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Feature Story

Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide

5/1/2024

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming — and the cicadas are coming. But that won’t stop us, and it shouldn’t stop you, from enjoying the seemingly endless entertainment that graces central Iowa during its warmest months. Artwork from the world-renowned to the area’s brightest up and coming talents. From Broadway shows to community theaters. Symphonies to singers. Cracks of the bat to thoroughbreds and racecars rounding curves. CITYVIEW’s events section details the best community celebrations, farmers markets, skillet throws and conventions for most every interest. We have it here in one place to help you make summer 2024 unforgettable. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: We strive for accuracy in these listings, but event details are subject to change. Be sure to check event websites for any ticket and registration requirements before attending.


Mainframe Studios artist Indigo Moore. Photo courtesy of Mainframe Studios

ART

From the bright and beautiful to experimental and thought provoking — from local to international artistic minds

 

ANKENY ART FESTIVAL

Uptown Ankeny, Third Street and Walnut Street, Ankeny

CNA - Stop HIV IowaCNA - Immunizations

www.ankenyartcenter.org/artfestival2024

  • May 11: Join the Ankeny Art Center for a fun-filled day of art, demonstrations, shopping, food, live music and more.

 

VALLEY JUNCTION ARTS FESTIVAL

100-200 blocks of Fifth Street, 

West Des Moines

www.valleyjunction.com/valley-junction-events/valley-junction-arts-festival

  • May 19: Going from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy live entertainment, art activities and artist demonstrations. Refreshments will be available from several food vendors, and several Valley Junction stores will be open during the festival.

 

Des Moines Art Week takes over the city at multiple locations to celebrate local artwork. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Art Week

DES MOINES ART CENTER

4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines

www.desmoinesartcenter.org

  • Through May 12: “State of Becoming” by Miatta Kawinzi
  • June 9 – Sept. 22: “Hurricane Season” by Deborah Jack

 

ANKENY ART CENTER

1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, Ankeny

www.ankenyartcenter.org

  • May 28 – July 24: Tracy Ingham displays primarily oils and oil pastel paintings.
  • May 28 – July 24: Troy Cannon shows 20 original works of wild animals.
  • July 31 – Sept. 24: Seso Marentes “explores the intersections of identity, culture and home through art.”
  • July 31 – Sept. 24: Jonah Haug specializes in mixed media art and graphic design.

 

MAINFRAME STUDIOS 

900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines

www.mainframestudios.org

  • First Fridays of the month: See the creators behind the masterpieces while enjoying live music, food and, of course, art.
  • May: City Sounds and ArtForce Iowa
  • June: Iowa Artists
  • July: Vivé! Latino Art
  • August: Photography 
  • September: Fashion 

 

DES MOINES ART WEEK 

www.artweekdesmoines.com

  • June 9-15: Des Moines Art Week is back and celebrating a decade of showcasing many local artists across several neighborhoods in the metro.

 

ANDERSON GALLERY

Harmon Fine Arts Center, 1310 25th St., Des Moines

andersongallery.wp.drake.edu

  • May 2-18: BFA Thesis Exhibition 
  • Sept. 5 – Oct. 20: Ken Buhler and Kim Uchiyama

 

OLSON-LARSEN GALLERIES

542 Fifth St., West Des Moines

olsonlarsen.com

  • Through May 25: “Another Side of the Story”
  • May 31 – July 20: Annual Landscape Show 2024 

 

MOBERG GALLERY

2411 Grand Ave., Des Moines

moberggallery.com

  • May 10: Linda Colletta
  • June 14: Sarah Grant
  • Aug. 9: Chuck Hipsher
  • Sept. 13: Teo Nguyen

 

POLK COUNTY HERITAGE GALLERY

Polk County Administration Building, 111 Court Ave., Des Moines

polkcountyheritagegallery.org

  • Through June 21: Rick Miller Retrospective “Finding My Voice”
  • June 27 – Aug. 15: Iowa Exhibited 2024 – Annual Juried Show 

Bluebeards Castle at the DMMO captures the beauty of their performances.
Photo by Duane Tinkey

STAGE

Metro stars and national names present unforgettable performances all summer long

ACTORS, INC. – AMES COMMUNITY THEATER

120 Abraham Drive, Ames

www.actorsinc.org

  • June 13-15, 21-22, 28-30: “Sister Act”

 

ANKENY COMMUNITY THEATRE

1932 S.W. Third St., Ankeny

www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com

  • June 9-17: Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”
  • Aug. 2-11: “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike”

 

A performance of Cinderella from CAP’s previous season. Photo courtesy of Class Act Productions

CAROUSEL THEATRE OF INDIANOLA

Indianola High School Auditorium, 1304 E. First Ave., Indianola

www.carouseltheatre.org

  • Weekends: July 19-28: “Urinetown”

 

CLASS ACT PRODUCTIONS 

201 First Ave. S., Altoona

www.captheatre.org

  • Weekends from May 24 through June: “Disney’s Frozen JR”

 

DES MOINES METRO OPERA

Pote Theatre, 513 N. D St., Indianola

www.desmoinesmetroopera.org

  • June 28, 30, July 5, 14, 16, 20: “The Barber of Seville” 
  • June 29, July 7, 13, 19: “Salome”
  • July 6, 12, 17, 21: “Pelléas & Mélisande” 
  • July 13, 18, 19: “American Apollo” 

 

DES MOINES PERFORMING ARTS

Des Moines Civic Center, Cowles Commons, Stoner Theater, 

221 Walnut St., Des Moines

www.dmpa.org

  • May 18: The Peking Acrobats
  • May 19: Josh Gates LIVE!
  • June 20-23: STOMP
  • Aug. 20 – Sept. 1: “Moulin Rouge” 

 

DES MOINES PLAYHOUSE

831 42nd St., Des Moines

www.dmplayhouse.com

  • May 31-June 16, Wednesdays through Saturdays: “The Play That Goes Wrong”
  • July 12-28, Wednesdays through Saturdays: “School Of Rock – The Musical”

 

DES MOINES YOUNG ARTISTS’ THEATRE

Various venues

www.dmyat.org

  • Through May 5: “Squirrel Girl Goes To College”
  • Through May 5: “Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play”
  • July 19-28: “The Prom”

