies run. Table games, slots, fine dining, entertainment and many other attractions are also on the premises. Prairie Meadows is open 24/7, the horse racing season begins in May and continues through the summer. ♦

Menace soccer team welcomes new dawn

A new coach, a new league, a new stadium and a new home office.

By Jim Duncan

In the U.S., soccer begins again each spring, when everything renews itself. This year, however, is so full of new beginnings for the Des Moines Menace that lilacs might expect to bloom in new colors, shapes and fragrances. This is not just a new season and a new team; it also brings a new coach, a new league, a new stadium and a new home office. Last things first. The Menace now locates its offices in the Kum and Go Building on Grand Avenue across from the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden. That probably makes them the only team in the world headquartered in a building designed by Renzo Piano, arguably the world’s greatest architect. Piano’s San Nicola Stadium in Bari is still considered state of the art 27 years after he designed it. In America, we tear down stadiums before they are 27 years old.

Jonathan Bolanos

The “new” stadium is the oldest around these parts. Drake Stadium will host this year’s home games opening the possibility of inspiring more youth soccer in the inner city and increasing attendance.

The “new” league is the result of rebranding and realignment. In 2018, the Menace claimed the regular-season championship for the Premier Development League (PDL), which has since rebranded as USL League Two. The first season of USL League Two will have more than 70 teams competing in 10 divisions and four conferences.

The new coach is Mark McKeever, a native of Motherwell, Scotland. He has experience in the PDL and as a long-time college soccer coach in Georgia. He says he will bring quite a few players to Des Moines from his southern background, including, in all probability, two that of have been drafted already by the MLS (Major League Soccer). One is from the University of Virginia, but…

“We never know what we have till everyone shows up, but there will be many new faces,” the coach says.


What formation does the coach plan to employ?

I don’t stick to a single formation. … I think most games are won in the middle and up. If you win most of the 50-50 balls in midfield, your chances of creating shots are greater. … I believe that far more games are won by factors than formations, by players than by coaches.

What does the Scotsman think of youth soccer in the U.S. compared to overseas?

It’s hard for me to say because I have been here 21 years now. I can compare the U.S. today to Scotland 21 years ago and that’s different from today to today. Mainly the main difference is that in the U.S. most youth coaches are paid and overseas most are volunteers. That creates a different kind of player. U.S. players are more physical and tactical. Overseas players are more imaginative and better receivers. The latter learn their skill sets on playgrounds. If there is a main rap against U.S. soccer, it is that this country has never produced a creative genius, like so many Brazilians.

What are the differences between college and PDL soccer?

Your PDL rosters have far more depth. In college you are limited by scholarships. In the PDL you get the best college players at all positions. Fan support is much better in the PDL, too.


• The Menace celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 13-0-1 mark and the team’s fifth straight appearance in the league playoffs. Chicago, which lost all four regular-season games to Des Moines last season, found payback in a 1-0 win on July 21. This knocked the Menace out of the PDL postseason.
• More than 150 Menace alumni have played professionally. The franchise’s all-time record in the regular season is 250-126-38.
• Leading the expansion Green Bay Voyageurs team is general manager Dannon Anderson, who interned with the Menace in 2015. ♦

Des Moines Menace 2019 home schedule:
All games begin at 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, May 11 vs. Green Bay Voyageurs at Cownie Soccer Park
• Friday, May 24 vs. WSA Winnipeg at Drake Stadium
• Thursday, May 30 vs. WSA Winnipeg at Drake Stadium
• Friday, June 7 vs. St. Louis Lions at Drake Stadium
• Saturday, June 29 vs. Kaw Valley FC at Drake Stadium
• Thursday, July 11 vs. Thunder Bay Chill at Drake Stadium
• Saturday, July 13 vs. Thunder Bay Chill at Drake Stadium


  1. Bruce Arnold says:

    I’m not sure if you’ve realized it by now or if readers have brought it to your attention yet but you omitted the weekly band schedules of both Chill on the Hill and Rendezvous at Riverview. We feel those are important neighborhood venues & good for the Des Moines area. They are inexpensive music events that give back to the community & have been going on for several years. Please contact those 2 organizations (the Pleasant Hill Chamber & the Northside Neighborhood Committee-both are on the web, not hard to find) & include their schedules in your June edition. Usually you folks are up on the latest news, trends, activities, etc; knowing what’s in & what’s out but I’m surprised you missed these 2 well-attended weekly Summer events.

    1. Hi Bruce. Thanks for reading CITYVIEW. Chill on the Hill and its music lineup is and was listed under the heading of
      “PARTY TIME: Fairs, festivals and other celebratory events.” Please remember, we can’t list every central Iowa summer event, but we do regret the omission of Rendezvous on Riverview. We have updated this online version accordingly — also placing it under the Party Time heading. Thanks again for the catch.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Fire & Ice