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Feature Story

Summer Arts + Entertainment

6/2/2021

Here comes the fun, again… Central Iowa’s summer agenda offers loads of live music, on-stage action, art, film, outdoor endeavors and events. Ready? Set. Seize the sunshine! 

Good mornin’… sunshine! Adventure abounds in the greater Des Moines metro during the upcoming summer months. The following pages are jam-packed with opportunities to pursue your own pleasure. So, if the time has come for you to let the good times roll…. If the time is now to enjoy fun with friends and family… If you are past ready to go jump in a lake, river, pond or pool… Or if you’re ready to dust off the air-guitar… Then grab some sunscreen. You’ve come to the right place, so keep reading. 

CITYVIEW’s Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide annually seeks to compile the area’s best resource for people looking for fun, and this summer’s event schedule looks to be loaded with bicycling, ball games, racing, food, fundraisers and so many entertainment options that we couldn’t squeeze every item within these pages. If you’re ready, then get set, because here comes the sun. And away we go… 

Editor’s note: Dates, times and other details are believed to be accurate, but changes are inevitable. As the date of the event you wish to attend draws near, be sure to verify the information before attending. In our quest to print as many fun offerings within these pages as possible, listing pandemic-related safety measures and/or requirements for each quickly proved prohibitive. Be sure to check with each organization individually for protocols and procedures. 

Art: Eye-popping exhibitions, compelling cultural collages and mind-bending works of beauty 

The work of Autumn Rozario Hall will be on display at Ankeny Art Center through July 28. Photo courtesy of Ankeny Art Center

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  • Through Sept. 26: “Manos – Selections of Latin American Art” from the Des Moines Art Center’s Collection, in the John Brady Print Gallery. 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • Through July 28: “Of Roots and Wildness” by Autumn Rozario Hall (mixed media). Reception: Thursday, June 3, 5-7 p.m. Ankeny Art Center, 1520 S.W. Ordnance Road; www.ankenyartcenter.com
  • Through July 28: “Tied Up” by Connor Young (photography). Reception: Thursday, June 3, 5-7 p.m. Ankeny Art Center, 1520 S.W. Ordnance Road; www.ankenyartcenter.com
  • Through July 23: “Compelling Ground – Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa.” Nineteen artists inspired by Iowa’s landscape. Brunnier Art Museum, 1805 Center Drive, Ames; www.museums.iastate.edu/visit/brunnier-art-museum
  • Through July 23: Recent Acquisitions since 2019. Many of these newly attained items are being shown for the first time and represent a diversity of materials, media and makers. Brunnier Art Museum, 1805 Center Drive, Ames; www.museums.iastate.edu/visit/brunnier-art-museum
  • June 4 – Sept. 5: “Goya Returns,” in Blank Three Gallery. Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • June 4: “First Friday: Above and Beyond” at Mainframe Studios. An open studio event featuring the work of Dylan Huey that documents cancer survivors as they journey to places like Machu Picchu and Mount Kilimanjaro. Attendees can also expect to see new work by Matthew Corones and to enjoy food and drink by The Tangerine Food Co., plus live music. Free and family-friendly, 4-8 p.m., 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines; www.mainframestudios.org
  • June 13: Valley Junction Arts Festival. Art and crafts are on display while allowing the public to meet and interact with local artists. 137 Fifth St., West Des Moines, Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; www.valleyjunction.com/events
  • June 13: Lecture – Leonor Fini, Surrealist Troubadour. In this illustrated talk, Alyce Mahon will consider the life and art of Leonor Fini (1907-1996), one of the most extraordinary artists of the 20th century. Once hailed as a “female troubadour,” Fini’s art reverses traditional gender roles — invariably portraying men as passive objects of desire while women are active, mythological heroines. Mahon will discuss the ways in which Fini presents a new female role model who is wise in love, witchcraft and occultism. Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • June 18: “Art Week Kickoff” at Mainframe Studios. Tour four-plus floors of artist studios and special exhibitions while also checking out a Juneteenth Expo by Urban City Magazine, sculptural work by Molly Wallace, and group show “Art Spark 20 Designs | 20 Days.” Free and family-friendly, 4-8 p.m., 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines; www.mainframestudios.org
  • June 18: “Art Spark 20 Designs | 20 Days” at Mainframe Studios. Artists Jess Quinn, Erin Hill and Megan Hammer take on the challenge of making 20 original works in 20 days. From oil painting to ceramics to fiber art, they’ll adapt their practices to find a steady rhythm and ignite ideas into action. Free and family-friendly, 2-8 p.m., 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines; www.mainframestudios.org
  • June 18 – Oct. 17: “Claes Oldenburg: Giants, Miniatures, and Desserts,” in Blank One Gallery. Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • June 18-25: Art Week Des Moines. A celebration of arts offering online events as well as face-to-face opportunities to meet in communities. Art Week Des Moines’ goal is to provide programming across all generations and art genres. Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines; www.artweekdesmoines.com
  • June 25-27: The Des Moines Arts Festival. Central Iowa’s crown jewel for attracting professional artists from around the nation. Attendees enjoy eclectic food, interactive art, live music and the Interrobang Film Festival. Historically, more than 200,000 visitors attend each year. Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines; www.desmoinesartsfestival.org
  • June 25 – Aug. 15: “Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Awards.” The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards annually recognizes outstanding African American artists of children’s books who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. “Our Voice” is the first retrospective of past winners and honorees. The Grinnell College Museum of Art, 1108 Park St., Grinnell; www.grinnell.edu/life-grinnell/arts-culture/museum/exhibitions
  • June 26-27: ArtFest Midwest. Local, regional and national artists participate while featuring a variety of mediums and styles. Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines; www.artfestmidwest.com

Justin Favela’s site-specific installations will be on display at the Des Moines Art Center, July 17 – Oct. 24. Pictured is an example of Favela’s work, “Recuérdame,” 2018, paper and glue on walls, at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling. Photo by Michael Palma Mir

  • July 2: “First Friday: Black Youth Showcase” at Mainframe Studios. Hoover High School students’ art expo. Free and family-friendly, 4-8 p.m., 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines; www.mainframestudios.org
  • July 16-17: Waukee Arts Festival. Exhibits open at 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Two nights of concerts are also on the agenda, plus a day full of art. Centennial Park’s Open Air Shelter; www.waukee.org
  • July 17 – Oct. 24: Justin Favela – Central American, in Anna K. Meredith Gallery and Meier Atrium. Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • Aug. 3 – Sept. 29: “Exploring the Unknown” by Andrea Van Wyk (acrylic ink on canvas). Reception: Thursday, Aug. 5, 5-7 p.m. Ankeny Art Center, 1520 S.W. Ordnance Road; www.ankenyartcenter.com
  • Aug. 3 – Sept. 29: Work by Ethan Edvenson (mixed media). Reception: Thursday, Aug. 5, 5-7 p.m. Ankeny Art Center, 1520 S.W. Ordnance Road; www.ankenyartcenter.com
  • Aug. 6: “First Friday – Critical Mass” at Mainframe Studios. Open studio event celebrating a large-scale permanent mural covering the entire exterior façade of Mainframe Studios’ five-story building. Designed by local artist Molly Spain. Free and family-friendly, 4-8 p.m., 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines; www.mainframestudios.org
  • Sept. 18: Al Fresco Art Center Gala. The Art Center hosts an outdoor Saturday evening with live music, dinner and drinks from Tangerine, and a short program allowing Director Jeff Fleming the opportunity to thank the community for investing in the arts. From 6 p.m. until midnight. Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • Permanently on display: “Apollo and Venus” viewings. A rare 400-year-old early Baroque masterpiece was discovered in 2016 by Executive Director Robert Warren as he searched for something completely unrelated in a little-used storeroom — the painting was wedged between a table and a plaster-and-lathe wall. Lost in the shuffle for decades, Otto van Veen’s “Apollo and Venus” is on permanent display at Hoyt Sherman’s art gallery. Check it out there along with many other pieces of fine art at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • Sept. 26: Octagon Center Art Festival in downtown Ames.  427 Douglas Ave., Ames; www.octagonarts.org

Fine Arts: The best of high society, fine performing arts and on-stage action… Lights. Laughter. Action… Enjoy!