 

DMACC ANKENY THEATRE

Black Box Theatre, Building 5, 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny

www.dmacc.edu/theatre/ankeny

  • July 19-20, 25-27: Summer Short Shakespeare ’24 – “As You Like It”

 

IOWA STAGE THEATRE COMPANY

Stoner Theatre, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines

www.iowastage.org

  • June 7-16: “Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical”

 

TALLGRASS THEATRE COMPANY

2019 Grand Ave., Suite 100, West Des Moines

www.tallgrasstheatre.org

  • May 3-5: “The Good Doctor”
  • June 13-15: “Camelot”

 

URBANDALE COMMUNITY THEATRE

Urbandale High School Performing Arts Center, 7111 N.W. Aurora Ave., Urbandale

www.urbandaletheatre.com

  • July 26-28, Aug. 2-4: “The Wizard Of Oz”

Intocable will be performing at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of Hoyt Sherman Place

LIVE MUSIC

From symphonies to singing, festivals to intimate venues, music fans rejoice for central Iowa’s options this summer.

 

DES MOINES CIVIC CENTER

221 Walnut St., Des Moines

dmpa.org 

  • June 1: Los Tigres Del Norte

 

DES MOINES SYMPHONY

Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines

dmsymphony.org

  • May 11-12: Season Finale: (Re)Discover the Ode to Joy

 

Wooly’s intimate venue helps provide an exciting concert experience. Photo by Noah Whitley

HOYT SHERMAN PLACE 

1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines

hoytsherman.org

  • June 13: Samara Joy at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 28: Mat Kearney: Headlights Home Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • July 2: Little Feat: Can’t Be Satisfied Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • July 3: Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs at 7:30 p.m.
  • July 31: Steve Earle: Alone Again at 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 13: Graham Nash: More Evenings Of Songs And Stories at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 25: Intocable: 30th Aniversario Tour 2024 at 8 p.m.

 

NOCE

1326 Walnut St. No. 100, Des Moines

nocedsm.com

  • May 3: Gabriel Espinosa’s Ashanti at 7 p.m.
  • May 4: Follies: A Night Of Broadway with Napoleon Douglas at 7 p.m.
  • May 4: Standard Time with Max Wellman at 9 p.m.
  • May 8: The Des Moines Big Band at 7 p.m.
  • May 9: Jazz On The House at 7 p.m.
  • May 10: An Album Release with Chicago Vocalist Alyssa Allgood at 7 p.m.
  • May 11: The Blake Shaw (Birthday) Big(ish) Band at 7 p.m. 
  • May 15: The Des Moines Big Band at 7 p.m.
  • May 16: Jazz On The House with The Dirk Quinn Band at 7 p.m.
  • May 17: Fly Me To The Moon: The Max Wellman Big Band plays Sinatra and more at 7 p.m.
  • May 18: Damoni Phillips with Organist Mitch Towne and Percussionist Ernie Adams at 7 p.m.
  • May 22: The Des Moines Big Band at 7 p.m.
  • May 23: Jazz On The House with Guitarist Jack Curis and Co. at 7 p.m.
  • May 24: Steve Berry and Gina Gedler sing the music of Burt Bacharach at 7 p.m.
  • May 25: Napoleon Douglas with the Nate Sparks Big Band at 7 p.m.
  • May 29: The Des Moines Big Band Season Finale at 7 p.m.
  • May 30: Jazz On The House with Vocalist Lauren Vilmain at 7 p.m.
  • May 31: Salsa Night with Son Peruchos at 7 p.m.

 

xBk’s consistently booked venue gives music fans plenty of chances to attend. Photo by Blythe Ennis

WELLS FARGO ARENA

223 Center St., Des Moines 

iowaeventscenter.com

  • May 14: Disturbed at 6:30 p.m.
  • May 17: Cody Johnson at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 27: Parker McCollum – Burn It Down Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 1: Barry Manilow at 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 19: Five Finger Death at 6:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 24: Luke Bryan at 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 13: Cage The Elephant at 6:30 p.m.

 

SHESLOW AUDITORIUM

2507 University Ave., Des Moines

calendar.drake.edu/sheslow_auditorium

  • May 2: Underrepresented Composers Recital at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 3: Joint Recital: Tristyn Oberender and Nolan Larsen at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 4: Senior Recital: Zac Curtis at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 5: Drake Choirs: Eric Barnum, conductor, at 3 p.m.
  • May 6: Woodwind Chamber Music Recital at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 8: New Music Concert at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 9: Drake Symphony Orchestra: Héctor Agüero, conductor, at 7:30 p.m.

 

IOWA STATE FAIR GRANDSTAND

Iowa State Fairgrounds 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

iowastatefair.org/entertainment/grandstand

  • Aug. 8: Lauren Daigle at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 9: Foreigner: Historic Farewell Tour at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 10: Jelly Roll at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 11: Greta Van Fleet Starcatcher World Tour at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 12: Brett Young at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 13: Thomas Rhett at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 14: Mötley Crüe at 8 p.m. 
  • Aug. 16: The Avett Brothers at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 17: Ne-Yo at 8 p.m.
  • Aug. 18: Kidz Bop at 6 p.m.

 

LEFTY’S LIVE MUSIC

2307 University Ave., Des Moines

www.leftyslivemusic.com

  • Every Monday: Lefty’s Manic Monday Open Jam Night at 8 p.m.
  • May 3: Ryze Up Tour! Featuring Ryze Hendricks at 7 p.m.
  • May 11: FLAW at 6 p.m. 
  • May 15: Snuffed On Sight at 5 p.m.
  • May 18: Exhumed, Skeletal Remains, Morbikon, Upon Stone, Traffic Death at 5 p.m.
  • May 25: SOULCAGE with Dirty Blond, Parabola and The Crust at 5 p.m.
  • May 25: Lower Automation, Moon Summoner, Duo Beat and Suttee at 9 p.m.
  • May 27: Filth with Second Death, Inferious, Snake Father and Exiled at 5 p.m. 
  • May 28: The Black Moods 6:30 p.m. 
  • May 29: ATTILA with Traitors, Not Enough Space, The Curse Of Hail and Calous at 5:30 p.m.
  • June 22: Corrupted Summer Dayz – Vol. 4 at 9 p.m.
  • June 28: SUPERSUCKERS with The Rumours, Jacob County & The Damaged Goods and Attacked By Badgers at 6 p.m.
  • July 3: Hillbilly Casino + Sasquatch And The Sick-A-Billys at 6 p.m.