“Platée” plays at the Des Moines Metro Opera, July 10-23. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Metro Opera

  • June 4-20: “A Love Offering,” Des Moines Playhouse. T’Wana Jepson has been bit before. And scratched. And kicked. And punched. And called every dirty word in the book. But so has her co-worker and work mama, Miss Georgia. It comes with the territory as a nurse’s aide caring for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. You learn to not take it personally and to lean on your co-workers for support. But after T’Wana is attacked by the patient in E 204, something happens that threatens the bonds of trust and friendship. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • June 8: “Padam Padam,” Ballet Des Moines. Raise a glass in the name of arts, culture, community, and the return of live performances. Included with your ticket to the Commerce Bank Community Tasting is a glass of Calcareous wine at the lovely Sylvan Theater in Greenwood Park. Ballet Des Moines will be performing “Padam Padam” by Serkan Usta, a romantic ballet set to the music of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel set against the backdrop of post-war Paris. Following the ballet, enjoy a performance by Max Wellman and his jazz musicians to end the evening on a festive note. Tuesday, 5-7 p.m., Greenwood Park Outdoor Theater, 45th St., Des Moines; www.balletdesmoines.org
  • June 12-20: “Atlas of Mud,” TheatreMidwest. Ten years after the world flooded and people fled to the boats, the desperation to find land has become lethal but the satellites still see nothing but water. Guarded by the military, one boat holds special cargo: seeds to plant when land is found, birds to find the land, and a child called Mud. A mythical allegory about finding hope in a world turned unrecognizable. At The Viking Theatre, Grand View University, Des Moines; www.theatremidwest.org
  • June 24: MercyOne House of Mercy Game Show Gala. Spirited game show-style fundraiser to support MercyOne House of Mercy, one of Iowa’s largest and most comprehensive providers of vital services for persons with substance use disorders, especially parenting women with children. Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • June 25-26: “The Bridges of Madison County,” Tallgrass Theatre Company. A musical telling the story of photographer Robert Kincaid and his life-changing, four-day love affair with Iowa farm wife Francesca Johnson, “The Bridges of Madison County” is based on Robert James Waller’s 1992 novel. Friday-Saturday, at the new Jamie Hurd Amphitheater located in West Des Moines, 4100 Mills Civic Parkway; www.tallgrasstheatre.org/tickets
  • July 2-25: “Sweeney Todd,” Des Moines Metro Opera. After 15 years, Sweeney Todd returns from wrongful exile and reopens his barber shop on Fleet Street in London. Together with the quirky, down-on-her-luck piemaker Mrs. Lovett, they cook up a plan that is both good for business and for vengeance. This musical thriller is a spine-tingling masterpiece that delves into the pitfalls of revenge. 513 North D St., Indianola; www.desmoinesmetroopera.org
  • July 3-24: “The Queen of Spades,” Des Moines Metro Opera. Tchaikovsky’s brooding and ambitious ghost story is a tour de force set against the backdrop of Imperial Russia, featuring music that embodies the height of Russian romanticism. Armed with a melancholy soulfulness, and white-hot passion, the orchestra’s sweeping grandeur makes “The Queen of Spades” a masterpiece. 513 North D St., Indianola; www.desmoinesmetroopera.org
  • July 9 – Aug. 8: “Godspell,” Des Moines Playhouse Tent Theatre presented outdoors. Prepare ye for Godspell, a modern-day retelling of the New Testament parables. With a Tony-nominated score of songs ranging in style from pop to Vaudeville, including the hit song “Day by Day,” composer Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”) brings to vibrant life the timeless messages of kindness, tolerance and love. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • July 10 – Aug. 7: “Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical,” Des Moines Playhouse Tent Theatre presented outdoors. As the first Polkadot in an all-Square school, Lily struggles to gain acceptance from her peers. In the midst of daily bullying and segregated drinking fountains, her quest seems hopeless. But then she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadots blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • July 10-23: “Platée,” Des Moines Metro Opera. The vain Platée thinks every man who comes near her will instantly fall in love, and once she’s convinced the god Jupiter has fallen victim to her charms, her narcissism grows to Olympus-sized proportions. Rameau’s French Baroque masterpiece offers Hollywood glamour and feminine allure in this cheeky adult comedy. 513 North D St., Indianola; www.desmoinesmetroopera.org
  • July 11: “The John Holiday Experience,” Des Moines Metro Opera. After a successful debut in 2018 as the Refugee in Flight countertenor and as a recent finalist of NBC’s “The Voice,” John Holiday returns for a one-night-only concert performance featuring an array of hits by composers from a multitude of genres, including Stevie Wonder, George Gerswhin, and Thelonius Monk. 513 North D St., Indianola; www.desmoinesmetroopera.org
  • July 16 – Aug. 1: “Plaza Suite,” Des Moines Playhouse Tent Theatre presented outdoors. In Neil Simon’s portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at NYC’s Plaza Hotel: (1) A suburban couple takes a suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before. (2) A Hollywood producer thrice-married calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little sexual diversion. (3) A mother and father fight about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where wedding guests are gathered. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • July 17: Tallgrass Theatre Company presents “An Evening with Sondheim: A Musical Theatre Cabaret,” at the new Jamie Hurd Amphitheater located in West Des Moines, www.tallgrasstheatre.org
  • July 17: “Fellow Travelers,” Des Moines Metro Opera. Set in 1950s Washington, D.C. amidst the oft-overlooked “Lavender Scare,” a U.S. government employment purge that resulted in thousands of firings and resignations of men and women believed to be members of the LGBTQ+ community, “Fellow Travelers” tells the story of a forbidden love between Timothy Laughlin, a recent college graduate, and Hawkins Fuller, an official at the State Department, while delving into struggles with faith, politics, betrayal and heartbreak. 513 North D St., Indianola; www.desmoinesmetroopera.org
  • July 17: “An Evening of Sondheim: A Musical Theatre Cabaret,” Tallgrass Theatre Company. One night only, selections from one of America’s greatest lyricists and composers, Stephen Sondheim: “Company,” “Into the Woods” and “Sweeney Todd.” Music Direction by Charissa Hamel. Saturday, 7 p.m. at the new Jamie Hurd Amphitheater in West Des Moines, 4100 Mills Civic Parkway; www.tallgrasstheatre.org/tickets
  • July 27: “FAE Rides Again,” Des Moines Playhouse Tent Theatre presented outdoors. The Final Act Ensemble radio troupe returns with a comedy show featuring Burns and Allen in “George Meets a Hit-Man” and Fibber McGee and Molly in “Fibber Gets a Hundred-Dollar Bill,” plus previews of coming attractions, bantering announcers, commercials that couldn’t sell anything, and a couple of favorite songs. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • Aug. 13-22: “[Title of Show].” A quirky musical comedy about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. Based in New York City with ever changing pop culture references and upbeat music. Carousel Theatre of Indianola, La Vida Loca Winery, 7852 Jesup St., Indianola; www.carouseltheatre.org 
  • Sept. 4: “Aretha: A Tribute,” Des Moines Symphony Water Works Pops Series. Enjoy this free and family-friendly event as Broadway diva Capathia Jenkins and three-time Grammy Award nominee Ryan Shaw join the Symphony for a tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and her biggest hits, including “Respect,” “Think,” “A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools.” Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park; www.dmsymphony.org 
  • Sept. 5: A John Williams Celebration. From “Star Wars” to “E.T.,” “Indiana Jones” to “Harry Potter” and more, a thrilling symphonic celebration of composer John Williams. Hear your beloved film favorites played under the stars in the Symphony’s free, family-friendly Water Works Pops Series. Sunday, 7:30 p.m., at Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park; www.dmsymphony.org 
  • Sept. 10-26: “Cabaret,” Des Moines Playhouse – John Viars Theatre. In a late 1920s Berlin nightclub, a garish master of ceremonies assures the audience they will forget all their troubles at the cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, “Cabaret” explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • Sept. 20-29: “Lost Girl,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre. You know about the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up… but what about the girl who had to? Years after returning from Neverland, Wendy Darling decides she must find Peter, reclaim her kiss and move on with her life. Along the way, she encounters other girls who went to Neverland and learns she is not alone. A coming-of-age exploration of first love and lasting loss. 4801 Franklin Ave., Suite 1166, Des Moines; www.dmyat.org
  • Oct. 15-23: “Escaping the Labyrinth,” Des Moines Playhouse. This romantic comedy’s WORLD PREMIERE is worthy of the gods — the Greek gods, that is. American classics grad student Bud Schliemann is touring Greece in 1951 when he encounters a man who mistakenly reveals that he is the god Hermes, still alive centuries after people stopped believing. Over the next 58 years, Bud encounters other gods living in disguise in the modern world, including the goddess Artemis with whom he falls in love. 831 42nd St., Des Moines; www.dmplayhouse.com
  • Oct. 21: Ron White’s stand-up comedy. Thursday, 8 p.m. Stephens Auditorium, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu/events
  • Oct. 22-31: “And Then There Were None.” Ten guilty strangers are lured to a desolate island estate, then each is accused of a prior murder by the voice of a mysterious host. Trapped on the island, the “ten soldiers” begin to die one by one at the hands of a diabolical avenger who uses a nursery rhyme to describe their fates. Carousel Theatre of Indianola, 117 E. Salem Ave., Indianola; www.carouseltheatre.org 