 

WOOLY’S 

504 E. Locust St., Des Moines

firstfleetconcerts.com/first-fleet-venues/woolys

  • May 4: Emo Nite at 10 p.m.
  • May 7: Blind Guardian – The God Machine Tour at 8 p.m. 
  • May 9: Emery & The Almost at 7 p.m. 
  • May 10: Adam Doleac – Wrong Side of a Sunrise Tour at 7 p.m. 
  • May 14: Hawthorne Heights: Behind The Tears at 7 p.m. 
  • May 15: Microwave at 7 p.m.
  • May 17: B.Well at 8 p.m.
  • May 18: Symphony X at 8 p.m. 
  • May 19: X Ambassadors – Townie: North American Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • May 20: Maddie Zahm at 7 p.m.
  • May 21: Southall at 7 p.m.
  • May 23: Dying Fetus at 8 p.m.
  • May 29: Bodysnatcher & Spite at 7 p.m.
  • June 5: Medium Build at 8 p.m. 
  • June 6: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway at 7 p.m. 
  • June 11: Sebastian Bach at 8 p.m. 
  • June 21: Arrows In Action at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 22: The Menzingers at 7 p.m. 
  • July 16: Citizen Soldier at 7:30 p.m. 
  • July 19: Wilderado at 8 p.m. 
  • July 23: Bowling For Soup at 7 p.m. 
  • Aug. 8: Old 97s at 7 p.m. 

 

WATERWORKS PARK

Lauridsen Amphitheater, 2251 George Flagg Parkway

dsmwaterworkspark.com 

  • May 11: An Evening with CAKE at 8 p.m.
  • May 25: Willie Nelson & Family at 7 p.m.
  • June 11: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss with JD McPherson at 7 p.m.
  • June 13: Jon Pardi with Carter Faith at 6:30 p.m.
  • June 21: REO Speedwagon with Night Ranger at 6:30 p.m.
  • July 11: Brantley Gilbert at 6:30 p.m.

 

XBK 

1159 24th St., Des Moines

xbklive.com 

  • May 3: Bad Bad Habits at 7 p.m.
  • May 4: FlashForce University Graduation Show at 7 p.m.
  • May 8: Wild Party with Fox Royale at 7 p.m.
  • May 9: John R. Miller at 6 p.m.
  • May 10: IPR All Access Live Featuring The Claudettes at 7 p.m.
  • May 11: Run Wilson at 7 p.m.
  • May 12: Humbrid and Weary Ramblers at 6 p.m.
  • May 13: Alexz Johnson with Sam Ness at 7 p.m.
  • May 14: 12 RODS with The Book of Bugs at 7 p.m.
  • May 15: The Inspector Cluzo with The Messenger Birds at 6 p.m.
  • May 16: Panic! at the Burlesque Vol. 3 at 7 p.m.
  • May 17: Southern Culture on the Skids at 7 p.m.
  • May 18: Jesse Daniel with special guest Alex Williams at 6 p.m. 
  • May 19: Charlie Parr with Samuel Locke Ward at 6 p.m.
  • May 20: Monday Night Live does MNL! Season Wrap Party at 6 p.m.
  • May 21: Havok and Exmortus at 6 p.m.
  • May 23: Molly Brandt and Reilly Downes & The Acid Cowboys at 7 p.m.
  • May 24: Traffic Death, Druids, Electric Assault, Lurking Corpses at 7 p.m.
  • May 25: Southbound at 6 p.m.
  • May 28: Social Cinema at 6 p.m.
  • May 29: Melt-Banana with BabyBaby_Explores at 6:30 p.m.
  • May 30: Lisa Mann and Avey Grouws Band at 6 p.m.
  • May 31: BYOBrass with The Swallowtails at 7 p.m.
  • June 9: Sarah Tonin, 28 Days Later, Quinn Trilk at 5 p.m.
  • June 13: Kevin Burt & Big Medicine featuring Ken Valdez at 6 p.m.
  • June 25: Oliver Hazard at 6 p.m.
  • June 27: Nolan Taylor at 6 p.m.
  • June 28: Parranderos Latin Combo at 7 p.m.
  • July 13: Mountain Grass Unit at 6 p.m. 
  • July 19: Modern Life Is War at 7 p.m.
  • July 24: An Evening with Stick Men at 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 18: The Motown Songbook featuring The Finesse at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 7: Gurnfest: Day 2 at 5 p.m.
  • Sept. 17: Six Organs of Admittance at 6 p.m.

 

VIBRANT MUSIC HALL

2938 Grand Prairie Parkway, Waukee

www.vibrantmusichall.com

  • May 3: Megan Moroney – The Lucky 2.0 Tour with Logan Crosby at 6 p.m.
  • May 7: Lazer 103.3 presents Staind The Tailgate Tour with Seether at 5 p.m.
  • May 14: Sleep Token: The Teeth Of God Tour at 8 p.m.
  • May 18: Chicago at 8 p.m.
  • May 31: Riley Green: Ain’t My Last Rodeo Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 4: T-Pain’s Mansion in Wiscansin Party at 6:30 p.m.
  • June 8: Bailey Zimmerman: Religiously. The Tour. at 6 p.m.
  • June 18: Excision: Nexus Tour at 7:15 p.m.
  • June 23: Pixies and Modest Mouse with Cat Power at 6:30 p.m.
  • July 7: The Kid Laroi First Time Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 2: Counting Crows at 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 20: The Smashing Pumpkins: The World Is A Vampire Tour at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 15: An Evening With Goose at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 29: Marcus King: Mood Swings The World Tour at 8 p.m.

 

DES MOINES BOTANICAL GARDEN

909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines

www.dmbotanicalgarden.com

  • Thursdays, June 6 – Aug. 29: Summer Concert Series. The Botanical Garden’s summer music series. Enjoy the best parts of the Garden, music, family, food and the warm summer weather. Performers TBA.

 

DES MOINES METRO OPERA

Pote Theatre, 513 N. D St., Indianola

www.desmoinesmetroopera.org

  • June 1: Apprentice Spotlight Concert 
  • July 20: 2024 Stars of Tomorrow Concert 

 

JASPER WINERY

2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines

www.jasperwinery.com

When the warm weather rolls in, Jasper Winery welcomes all for their Summer Concert Series, occurring Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., May through August. Bring your lawn chair, listening ears, appetites and thirst, all will be quenched.

  • May 9: Brother Trucker
  • May 16: Brian Herrin Band
  • May 23: Dueling Guitars
  • May 30: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • June 6: Pianopalooze Band
  • June 13: Decoy
  • June 20: The Nadas
  • June 27: Damon Dotson Band
  • July 11: Funk Trek & Mind@Large 
  • July 18: Rhino
  • July 25: Dazy Head Mazy
  • Aug. 1: Not Quite Brothers

With some of the best young talent in baseball in the Cubs’ farm system, there will be plenty of chances to see the game’s next stars at Principal Park. Photo courtesy of Iowa Cubs

SPORTS

Local athletes try to etch their names in the record books at IHSAA and IGHSAU championships while some of the next best professionals hone their skills.

 

IHSAA & IGHSAU FINALS

Various dates/locations

www.iahsaa.org & www.ighsau.org

The best athletes from their respective sports will compete this summer in hopes of writing their names into their schools’ history books.

  • May 16-18: Boys and girls track and field state championships, Drake stadium
  • May 18, 20, 24-25, 29: Girls tennis state tournaments, singles and team, various locations
  • May 20-21: Boys golf state tournament, Otter Creek Golf Course
  • May 21-22, 30-31: Boys tennis state tournament, various locations
  • May 23-24: Girls golf state tournament, various locations
  • May 28, 30, June 1: Girls soccer state tournament, Cownie Sports Complex, Des Moines
  • May 29, 31, June 1: Boys soccer state tournament, Cownie Sports Complex, Des Moines
  • July 22-26: Boys baseball state tournament, Veterans Memorial Stadium, Cedar Rapids 
  • July 22-26: Girls softball state tournament, Harlan Rogers Sports Complex, Fort Dodge

 

 IOWA CUBS 

Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines

www.iowacubs.com

Affiliated with the MLB’s Chicago Cubs, our very own minor league baseball team has been around since 1969, originally known as the Iowa Oaks. Cheer on the Cubs all summer through September, with fireworks at Friday home games and the Fourth of July. Remaining home games this season:

  • May 3 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Omaha 
  • May 4 at 3:08 p.m. vs. Omaha 
  • May 5 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Omaha 
  • May 7 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Columbus 
  • May 8 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • May 9 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • May 10 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Columbus 
  • May 11 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Columbus 
  • May 12 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Columbus 
  • May 21 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • May 22 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • May 23 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • May 24 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • May 25 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • May 26 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • June 4 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Toledo 
  • June 5 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Toledo
  • June 6 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Toledo 
  • June 7 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Toledo 
  • June 8 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Toledo 
  • June 9 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Toledo 
  • June 25 at 6:38 p.m. vs. St. Paul
  • June 26 at 12:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul
  • June 27 at 6:38 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • June 28 at 7:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • June 29 at 6:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • June 30 at 1:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • July 4 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Omaha
  • July 5 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Omaha
  • July 6 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Omaha 
  • July 23 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • July 24 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • July 25 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • July 26 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis 
  • July 27 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • July 28 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Indianapolis
  • July 30 at 6:38 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • July 31 at 12:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul
  • Aug. 1 at 6:38 p.m. vs. St. Paul
  • Aug. 2 at 7:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • Aug. 3 at 6:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • Aug. 4 at 1:08 p.m. vs. St. Paul 
  • Aug. 13 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 14 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 15 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 16 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 17 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 18 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Columbus
  • Aug. 27 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Memphis 
  • Aug. 28 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Memphis
  • Aug. 29 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Memphis 
  • Aug. 30 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Memphis 
  • Aug. 31 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Memphis 
  • Sept. 1 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Memphis 
  • Sept. 10 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Louisville
  • Sept. 11 at 12:08 p.m. vs. Louisville
  • Sept. 12 at 6:38 p.m. vs. Louisville 
  • Sept. 13 at 7:08 p.m. vs. Louisville 
  • Sept. 14 at 6:08 p.m. vs. Louisville 
  • Sept. 15 at 1:08 p.m. vs. Louisville 

 

IOWA BARNSTORMERS

Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines

www.theiowabarnstormers.com

Iowa’s professional indoor football team led by Head Coach Dave Mogensen plays its home games at “The Well.” This season’s remaining home games:

  • May 4 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Quad City Steamwheelers
  • May 11 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Massachusetts Pirates
  • May 24 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Green Bay Blizzard
  • June 15 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Quad City Steamwheelers 
  • June 22 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Tulsa Oilers
  • July 6 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Jacksonville Sharks
  • July 13 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls Storm

 

DES MOINES MENACE

Valley Stadium, 4440 Mills Civic Parkway, 

West Des Moines

www.menacesoccer.com

One of the nation’s best semi-professional soccer organizations, the Menace celebrate their 30th season this year. This season’s home games:

  • May 11 at 7 p.m. vs. Peoria City
  • May 25 at 7 p.m. vs. Chicago City SC, played at Mediacom Stadium, 1427-1483 25th St., Des Moines 
  • June 15 at 7 p.m. vs. St. Charles FC
  • June 22 at 7 p.m. vs. Sueno FC
  • June 29 at 7 p.m. vs. River Light FC
  • July 13 at 7 p.m. vs. Chicago Dutch Lions

 

PRAIRIE MEADOWS

1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona

www.prairiemeadows.com

Along with its impressive gambling and entertainment options, Prairie Meadows offers live and simulcast horse racing. Pick your winner and cross your fingers.