Live music: Hot music tickets that are worth every penny!

Hinterland Music Festival at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater, Aug. 6-8, includes music by Tanya Tucker, Black Pumas and The Avett Brothers. Photo by Paige Kleckner

  • June 9: Midnight Dogs (formerly known as Butter Cow Blues) at Lefty’s Live Music. Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m. 2307 University Ave, Des Moines; www.leftyslivemusic.com
  • June 12: Hardy at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel. Country music singer & songwriter plays a Saturday show, starting at 8 p.m. 1504 305th St., Tama; www.meskwaki.com 
  • June 14: Samantha Fish at Wooly’s. Contemporary blues guitarist with a voice that can “wring the soul out of a ballad and belt out a rocker with roof-shaking force.” Monday, at 7 p.m. Wooly’s 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines; www.woolysdm.com
  • Starting June 17: Music in the Garden at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Weekly concert series, Thursdays at 6 p.m. 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines; www.dmbotanicalgarden.com
  • June 18-19: Bevington Bluegrass Festival at Briar Patch Amphitheater. Blistering bluegrass, shaded camping and kids under 12 are free. Food, art and merchandise vending are also on the agenda. Primitive camping is included with admission and campfires are acceptable. Located 25 minutes south of Des Moines. 2103 Warren Ave., Prole; www.briarpatchamphitheater.com
  • June 11: The Garth Guy and Casey Muessigmann play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • June 12: Jamey Johnson with Whiskey Myers and Folk Uke play at Water Works Park – Lauridsen Amphitheater. Saturday, doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.dsmwaterworkspark.com
  • June 15: Kellie Lin Knott plays The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 
  • June 18: Freddy Jones Band and Towncrier play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • June 20: Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band play Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Concessions provided by The Outside Scoop. www.musicunderthestars.org
  • June 25: Elton and Billy-The Tribute plays at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • June 27: The Nadas play at Encompass Golf Course. Iowa’s signature alt-rock-country band. Sunday at 4 p.m. 7395 N.W. 100th St., Grimes; www.thenadas.com
  • June 27: Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band play Music Under the Stars at West Capitol Mall. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Concessions provided by The Outside Scoop. www.musicunderthestars.org
  • June 29: Chad Elliott and Kathryn Severing Fox play The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 

JULY

  • July 1: Blues Traveler & JJ Gray and Mofro play at Water Works Park – Lauridsen Amphitheater. Thursday, doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m. 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.dsmwaterworkspark.com
  • July 2-3: Big Country Bash at Avenue of The Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles; www.bigcountrybash.com
  • July 13: Central Standard Time plays The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 
  • July 13: Jazz in July – Amina Figarova Group, 6 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • July 16: Pork Tornadoes and Birdchild play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • July 16: Dickie Prall, David Zollo & the Body Electric play at Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • July 20: Jazz in July – Gabriel Espinosa Band featuring Misha Tsiganov, 6 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • July 23-24: Briar Patch Reggae Festival at Briar Patch Amphitheater. Roots music performed by the top talent from around the Midwest, plus camping in the woods and wetlands of the infamous Briar Patch Amphitheater. Primitive camping is included with admission. Located 25 minutes south of Des Moines. 2103 Warren Ave., Prole; www.briarpatchamphitheater.com
  • July 24: Graciela Beltrán at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel. According to MTV, Graciela Beltrán is “widely known as one of regional Mexican music’s most influential female voices. The star plays a Saturday show, starting at 8 p.m. 1504 305th St., Tama; www.meskwaki.com 
  • July 27: Jazz in July – The Syndicate, 6 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • July 30: Max Wellman & His Big Band – Back in Business, 8 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • July 31: Tommy Emmanuel, 8 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • July 30-31: Guthrie’s River Ruckus at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds. The lineup includes Brad Morgan, Phil Vassar, Chris Janson, Logan Mize, John Michael Montgomery, Granger Smith and Miranda Lambert. 408 State St., Guthrie Center; www.guthriesriverruckus.com

Kosmic Kingdom Music Festival at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Aug. 27-28. Photo submitted