  • Weekends, May 10 through Sept. 28: Live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing
  • July 5-6: Festival of Racing
  • Aug 16-18: Regional Challenge
  • Sept 27: Quarter horse championships
  • Sept. 28: Iowa Classic

 

KNOXVILLE RACEWAY

Marion County Fairgrounds, 1000 N. Lincoln, Knoxville

www.knoxvilleraceway.com

Originally used for horse racing, the Knoxville Raceway now hosts a different type of sport: sprint car racing. Join more than 200,000 fans each year and visit the “Sprint Car Capital of the World” at racing events scheduled on most weekends or at one of the major events below:

  • Saturdays in May, 4, 11, 18, 25: Knoxville Championship Series
  • Saturdays in June, 1, 8, 15, 29: Knoxville Championship Series
  • Saturdays in July, 6, 13, 20, 27: Knoxville Championship Series
  • July 6: Midseason Championship
  • Aug. 1-3: 34th annual 360 Knoxville Nationals
  • Aug. 4: 12th annual Capitani Classic
  • Aug. 7-10: 63rd annual Knoxville Nationals
  • Sept. 14-16: 19th annual Late Model Knoxville Nationals

 

BOONE SPEEDWAY

1481 223rd Place, Boone

www.raceboone.com

This 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval is known as “Iowa’s Action Track.” Catch the weekly Saturday night series through Aug. 19, or other special events:

  • Saturdays in May, 4, 11, 18, 25: Saturday night weekly series
  • Saturdays in June, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Saturday night weekly series
  • July 4: Eve of Destruction
  • Saturdays in July, 6, 13, 20, 27: Saturday night weekly series
  • Saturdays in August, 3, 10, 17, 24: Saturday night weekly series
  • Aug. 24: IMCA Super Nationals tune-up
  • Aug. 31, Sept. 1-7: 2024 IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals

 

IOWA SPEEDWAY

3333 Rusty Wallace Drive, Newton

www.iowaspeedway.com

The paved track at the Iowa Speedway is 7/8-mile long and entertaining all the way around. For those of you with an RV, bring it to the multi-tiered viewing area situated along the backstretch to watch in style. This season’s events include:

  • June 14-16: Summer NASCAR weekend
  • June 14: ARCA Menards series race
  • June 15: NASCAR Xfinity series race
  • June 16: Iowa Corn 350 
  • July 12-14: Hy-Vee IndyCar race weekend

The 18-mile long Pedal for Paws ride is on “Cat-urday,” wear your best “catfit.” Photo courtesy of ARL Iowa

SWEAT

Sometimes beating the heat is more than just staying out of the sun, it’s embracing it. 

 

  • Every Monday at 6 p.m., the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Iowa meets at the Lauridsen Amphitheater for a casual 16– to 17-mile bike ride around the metro that features a scenic loop around Gray’s Lake. www.sites.google.com/view/mtccdsm/rides
  • May 4: 2024 Des Moines Mayor’s annual ride. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This ride through the heart of Des Moines will stop at Captain Roys and SingleSpeed. Starting at 1551 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Des Moines. www.dsm.city/departments/parks_and_recreation-division/programs/mayors_annual_ride_and_run.php
  • May 4-5: Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, team relay. Race with a purpose and treat yourself to a glass of wine after (or before, we won’t judge). Each race starts and ends at Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. www.desmoineswomenshalf.com
  • May 5: Iowa Kidney awareness walk. Walk with thousands of others across the country in support of the National Kidney Foundation. Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. www.kidneywalk.org/iowa
  • May 11: Race for Hope. After attending the Race for Hope in Washington D.C. in 2012, Des Moines native Nicolas Lovan was inspired to bring the event to Des Moines. All races start at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. runsignup.com/Race/IA/DesMoines/DSMRaceforHope
  • May 14: Gators on the Green. The Blank Park Zoo’s annual golf tournament helps raise funds for endangered animals. Shotgun start at 10 a.m. Legacy Golf Club, 400 Legacy Parkway, Norwalk. www.blankparkzoo.com
  • May 18: Pigtails Ride. A 48-mile bike ride in one day designed for women along the scenic High Trestle Trail. Starting at 7:30 a.m. at the District at Prairie Trail, S.W. District Drive, Ankeny. https://iowabicyclecoalition.org
  • May 18-19: Gladiator Assault Challenge. Individuals or teams navigate this extreme obstacle course with some natural and other man-made challenges. Do you have what it takes? Seven Oaks Recreation, 1086 222nd Drive, Boone. www.facebook.com/GladiatorAssault
  • May 18: Pedal For Paws. The ARL’s annual ride to support homeless pets. Multiple stops along the way, starting at 11 a.m. at Captain Roys, 1900 Saylor Road, Des Moines. www.arl-iowa.org/events/eid/1fcb0f640d445c2c/events/pedal-for-paws-2024
  • May 25: SingleSpeed cruiser 100 ride. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., this 100-mile ride is open to all bike riders. Registration is required. There will be many stops along the way, making it ideal for first-time century mile riders. Starting at SingleSpeed Brewing, 303 Scott Ave., Des Moines. bikeiowa.com/Event/15783/singlespeed-cruiser-100-ride
  • May 29 – June 2: The Principal Charity Classic. With a $2 million purse up for grabs this year, the award-winning PGA tour event has raised more than $50 million since 2007. Wakonda Club, 3915 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. www.principalcharityclassic.com
  • June 1: Dam to DSM Half Marathon. Now in its 45th year, the famous run takes participants from Saylorville Dam to downtown Des Moines. Great views along the way and cold beverages at the finish line are sure to entice any challengers. Starting at Saylorville dam spillway, N.W. 78th Ave., Johnston. www.damtodsm.com
  • June 15: 10th annual Bacoon Ride, Bacoonritaville. The annual bike ride that takes challengers along the Racoon River Valley Trail returns with a twist on its name. Try not to “waste away” and make it to the finish line. Starting between 7-10 a.m. at Mickey’s Irish Pub, 50 Southeast Laurel St., Waukee. www.facebook.com/bacoonrideiowa
  • June 21-23, July 5-7: 2024 TruBank Des Moines Challenge. Avid disc golfers should be aware, the A-tier event welcomes amateur players of all skill levels and age-protected professionals to compete with some of the best in the sport. Various courses. www.desmoineschallenge.com
  • June 22: Above and Beyond Cancer Ride in the Park. Participate in the nine-hour long ride through Water Works Park or enjoy the live entertainment in the park all day long. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. aboveandbeyondcancer.org/upcoming-events/ride-in-the-park
  • June 29: RipRoar Youth Triathlon. Age ranges from 6-8, 9-11 and 12-15. See if your bouncing-off-the-wall kiddo has what it takes. Gray’s Lake, 2100 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. www.riproarevents.com/des-moines#des-moines-iowa-1
  • July 13: Moonlight Classic. Cruise the streets of downtown Des Moines and nearby trails while raising awareness for children’s mental health programs at Orchard Place. Starting at The Iowa Taproom, 215 E. Third St., Suite 100, Des Moines. www.orchardplace.org/moonlight-classic

FARMERS’ MARKETS 

  • Des Moines Farmers’ Market — Located in the Historic Court District, it’s the largest farmers market in the state and operates every Saturday morning, 7 a.m. to noon, from May to October.
  • Ankeny Farmers’ Market — Operates every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon, from May through September, at the Market Pavilion in Uptown Ankeny. 
  • Valley Junction Farmers’ Market — Operates every Thursday evening, 4-8 p.m., from May to September, in Historic Valley Junction.
  • Altoona Farmers’ Market — Operates every Tuesday evening, 5-8 p.m., from June through August, at the Heritage Plaza in downtown Altoona.
  • Beaverdale Farmers’ Market — Operates every Tuesday evening, 4-7 p.m., from June through September at the Franklin Junior High parking lot. 
  • Johnston Farmers’ Market — Operates every Tuesday evening, 5-8 p.m., from June through September, on the north side of the Johnston Town Center.
  • Indianola Farmers’ Market — Operates every Saturday morning, 8 a.m. to noon, from June through September, on the Indianola Square.
  • Waukee Farmers’ Market — Operates every Wednesday evening, 4-7 p.m., June through September at the downtown triangle.

Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Lights Festival. Photo courtesy of the Blank Park Zoo

EVENTS

The best of the rest. Festivals, farmers markets, parades, you name it, central Iowa’s got it.

 

MAY

  • MAY 2-29: Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Lights Festival. Recurring Wednesday through Sunday featuring nearly 50 handcrafted, larger-than-life, illuminated Asian lanterns. Blank Park Zoo, 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines. www.blankparkzoo.com/events/calendar/wild-lights-festival
  • MAY 2-4: Tulip Time Festival. The beautiful flora of Pella will be on display again, with more than 300,000 tulips expected to be blooming and a celebration of the city’s Dutch heritage. 507 Franklin St., Pella. www.visitpella.com/tulip_time
  • MAY 3-5: DemiCon. Des Moines’ longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. With several special guests, authors, artists and an art show. All at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale. demicon.org
  • MAY 4-5: Spring Sip N’ Thrift. Do some sippin’, do some thriftin’. All right by the Des Moines River from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Captain Roys, 1900 Saylor Road, Des Moines. www.captainroys.com
  • MAY 4: Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market opening day. The state’s largest farmers’ market runs all the way through the end of October, but the inaugural day of 2024 is the first Saturday in May, starting at 7 a.m. Historic Court District, Des Moines. www.dsmpartnership.com/desmoinesfarmersmarket
  • MAY 4: Kites on the Green. The will be the 11th installment of the kite-filled event. This family friendly event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the commons next to Johnston Public Library, 6050 Morningside Dr., Johnston. www.cityofjohnston.com
  • MAY 4: Cinco De Mayo at Valley Junction. Complete with a proclamation of the Cinco De Mayo King and Queen while celebrating the heritage of many railroad workers during the establishment years of Valley Junction, noon to 10 p.m. www.valleyjunction.com
  • MAY 4: Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. The 16th installment of this mouthwatering festival. Music, vendors and a whole lot of bacon. This year’s theme, “Bacon Wars.” Iowa State Fair Agricultural Building, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.blueribbonbaconfestival.com
  • MAY 5: Whose Live Anyway? See the cast of the iconic late-night show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?” The points are made up, but the laughs sure aren’t. Starting at 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. www.hoytsherman.org
  • MAY 5: Iowa Island Jam. Musical performances and vendors from local Pacific Islanders. xBk, 1159 24th St., Des Moines. www.xbklive.com
  • MAY 8: Summer Nights. Previously held at Karl Kustoms, the annual car show will be held this year at DMACC Automotive and Technology Center, 2022 S. DMACC Blvd., Ankeny. www.karlkustoms.com
  • MAY 10: Katt Williams. One of the most iconic comedians over the past two decades brings his jokes to Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines. www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • MAY 11-12, 18-19: Spring Fling Renaissance Faire. The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow returns. The park changes to immerse any and all comers into the olden days for two weekends full of fun. Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, 4051 Dean Ave., Des Moines. www.sleepyhollowrenfaire.com.
  • MAY 11: Bondurant Vintage & Maker Mart. Moon River Vintage hosts its first maker mart. 700 Garfield St., S.W., Bondurant. www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61550130512311
  • MAY 17-18: Comedy Xperiment. Des Moines’ longest running improv troupe heads into its 17th year at the Stoner Theater, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. www.desmoinesperformingarts.org
  • MAY 18-19: 34th annual Iowa Metaphysical Fair. Featuring services and goods related to spirituality, metaphysics and holistic health, with more than 100 booths, galleries, workshops and lectures. Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.iametaphysicalfair.com
  • MAY 18: John Crist. Comedian John Crist has performed his varying social media characters alongside his expert joke telling all over the world. Starting at 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. www.hoytsherman.org
  • MAY 18: Nate Bargatze. With multiple Netflix specials to his name and cementing his spot among the world’s top comedians in the past few years, Bargatze performs at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines. www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • MAY 24: Beer In Hand Sand Volleyball Tournament. Played with an oversized volleyball, participants are required to have a drink in one hand at all times. Starts at 6 p.m. at BrickHouse Fitness, 86 Paine St., S.E., Bondurant, www.thebrickhousefitness.com
  • MAY 24-25: Celebrasian. A weekend of Asian cuisine, music and entertainment. Vendors and performers will fill the area with an authentic celebration of Asian culture. Western Gateway Park, 1205 Locust St., Des Moines. www.iowaasianalliance.com
  • MAY 25: Decoration Day and Historic Baseball. Living History Farms explores the origins of Memorial Day. Interpreters will demonstrate Decoration Day at 1 p.m. with a historical baseball game to close out the day. Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. www.lhf.org
  • MAY 25: Strawberry Picking. Gather strawberries for some homemade jam, a strawberry pie, or whatever your heart may desire. Center Grove Orchard, 32835 610th Ave., Cambridge. www.centergroveorchard.com
  • MAY 26: A Finesse Family Cookout. “The Finesse” invites people to a soulful celebration where music and food fuse together for one great night. xBk, 1159 24th St., Des Moines. www.xbklive.com
  • MAY 31 – JUNE 2: Greek Food Festival. A weekend celebration of delicious food, music and dancing. 1110 35th St., Des Moines. www.facebook.com/StGeorgeDSM
  • MAY 31 – JUNE 2: Des Moines Con. A celebration of all things nerdy. From Marvel to Star Wars to LEGOs and around the universe and back, this Con has you covered. Hy-Vee Hall at Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines. www.desmoinescon.com
  • MAY 31: Summer Nights Live Street Party. Two nights of live music and local vendors. Free. Indianola Town Square, Indianola. www.indianolachamber.com
  • MAY 31: Touch A Truck. From dump trucks to fire trucks, if you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit in one, this is the chance. From 5-7 p.m. at Windsor Heights Colby Park, 6900 School St. www.windsorheights.org