AUGUST

  • Aug. 6-8: Hinterland Music Festival at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater. From Tanya Tucker to Black Pumas to The Avett Brothers and more, this outdoor camping experience, in the middle of a cornfield, offers stellar summer tunes. Check online for details and a full listing of bands. 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles; www.hinterlandiowa.com
  • Aug. 7: Bumping Mics with Jeff Ross & Dave Attell, 7:30 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • Aug. 7: Elvis Elvis Elvis at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel. Saturday at 8 p.m. 1504 305th St., Tama; www.meskwaki.com 
  • Aug. 12-22:  Iowa State Fair live music. The Fair is the single largest event in the state and boasts a voluminous number of music concerts. East 30th and East University; www.iowastatefair.org
  • Aug. 16-17: 515 Alive Music Festival at Des Moines Water Works Park. 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.515alive.com
  • Aug. 24: Marques Morel plays The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 
  • Aug. 27-28: Kosmic Kingdom Music Festival at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. 4051 Dean Ave., Des Moines; www.kosmickingdom.com
  • Aug. 28: Exile Music Fest. 1514 Walnut St., Des Moines; www.exilemusicfestdsm.com

SEPTEMBER

  • Sept. 6: POOLOOZA at Adventure Bay. A Monday party for people 21 or older, offering drinks, pools, slides and a special concert by Shaggy — a reggae artist best known for his songs “It Wasn’t Me,” “Angel” and “Boombastic.” Adventureland is located off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona, just East of Des Moines. www.adventurelandresort.com 
  • Sept. 7: Robin Trower, 8 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • Sept. 7: Society of Broken Souls plays The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 
  • Sept. 11: Alan Jackson plays Wells Fargo Arena. 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • Sept. 14: The Robert Cray Band, 8 p.m. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; www.hoytsherman.org
  • Sept. 16: Wilco and Trampled By Turtles play at Water Works Park – Lauridsen Amphitheater. Thursday, doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.dsmwaterworkspark.com
  • Sept. 17: An Evening with Michael Buble at Wells Fargo Arena. 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • Sept. 21: David G. Smith and Robert Detich play The Goldfinch Room on the Lawn Concert Series. Stephens Auditorium, 1900 Center Drive, Ames; www.center.iastate.edu 
  • Sept. 25: Knotfest at Indianola National Balloon Classic Field. The festival will include performances from Faith No More, Megadeth, Lamb of God, $uicideBoy$, Gojira, Trivium, Tech N9ne, Fever 333, Knocked Loose, Turnstile, Gatecreeper and Vended. Slipknot’s homecoming event will descend upon the National Balloon Classic Field in Indianola. 14 miles south of Des Moines; knotfest.com

Events & festivals: Events, festivals, gatherings, fundraisers, fairs, and other ways to have fun

The Syndicate band plays Jazz in July at Hoyt Sherman Place on July 27. The show begins at 6 p.m. Photo submitted

  • Wednesdays through August: Zoo Brew at Blank Park Zoo. The zoo’s biggest fundraiser is more important than ever after the nonprofit lost a significant amount of revenue due to the pandemic. The zoo depends on operations to care for the animals at a cost of approximately $19,000 per day.  At this time, there is an urgent need.  Zoo Brew starts weekly at 5:30 p.m. at 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines; www.blankparkzoo.com/donate 
  • Thursdays in June and July: Summer Sounds Concerts return to the Bandshell at Wagner Park. 410 W. First St., Ankeny; www.ankenyiowa.gov/our-city/departments/parks-and-recreation/summer-events
  • Fridays (TBD): Chill on the Hill in Pleasant Hill. The 2021 lineup and dates were TBD as CITYVIEW went to press, but the weekly outdoor event featuring live music was expected to be on the agenda. Copper Creek Lake Park; www.pleasanthillchamber.org/news-events/chill-on-the-hill/about.html
  • June 1-30: Capital City Pride Fest celebrates all month with a variety of festivities, including a parade and too many entertainment options to list. www.capitalcitypride.org
  • June 2: Summer hours begin at Science Center of Iowa. 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, www.sciowa.org
  • June 4: James Biehn, Standing Hampton – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • June 4: The Spazmatics and Pie in the Sky play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • June 4: Rendezvous on Riverview at  Riverview Park. A fun Friday night celebrating all the work that went into making the new Riverview Park a reality. Parking is allowed at the Polk County Community Center, North High School and Birdland Pool. Gates at 5:30 p.m., ceremony at 6 p.m., The Tony Bohnenkamp Band plays at 7:30 p.m.; www.riverviewparkdsm.com
  • June 5: Fish Waukee. In conjunction with Iowa’s Free Fishing Weekend during which fishing licenses are not required for fishing, Waukee hosts a fishing event for K-6th grades to learn key fishing skills such as baiting, casting, reeling and fish and wildlife ethics. The event is free, however, the youth workshops do require advance registration. There are two sessions of the workshops — one at 9 a.m. and one at 10 a.m. Bait will be provided to youth participants. Please bring your own equipment. Adult supervision is required at all times. Parking is located at Holmes Murphy, 2727 Grand Prairie Parkway, Kettlestone Commons Ponds located just north of the Holmes Murphy building; www.waukee.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2415
  • June 5: Learn at the Landfill. Every week, you set your waste out at the curb for collection. Have you ever wondered what happens to it? Metro Waste Authority hosts a free Saturday Landfill Driving Tour to help you find out at a behind-the-scenes driving tour of Iowa’s largest landfill, 3-5 p.m. 12181 University Ave. N.E., Mitchellville; www.WhereItShouldGo.com/LandfillTour
  • June 5: North Polk 2021 Gala. Starts at 6 p.m.; www.celebratenorthpolk.org 
  • June 5-7: Raccoon River Days in Van Meter. www.vanmeteria.gov/RaccoonRiverDays.aspx
  • June 5: Celebrate Bondurant in downtown Bondurant. Don’t forget your lawn chairs for this family-friendly community event with live music and no admission charge. Saturday, 6-9 p.m. 2 Main St., N.E., Bondurant; www.bondurantchamber.com
  • June 6: 41st Annual Mustang and Ford Auto Show in Historic Valley Junction. The Mustang Club of Central Iowa will hold its 41st Annual MCCI Car Show. Popular vote judging will be held in 39 classes. Along Fifth Street in West Des Moines; www.valleyjunction.com/events
  • June 6: Cajun Fest Boil and Brew at Captain Roy’s. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1900 Saylor Road, Des Moines; www.yessiowa.org
  • June 7 – Aug. 7: Summer Reading Program at Des Moines Public Library. For ages zero through 18, registration takes place at any location. Everyone who signs up will receive a free book. Those who complete the program will be entered into a drawing for prizes at the end of the summer. dmpl.org/summer-reading
  • June 9-11: World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. www.worldpork.org
  • June 9: Haydn String Quartet in E-flat, Op. 33, No. 2, “The Joke.” Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • June 10: Garden Party. Guests learn simple gardening practices with exclusive access to the Garden while participating and hearing from experts. Tickets include a catered lunch by Trellis and the making of your own native plant lotion. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines; www.dmbotanicalgarden.com
  • June 10-12: Grimes Governors Days at Grimes Water Works Park. www.governorsdays.com
  • June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10: Architecture on the Move Walking Tours in downtown Des Moines. Starting at Capital Square, 400 Locust St. Tours take off at 5:30 p.m. 
  • June 12: Pizza Fest. This annual pizza event starts at 4 p.m. and features all-American fun with friends, pizza tasting, spirits, music, pizza-eating, kid’s dough-tossing contests, and pizza, pizza, pizza. The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com 
  • June 13: Valley Vintage & Makers Market. Along Fifth Street in West Des Moines; www.valleyjunction.com
  • June 13: Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band play Music Under the Stars. Free concerts begin at 7 p.m. on the lawn at the West Capitol Mall. Concessions by The Outside Scoop; www.musicunderthestars.org 
  • June 13: Flag Day Eve at Captain Roy’s. A Des Moines Flag Day celebration one day ahead of the nationally recognized Flag Day will take place with the help of the city’s own Rock Solid cover band. Sunday, 1- 5 p.m. 1900 Saylor Road, Des Moines; www.captainroys.com
  • June 14-15: Summerfest in downtown Bondurant; www.bondumensclub.org
  • June 16: Mozart C Major Quintet No. 3 in C major, K. 515. Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • June 17-20: Johnston Green Days at Terra Park. Activities include a parade, a carnival, live entertainment and fun for the entire family. Admission is free. Johnston; www.johnstongreendays.org
  • June 18-19: Homeschool Iowa Convention at MidAmerican Energy RecPlex. 6500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines; therecplex.com/events-calendar
  • June 18: Tyler Frazier, Maytags – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • June 19: Circuit Court Day at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • June 18-20: Des Moines Latino Film Festival. Friday’s agenda includes an all-ages street party with music, food and shopping along 16th Street between E. Grand and E. Des Moines Street. The festivities continue on Saturday and Sunday with feature films from Spain and Latin America and will also showcase Iowa Latino produced films at Riverview Park. 710 Corning Ave., Des Moines; Festival is Free but register at www.latinocenterofiowa.org/dsm-latinofilmfestival for your weekend’s pass.
  • June 19: The Raise Your Paw Auction at the Iowa Events Center. ARL’s largest annual fundraiser to support the thousands of homeless pets that come to the shelter. Downtown Des Moines; www.arl-iowa.org/ryp
  • June 19: Juneteenth and Emancipation. Join the Library for a free presentation by the African American Museum of Iowa about Juneteenth, the impact of this day in history, and the impact of slavery on the U.S. 1-2 p.m. Waukee Public Library; waukeepubliclibrary.org
  • June 23: Gabriela Frank: “Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout.” Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • June 24: The Nadas play the Iowa National Guard Concert Series. Free live music on Thursday nights along with food trucks, starting at 6 p.m. 7105 N.W. 70th Ave., Johnston; www.iowanationalguard.com/Pages/Camp-Dodge-Concert-Series.aspx
  • June 25: Joshua Sinclair, Cody Hicks – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • June 25-27: Interrobang Film Festival. A three-day festival that is part juried competition, part public screening and part workshop. The annual festival screens an average of 50 films and includes entries in virtually every genre. Des Moines Public Library, downtown Des Moines; www.desmoinesartsfestival.org/p/about/film
  • June 25-26: Lantern Festival at Water Works Park. Lauridsen Amphitheater, 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.dsmwaterworkspark.com 
  • June 26: Performing in the Park. Ankeny Community Theatre at Wagner Park/Bandshell, 410 W. First St., Ankeny; www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com
  • June 30: Mozart String Quartet No. 18 in A major, K. 464. Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet

The National Balloon Classic returns to Memorial Balloon Field, July 30 – Aug. 7. Photo submitted

JULY

  • July 1: The Sidewinders – Iowa National Guard Concert Series. Free concerts on Thursday nights, live music along with food trucks starting at 6 p.m. 7105 N.W. 70th Ave., Johnston; www.iowanationalguard.com/Pages/Camp-Dodge-Concert-Series.aspx
  • Friday nights, July 2 – Aug. 6: Rendezvous on Riverview. The communities of Oak Park and Highland Park present Rendezvous on Riverview, a Friday night summer concert series. Shows will be 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the new Prairie Meadows Riviera stage at Riverview Island. Free admission. www.rordsm.org
    This summer’s lineup:
    July 2: Standing Hampton (fireworks)
    July 9: The Party Rocks Dance Band featuring Maxx G & T-FLIP
    July 16: Fahrenheit
    July 23: Sons of Gladys Kravitz
    July 30: Plastic Apartment
    Aug. 6: Final Mix Show Band featuring Del “The Saxman” Jones
  • July 2: Matt Woods, Party in the Sky – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • July 2: Electric Shock and Not Quite Brothers play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • July 8: Brother Trucker – Iowa National Guard Concert Series. Free concerts on Thursday nights, live music along with food trucks starting at 6 p.m. 7105 N.W. 70th Ave., Johnston; www.iowanationalguard.com/Pages/Camp-Dodge-Concert-Series.aspx
  • July 9: Brit Pack and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • July 9: Oreo Meatwagon – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • July 10: Celebrate Ankeny at the SummerFest grounds. Coloring contest, bands and fireworks. www.ankeny.org/celebrate-ankeny
  • July 11: The Belin Quartet with jazz trio plays Music Under the Stars. The free oudoor concerts on the West Capitol Mall begin at 7 p.m. Concessions by The Outside Scoop, www.musicunderthestars.org
  • July 14: Gabriela Arriaga String Quartet No. 2 in A major. Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • July 15: Standing Hamption – Iowa National Guard Concert Series. Free concerts on Thursday nights, live music along with food trucks starting at 6 p.m. 7105 N.W. 70th Ave., Johnston; www.iowanationalguard.com/Pages/Camp-Dodge-Concert-Series.aspx
  • July 16-17: Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience and “The Princess and the Frog” screening. Jamie Hurd Amphitheater, West Des Moines on July16 at 7 p.m.; at Prairie Meadows Riviera Amphitheater at Riverview Park, Des Moines on July 17 at 7 p.m. www.dmpa.org
  • July 16-17: Clive Festival. Festivities include live music, a Slip-N-Slide, the Clive Running Festival and fun for everyone. At the Greenbelt Landing at the Clive Aquatic Center. “Thunder Over Clive Fireworks.” Friday-Saturday at 10 p.m; www.clivefestival.com 
  • July 17: Four Seasons MiniFest 2021 in Polk City. This Friday event offers kid-friendly activities on the Town Square, 2-6 p.m., with live music starting at 8 p.m. At American Legion’s outdoor stage; www.gopolkcity.com
  • July 17-23: Polk County Fair. Iowa State Fairgrounds; www.polkcountyfairiowa.com
  • July 17: Christmas In July presented by The Salvation Army and Douglas M. Woods at Evelyn Davis Park in Des Moines. Free outdoor event to raise money for families in need of a helping hand. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; https://donate.salarmywestern.org/christmasinjuly
  • July 17: Albaugh Classic Car Show at Town Square Park in The District at Prairie Trail. Showcasing the collections of Dennis Albaugh and Carl Moyer, both longtime collectors of Chevrolets, including originals and custom modified vehicles dating back to the early 1900s. Select vehicles from each collection will be on display along with hundreds of other participants. 1500 S.W. Main St., Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com 
  • July 20-21: Tech Hub LIVE Conference and Expo at the Iowa Events Center. Gathering a community of like-minded professionals to learn, connect and engage with leaders across data-driven agriculture sectors. 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • July 21-25: Madison County Fair in Winterset; www.madisoncountyfair.net
  • July 21: Schumann String Quartet No. 3, Op. 41, “Clara.” Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • July 23-25: The Capital City Card Convention at the Iowa Events Center. Iowa’s premier sports card experience. 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • July 23: Arch Allies and The Crust play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • July 23: CITYVIEW’s East Village Summer Stir. Downtown Des Moines in the East Village, Friday, 5-9 p.m. www.summerstirs.com
  • July 23: Emma Butterworth, Bonne Finken – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series. At The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • July 24: Bondurant Battle of the Bands. A free Saturday outdoor music festival showcasing local and regional bands. Proceeds go towards supporting families impacted by genetic diseases. Saturday night outside of BrickHouse Fitness, gates open at 2 p.m. 86 Paine St. S.E., Bondurant; bbofb.org/event-details
  • July 28: Grieg String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27. Civic Music Association – Belin Quartet offers free outdoor summer performances on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. On the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens; www.civicmusic.org/belin-quartet
  • July 30-Aug. 7: National Balloon Classic at Memorial Balloon Field. For nine days every summer, Iowa’s skies come alive as 100-plus hot air balloons from around the country fill the air. 15335 Jewell St., Indianola; www.nationalballoonclassic.com
  • July 30 – Aug. 1: The 48 Hour Film Project. The challenge? Make a film in 48 hours. The winner goes up against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2022 for the opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2022 Short Film Corner. www.48hourfilm.com/en/des-moines-ia
  • July 30: The Prince Experience and Bitter Sweet play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • July 30: Randy Burk, Brother Trucker – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com

Butter cows, foods on sticks, carnival rides, games, agriculture, live music and people watching… “Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair,” Aug. 12-22. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State Fair

AUGUST

  • Aug. 6: Marcy Playground and BS and the Liars play at Adventureland for Sunset on the Boulevard’s Friday night concert series. Off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona. www.adventurelandresort.com
  • Aug. 6-7: Highway 141 Garage Sale. From Grimes to Manilla, the savings will be in full swing. 
  • Aug. 6: Dan Medeiros, The Sheet – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • Aug. 6: Joe Rogan’s Sacred Clown Comedy Tour at Wells Fargo Arena. “Like an idealistic hippy stuck inside the body of a testosterone-pumped U.S. marine,” you’ve been warned. 730 Third St., Des Moines; www.iowaeventscenter.com 
  • Aug. 7: Grain Harvest at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • Aug. 12-22: Iowa State Fair. More than 1 million attendees attend the Fair each year to enjoy butter cows, foods on sticks, carnival rides, games, agriculture, live music and people watching… “Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair.” 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.iowastatefair.org
  • Aug. 13: Bruce & Parks, Decoy – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • Aug. 14: Sweet Corn Festival. A Saturday sprinkled with salt and slathered in butter… If it’s the second weekend in August, Adel is serving up seven tons of Iowa sweet corn. 301 S. 10th St., Adel; Facebook @adelsweetcornfestival
  • Aug. 20: Ryne Doughty, Dueling Pianos – Sips & Songs. A free and family-friendly weekly summer music series at The District’s Town Square Park in Ankeny; www.thedistrictpt.com
  • Aug. 21: ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off and Iowa State Fair Chili Cook-off. Chili tasting starts at noon. Iowa State Fairgrounds; www.chilicookoff.com
  • Aug. 27: CITYVIEW’s Downtown Summer Stir along Ingersoll Avenue. Friday, 5-9 p.m., www.summerstirs.com
  • Aug. 27: SCI’s Big Blast fundraising gala at Science Center of Iowa. 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, www.sciowa.org
  • Aug. 27-28: Huxley’s Prairie Fest. Food, inflatables, live music, sand volleyball, a parade, a petting zoo and a beer tent. www.huxleyprairiefest.com
  • Aug. 28: Ingersoll LIVE 2021. Celebrating the Ingersoll and Grand District, the annual family-friendly street festival offers live music, art, vendors and other activities for kids and adults. Along Ingersoll and Grand Avenues; www.theavenuesdsm.com

SEPTEMBER

  • Sept. 17-19: World Food & Music Festival at Western Gateway Park. Friday-Sunday, downtown Des Moines; worldfoodandmusicfestival.com
  • Sept. 18: Fido on the Farms at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • Sept. 24: CITYVIEW’s Wine & Whiskey Walk at West Glen Town Center. Friday, 5-9 p.m. www.dmcityview.com
  • Sept. 25: Applefest at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • Sept. 25: Oktoberfest at Adventureland. Located off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona; www.adventurelandresort.com
  • Sept. 25-26: Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival in downtown Des Moines. This two-day celebration offers something for everyone during the action-packed weekend. Western Gateway Park; www.latinoheritagefestival.org

OCTOBER

  • Oct. 1-2: CELEBRASIAN in downtown Des Moines. Experience more than a dozen Asian Villages while delighting all five senses with authentic Asian food, educational activities and live cultural entertainment. Western Gateway Park; www.iowaasian-alliance.squarespace.com 
  • Oct. 9: Indigenous Iowans Day at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • Oct. 9-10: Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. Winterset; www.madisoncounty.com/covered-bridge-festival

Film: Ice-cold air conditioning, a comfy chair, popcorn with extra butter… “Top Gun: Maverick” won’t be released until November, but in the meantime, here are some summer blockbusters people are excited to see.

  • “Queen of Meth” 
    On DISCOVERY+, now playing, Kristian Day, Producer
    Lori Arnold, the sister of actor Tom Arnold, used to make more money in a few minutes by selling meth than she now earns in a week at her Ohio factory job. One of America’s most notorious drug dealers, Arnold tells her story to Des Moines filmmaker — and CITYVIEW contributor — Kristian Day in this emotional three-part series. “Queen of Meth” has been released on Discovery+. It was shot in Ottumwa, last fall. You can watch the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iRMseV1avE

“In the Heights”

JUNE 

  • “In the Heights” 
    2021, Musical, PG-13, Opens June 11, with simultaneous release on HBO Max
    Starring: Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco; directed by Jon M. Chu
    From the creator of “Hamilton” and the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop as the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) saves every penny from his daily grind while hoping for a better life.
  • “F9” 
    2021, Action, PG-13, Opens June 25
    Starring: Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Tyrese Gibson, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Lucas Black; directed by Justin Lin
    “F9” is the ninth chapter in the “Fast & Furious” saga. Enough said. 

“Black Widow”

JULY

  • “Black Widow”
    2021, Spy Thriller, PG-13, Opens July 9, with Premier Access on Disney+
    Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz; directed by Cate Shortland
    In this action-packed spy thriller, Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, who is forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships from before she became an Avenger. 
  • “Space Jam: A New Legacy”
    2021, Animated/Live-Action Adventure, PG-13, Opens July 16, with simultaneous release on HBO Max
    Starring: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Sonequa Martin-Green; directed by Malcolm D. Lee
    NBA champion, global icon and hoopster superstar LeBron James goes on an epic adventure with the timeless Bugs Bunny. 
  • “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania”
    2021, Comedy, Animation, PG, Opens July 23
    Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key; directed by Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
    Dracula returns to the big screen in this family-friendly adventure aimed at entertaining kids. 

“Space Jam”

AUGUST

  • “The Suicide Squad”
    2021, Superhero Action Adventure, R, Opens Aug. 6, with simultaneous release on HBO Max
    Starring: Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, John Cena, Peter Capaldi, Sylvester Stallone; directed by James Gunn
    Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. An action adventure, “The Suicide Squad,” features a collection of the most degenerate delinquents in the DC lineup. 
  • “Free Guy”
    2021, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Not Yet Rated, Opens Aug. 13
    Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jody Comer, Joe Keery, Lel Rel Howery; directed by Shawn Levy
    A bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero and save his world his way. 