Hundreds of thousands of tulips bloom in Pella during this festival. Photo courtesy of Visit Pella

JUNE

  • JUNE 1: Iowa Craft Brew Festival. Unlimited samples of the best brews and ciders Iowa has to offer. Not to mention plenty of food vendors, games and non-alcoholic options as well. Water Works Park, 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. www.iowacraftbrewfestival.com
  • JUNE 1: Family Fest. Dance performances, acrobatic aerial displays and plenty of fun for the whole family (it is in the name after all). Starting at 11 a.m. City of Johnston, 6245 Merle Hay Road, Johnston. www.johnstontowncenter.com
  • JUNE 1-2: Iowa State Fair Flea Market. All types of goods to purchase from antiques to collectibles, home décor and so much more. 4-H building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.iowastatefairgrounds.org
  • JUNE 2: 14th annual Whirleythings Garden Art Show. An exciting evening for local art enthusiasts. Several mediums will be on display starting at noon at 4320 Franklin Ave., Des Moines. www.whirlythings.com
  • JUNE 5-6: World Pork Expo. In a state with more pigs than people, it makes sense that the expo about all things pork would set up shop here. Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave. www.worldpork.org
  • JUNE 6: Tom Segura. The comedian returns to Des Moines just as much, if not more, of a worldwide hit as he was the year before. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines. www.iowaeventscenter.com
  • JUNE 6: Chris D’Elia. While Segura will be at Wells Fargo Arena, another major player in the comedy scene will be starting his show at 8 p.m. at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. www.desmoinesperformingarts.org
  • JUNE 6, 13, 20, 27: Ankeny Beats and Eats. Recurring Thursdays featuring drinks, food and entertainment for all ages. Ankeny Market and Pavilion, 715 W. First St. www.ankenyiowa.gov
  • JUNE 6-8: Governors Days. A three-day festival in Grimes with food trucks, live entertainment and parade. Grimes South Sports Complex, 750 S. James St., Grimes. www.governorsdays.com
  • JUNE 7: Wine and Craft Beer Fest. Plenty of samples of the best wine and craft beer Iowa has to offer, from 5-8 p.m. at the Enabling Garden, 1050 First Ave., S. Altoona. www.altoonachamber.org
  • JUNE 7-9: Pride Fest. There were more than 40,000 attendees at last year’s celebration. Live performances, food, drinks, all in the name of Pride. Historic East Village, Des Moines.
    www.capitalcitypride.org/pride-fest
  • JUNE 8: 4th annual Raccoon River Palooza. A full 12 hours of family-friendly fun, food, music and games. The summer festival will be at Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. www.wdmchamber.org
  • JUNE 9: Rumble Room Vintage Market. 16 vintage clothing and art vendors. Maggie’s Rumble Room, 1430 Second Ave., Des Moines.
    www.maggiesrumbleroom.com
  • JUNE 9: Pride Drag Brunch. Hosted by 2024’s Best Of Des Moines’ Best Drag Queen Karma Kills. Starting at 11 a.m. at The Conservatory, 315 E. Fifth St. Suite 2, Des Moines. www.theconservatoryev.com
  • JUNE 10: Antiques Roadshow. The widely popular PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” will visit Living History Farms. Must submit online for tickets. Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. www.pbs.org
  • JUNE 10: Iowa High School Sports Awards. Watch the best up-and-coming athletes in the state receive their awards for their performances from the 2024-2025 season from 7-9 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines.
    www.hoytsherman.org
  • JUNE 13-15: Johnston Green Days 2024. Johnston’s annual community celebration complete with parade, carnival, games and more. Terra Park, 6400 Pioneer Parkway, Johnston. www.johnstongreendays.org
  • JUNE 15: Macksburg Skillet Toss. Think you can toss it with the best of them? If not, there’s still a parade. Macksburg City Park, Macksburg. www.macksburgskilletthrow.com
  • JUNE 15: The Barn Town Get Down will feature at least 50 breweries, meaderies and cideries from across the country. Barn Town Brewing, 9500 S.E. University Ave., Waukee. www.barntownbrewing.com
  • JUNE 15: Neighbor’s Day Celebration. Hosted by the Iowa Juneteenth Organization. From noon to 7 p.m. at Western Gateway Park, 1000 Grand Ave., ​Des Moines. www.iowajuneteenth.org
  • JUNE 22: Cajun Fest. Get ready to put some south in your mouth. An all-day celebration of Cajun culture, from food to music and back to food again. Cowles Commons, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. www.cajunfestiowa.com
  • JUNE 22: Ankeny Pride Parade. This will be the third installment of this parade with food, fun and festivities. From 4-9 p.m. at Ankeny Market and Pavilion, 715 W. First St. www.ankenypride.org
  • JUNE 23: Iowa Reptile Show. Speak directly with some of the top reptile breeders with access to thousands of reptiles, amphibians, feeders, invertebrates, supplies and more available to the public. Starting at 10 a.m. Hilton Garden Inn, 205 S. 64th St., West Des Moines. www.coldbloodedexpos.com
  • JUNE 23: All Ages Drag Brunch. The third annual All Ages Drag Brunch closes Pride Month out with this family-friendly event. Starting at 11 a.m., Decades Event Center, 1208 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. www.capitalcitypride.org