Farmers markets: Fresh, homegrown, healthy food offerings in central Iowa

The Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market is back on Saturday mornings in its traditional location at the Historic Court District. Photo submitted

  • TUESDAYS: 3:30-6:30 p.m.
    Johnston Farmers Market
    At: Johnston Public Library, 6700 Merle Hay Road
    Fresh produce, live music, baked goods, crafts, food trucks and more. www.cityofjohnston.com/865/Farmers-Market
  • TUESDAYS: 4-7 p.m., through Sept. 14
    Beaverdale Farmers Market
    At: 4801 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, west of the Franklin Junior High building
    Shoppers gather to relax and meet with friends and neighbors while selecting from homegrown produce and Iowa homemade products. www.beaverdalefarmersmarket.org
  • WEDNESDAYS: 4-7 p.m. (beginning June 2)
    Waukee Farmers Market
    At: Waukee’s Downtown Triangle on Sixth Street, south of Highway 6
    Weekly offerings of live music, fresh food and a community of friends. www.waukeedowntown.com/Farmers%20Market.html
  • THURSDAYS: 4-8 p.m.
    Historic Valley Junction Farmers Market
    At: Along Fifth Street in West Des Moines
    Organic goods, fresh produce and fun times return to Valley Junction Thursday nights this summer. The market runs along Fifth Street in West Des Moines. Music in the Junction returns on Thursdays beginning July 3 at Railroad Park, 6-8:30 p.m. www.valleyjunction.com/events
  • THURSDAYS: 4-7 p.m.
    Polk City Farmers Market
    At: The Town Square in Polk City
    Locally grown produce, fresh baked goods and handcrafted items. www.polkcityfarmersmarket.com
  • FRIDAYS: 4:30-7:30 p.m.
    Fridays at the Farm
    At: Cumming at Middlebrook Farm, Cumming Avenue/Highway G14 in Cumming
    Food trucks and live music at a smaller farmers market venue. www.MiddlebrookFarms.com
  • FRIDAYS: 4-7 p.m., July 2 to Aug. 27
    Grimes Farmers Market
    At: Grimes Public Library, Waterworks Park at 200 N. James St.
    Food trucks, live music, farm fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade items, flowers, plants and more. www.grimesiowa.gov/ParksandRecreation/SpecialCommunityEvents/GrimesFarmersMarket.aspx
  • SATURDAYS: 7 a.m. – noon
    Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market
    At: Downtown’s Historic Court District, Des Moines
    This market is well known for nine city blocks of farm fresh organic produce, tasty vegetables, eggs, seasonal flowers, meats, cheeses, wine and live music. This year’s market will begin as a scaled back version with COVID-19 protocols and safety guidelines in place. www.desmoinesfarmersmarket.com
  • SATURDAYS: through Sept. 25, 9 a.m. to noon (closed July 10 for Ankeny Summerfest)
    The Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market
    At: Ankeny Market Pavilion, 715 W. First St.
    Vendor offerings include produce, crafts, and ready-made food. There will be kids’ activities packaged to go, and new to the market this year will be the Uptown Ankeny Express, an all electric train. www.uptownankeny.org/farmers-market
  • SATURDAYS: 2-4 p.m.
    Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market
    At: Forest Avenue, between Sixth and Eighth streets, Des Moines
    Visit with neighbors while shopping for fresh produce. www.riverbendneighborhood.org/calendar 

Let freedom ring: Pop! Boom! Bang!… When the night sky lights up and patriotism fills the air… It’s time to enjoy Independence Day. Here are a few ways to celebrate America’s birthday. 

The Yankee Doodle Pops Fourth of July celebration will be available via telecast, as opposed to in-person. Iowans can tune in for the TV broadcast on PBS, July 2 at 8:30 p.m.; July 4 at 6 p.m. Photo submitted

  • July 2-4: Goodguys 30th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals. Showcasing 1987 and older hot rods, customs, muscle cars, trucks and classics during the holiday weekend along with a Fireworks Extravaganza, Swap Meet, Cars 4 Sale Corral, Vendor Midway, FREE Kids Zone, a watermelon eating contest, Model Car Show, Live Entertainment, Goodgals Gallery, Nitro Thunderfest Vintage Dragster Exhibition, Extreme RC Racing, Goodguys AutoCross timed racing and more. Iowa State Fairgrounds; www.good-guys.com/hln
  • July 2 at 8:30 p.m.; July 4 at 6 p.m.: Yankee Doodle Pops. The Pops Fourth of July celebration has become a family favorite, and the event traditionally ranks as one of the state’s largest single-day concert attractions. This year’s event will be available via telecast as opposed to in-person. The Orchestra’s performance will be recorded in Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center, allowing the musicians to remain safely distanced. Iowans can tune in to the TV broadcast on Iowa PBS. www.dmsymphony.org
  • July 2-4: Waukee’s Independence Day Celebration. Three days of fun, food and entertainment for all ages. At Centennial Park in Waukee; www.waukee.org
  • July 3: Windsor Heights Parade at Colby Park. Celebrate a day early on a Saturday. The parade starts at 4 p.m., followed by live music and fireworks. Windsor Heights; www.windsorheightsparade.com
  • July 3: Independence Day at Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale; www.lhf.org
  • July 4: Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band play Music Under the Stars. At the West Capitol Mall. Concerts begin at 7 p.m., and concessions are provided by The Outside Scoop. www.musicunderthestars.org
  • July 2 and July 3: Iowa Cubs at Principal Park. Fireworks will follow the I-Cubs Triple-A Baseball action July 2-3. Both competitions are against the Round Rock Express, and both of the first pitches are set for 7:08 p.m. www.iowacubs.com

Fitness fun: Participatory competitions, games and sports

The Moonlight Classic is the signature fundraiser for Orchard Place and features a nighttime bike ride through downtown Des Moines, July 10. Photo submitted

  • Sundays, June-Aug. at 9 a.m.: Outdoor Yoga on the Commons at Cowles Commons, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines; www.dmpa.org
  • June 6: The Dark Slide, Skate Jam at the Grimes Sports Complex skate park. 3800 Merle Hay Road, Suite 1253, Des Moines www.thedarkslide.com
  • June 9-13: Iowa Senior Games. The Iowa Senior Games’ main weekend in West Des Moines features 1,000 athletes ages 50 and older from around the state and the nation who compete in 30 sports and nearly 100 events. www.iowaseniorgames.org
  • June 12: Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby. On Main Street to North Avenue to Elm Street in Norwalk; www.soapboxderby.org
  • June 19-20: Ironman at Water Works Park. Lauridsen Amphitheater, 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines; www.dsmwaterworkspark.com
  • June 19: Waukee Bacoon Ride. Starts Saturday in Waukee at Centennial Park and continues with bacon-flavored pitstops for a 71-mile bike ride. Raccoon River Valley Trail; www.bacoonride.com
  • June 25-26: Break the Cycle 200 at Waukee’s Centennial Park. The event celebrates its 10th year of using a peloton-style, 200-mile bike ride to help victims of human trafficking. And if 200 miles in one day is too extreme, Break the Cycle 200 is introducing the Iowa Challenge that offers 100-mile, 50-mile, and 25-mile bike routes. www.breakthecycle200.com/where-we-ride
  • June 26: The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s: Leprechaun Open at Copper Creek Golf Club. Saturday shotgun start at noon at 4825 Copper Creek Drive, Pleasant Hill; www.friendlysonsiowa.com 
  • July 9-11: Des Moines Challenge at local disc golf courses. This pro disc golf tournament is a DGPT Elite Series event offering $15,000-plus in added cash and counting for professional payouts. www.desmoineschallenge.com
  • July 10: Moonlight Classic – This signature fundraiser for Orchard Place features a night-time bike ride that takes participants through downtown Des Moines to see landmarks such as the Iowa Capitol, the East Village, Mary & John Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Gray’s Lake. Cruise the streets and nearby trails with family and friends while raising much-needed funds. Saturday at Iowa Taproom, 215 E. Third St., Des Moines; www.moonlightclassicdsm.com
  • July 17: Polo on the Green. Fast horses. Big hats. Cool cars. Great food. Live music. Helping kids. Polo on the Green might be the coolest party of the summer, and this annual event offers an air-conditioned evening with dinner, an all-inclusive hosted bar, live and silent auctions, and, of course, a polo match and divot stomping. Come for the polo, stay for the party and help raise funds to support Variety’s mission to improve the lives of underprivileged, at-risk, critically ill and special needs children throughout Iowa. Powder River Ranch near Cumming; www.poloonthegreen.com
  • July 25-31: RAGBRAI. A one week jaunt covering 450-plus miles of the Hawkeye state — RAGBRAI stands for: Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa…. and sore legs. www.ragbrai.com 
  • July 29: IHYC Golf Classic at Otter Creek Golf Club. Golf while learning about Iowa Homeless Youth Centers and the services provided by the organization. The tournament is a four-person best shot. 4100 N.E. Otter Creek Drive, Ankeny; www.yss.org/events/ihycgolfclassic
  • Aug. 7: The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s: Annual Irish Open Disc Golf to benefit local children’s charities. Saturday at Grandview Park Disk Golf, 3230 Easton Blvd., Des Moines; www.friendlysonsiowa.com 
  • Aug. 28: Glow Wild by Polk County Conservation at Jester Park Nature Center. Saturday, 4-10 p.m.; 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger, www.glowwildiowa.com
  • Aug. 28: Dam to DSM. Run from the Saylorville Dam to Downtown Des Moines in this one-of-a-kind endurance challenge. www.damtodsm.com
  • Oct. 16-18: IMT Des Moines Marathon. “The Finish Line is Just the Beginning” at the IMT Des Moines Marathon. Marathons generally demand adequate lead time to train, so this is just a heads up. You can do it. Throughout Des Moines; www.desmoinesmarathon.com 

Sports: Athletic action for local spectators…. PLAY BALL!

The Iowa Cubs play at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines. Photo courtesy of the Iowa Cubs

  • IOWA CUBS 2021 REMAINING HOME-GAME SCHEDULE
    At Principal Park in downtown Des Moines. 
    www.iowacubs.com
    Tuesday, June 8: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, June 9: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, June 10: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, June 11: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, June 12: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, June 13: Cubs vs. Columbus Clippers (Indians) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, June 22: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, June 23: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, June 24: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, June 25: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, June 26: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, June 27: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, July 6: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, July 7: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, July 8: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, July 9: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, July 10: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, July 11: Cubs vs. St. Paul Saints (Twins) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, July 27: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, July 28: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, July 29: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, July 30: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, July 31: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, Aug. 1: Cubs vs. Louisville Bats (Reds) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, Aug. 3: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 4: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, Aug. 5: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, Aug. 6: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug. 7: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, Aug. 8: Cubs vs. Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, Aug. 24: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 25: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 6:38 p.m.
    Thursday, Aug. 26: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, Aug. 27: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug. 28: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, Aug. 29: Cubs vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) at 1:08 p.m.
    Tuesday, Sept. 7: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 6:38 p.m.
    Wednesday, Sept. 8: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 12:08 p.m.
    Thursday, Sept. 9: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 7:08 p.m.
    Friday, Sept. 10: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 7:08 p.m.
    Saturday, Sept. 11: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 7:08 p.m.
    Sunday, Sept. 12: Cubs vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at 1:08 p.m.
  • IOWA BARNSTORMERS 2021 REMAINING HOME-GAME SCHEDULE
    At Wells Fargo Arena – 730 Third St., Des Moines
    www.theiowabarnstormers.com
    Saturday, June 19 vs. Sioux Falls Storm, 7:05 p.m.
    Saturday, July 17 vs. Louisville Xtreme, 7:05 p.m.
    Saturday, July 24 vs. Green Bay Blizzard, 7:05 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug. 7 vs. Bismarck Bucks, 7:05 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug. 14 vs. Louisville Xtreme, 7:05 p.m.
  • DES MOINES MENACE 2021 REMAINING HOME-GAME SCHEDULE
    At Valley Stadium – 4440 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. 
    www.menacesoccer.com
    Thursday, June 10: Menace vs. Peoria City, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.
    Saturday, June 12: Menace vs. Kaw Valley FC, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.
    Wednesday, June 16: Menace vs. FC Wichita, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.
    Friday, June 18: Menace vs. FC Wichita, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.
    Wednesday, July 7: Menace vs. Chicago FC United, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.
    Saturday, July 10: Menace vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher, Valley Stadium at 7 p.m.

The Boone Speedway is “Iowa’s Action Track,” check online — www.raceboone.com — for a full schedule of events. Photo submitted

  • PRAIRIE MEADOWS CASINO RACETRACK AND HOTEL 
    1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona
    www.prairiemeadows.com
    Slot machines, table games, sports wagering, No-Limit Texas Hold’ Em Tournaments, big-name entertainers, full-service dining amenities, and don’t forget… live horse racing, which began in May and continues into September.
    The live horse racing season has already begun in Altoona. Attendees are offered the opportunity to take a chance, live a little, and watch the ponies. Racing season continues through the summer.
  • KNOXVILLE RACEWAY
    1000 N. Lincoln, Knoxville – Marion County Fairgrounds,
    www.knoxvilleraceway.com
    This one-of-a-kind dirt track is popularly known as the “Sprint Car Capital of The World.” Racing season begins in April and events are held most weekends of the summer.
    July 10: Corn Belt Clash
    Aug. 5-7: 360 Knoxville Nationals
    Aug. 8: CAPITANI CLASSIC
    Aug. 12-14: Knoxville Nationals
    Sept. 16-18: 17th Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals
  • BOONE SPEEDWAY
    1481 223rd Place, Boone
    www.raceboone.com
    “Iowa’s Action Track,” this 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval hosts high-speed racing sanctioned by the IMCA. Regular events include Modifieds, RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars, Stock Cars, Northern Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and ModLites. Events are held most weekends of the summer. Check online for a full schedule.
  • IOWA SPEEDWAY
    3333 Rusty Wallace Drive
    www.iowaspeedway.com
    Saturday, July 24: Iowa Speedway will host an ARCA Menards Series race. 
  • PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC
    Wakonda Club, Des Moines
    www.principalcharityclassic.com
    June 1-6: PGA pros play to raise money for charity ♦

One Comment

  1. Paula says:

    Thank you for the wonderful compilation of events!

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