Summer Night Live Street Party. Photos courtesy of the Indianola Chamber of Commerce

JULY

  • JULY 2-4: Urbandale 4th of July Celebration. Celebrating America in Urbandale all weekend long. 7404 Prairie Ave., Urbandale. www.urbandale4thofjuly.org
  • JULY 3: Prairie Meadows All-American Extravaganza. Home to one of the most jaw-dropping fireworks displays in Iowa. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona. www.prairiemeadows.com
  • JULY 3: Junction Street Party. Historic Valley Junction will host food, drinks and activities during the West Des Moines July 3rd Parade. 137 Fifth St., West Des Moines. www.valleyjunction.com 
  • JULY 3-4: Waukee Celebration of Independence. Annual celebration with parade, entertainment, fireworks display and more. Centennial Park in Waukee. waukee.org/777/Celebration-of-Independence
  • JULY 5-7: Goodguys 33rd Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals. Three days and more than 5,000 of the Midwest’s finest 1999 and older hot rods, trucks, customs, muscle cars and classics. Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.good-guys.com
  • JULY 9-13: Dallas County Fair in Adel.
    www.dallascountyfair.com 
  • JULY 11-12: Over the Edge fundraiser. Participants get the chance to rappel off the Wells Fargo Arena to raise money for scholarships for scouting. Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St., Des Moines. iowaeventscenter.com
  • JULY 12-18: Marion County Fair in Knoxville. www.marioncofair.com
  • JULY 12-14: Ankeny Summerfest. Three days of music, carnival rides, great local food and, of course, fun under the sun. The District at Prairie Trail, 1500 S.W. Main St., Ankeny. www.ankenysummerfest.com
  • JULY 17-21: Madison County Fair in Winterset. www.madisoncountyfair.net 
  • JULY 17-21: Story County Fair in Nevada. www.sc-fair.weebly.com
  • JULY 18-21: Boone County Fair in Boone.
    www.boonecountyfairia.com
  • JULY 19-25: Jasper County Fair in Colfax. www.jaspercofair.com
  • JULY 19-20: Clive Festival. A community festival featuring the Clive fire department’s giant slip n’ slide, food vendors, live music and plenty of entertainment. N.W. 114th St., Clive. www.cityofclive.com/parkandrecreation/programs_and_events/clive_festival.php
  • JULY 19-20: Polk City Four Seasons Festival at Polk City Square. www.fourseasonsfestival.com
  • JULY 19-20: Waukee Arts Festival. A weekend of great music and local art on display at ​​Centennial Park in Waukee. www.waukeeartsfestival.org
  • JULY 20: Water Lantern Festival. A beautiful display of water lanterns adorns Riverview Park alongside food trucks, live music and activities. Riverview Park, 710 Corning Ave., Des Moines. www.waterlanternfestival.com/index.php 
  • JULY 20-27: RAGBRAI. This annual bicycle ride across the state of Iowa draws participants from all over the country. Overnight stops in Glenwood, Red Oak, Atlantic, Winterset, Knoxville, Ottumwa, Mount Pleasant, Burlington. www.ragbrai.com
  • JULY 24-29: Warren County Fair in Indianola. www.warrencofair.com
  • JULY 25-28: Polk County Fair at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  www.polkcountyfairiowa.com
  • JULY 26 – AUG. 3: National Balloon Classic. Just look up. Thousands of beautifully colored hot air balloons adorn the skies of Indianola. Memorial Balloon Field, 1136 150th Ave., Indianola. www.nationalballoonclassic.com
  • JULY 27: Polo on the Green hosted by Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa. Powder River Ranch, 7988 Adams St., Cumming. www.poloonthegreen.com
  • JULY 28: Parking Lot Madness. More than 50 vintage vendors will be at the fourth installment of this event. Not to mention local food vendors, entertainment and giveaways. The Picker Knows​ Antiques & Collectibles, 1208 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. www.facebook.com/ThePickerKnows

Pirate King Gold at the Sleepy Hollow Renaissance Faire. Photo by Bryan Butcher

AUGUST

  • AUG. 2: Grain Harvest Day. Help Living History Farms bring in the summer harvest. 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. www.lhf.org
  • AUG. 8-18: Iowa State Fair. World-renowned names hit the grandstand, prized farm animals show their stuff, the giant slide beckons and mouthwatering food tempts at every turn. Iowa’s state fair is one of the best in the nation. Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.iowastatefairgrounds.org
  • AUG. 9-11: Mustangs at the Crossroads. A celebration of 60 years of the classic American muscle car, the Mustang. Holiday Inn, 6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines. www.mustangsatthecrossroads.org
  • AUG. 10: Adel Sweet Corn Festival. Corn is what Iowa is known for, and what better way to celebrate it than this all-day festival. From 7:30 a.m. to midnight around the city square. www.adelpartners.org
  • AUG. 23-24: Huxley Prairie Festival. “The prairiest festival around.” Railroad Park, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail, Huxley. www.huxleyprairiefest.com
  • AUG. 23-25: World Food and Music Festival. The award-winning festival brings together two of life’s greatest offerings from all sides of the globe. Western Gateway Park, 1205 Locust St., Des Moines. www.dsmpartnership.com/worldfoodandmusicfestival
  • AUG. 24: Ingersoll Live. The annual block party returns to host vendors of all kinds, live music and plenty of family-friendly fun. From 3-10 p.m. along 2300 Ingersoll Ave. www.theavenuesdsm.com
  • AUG. 24: Wine and Cider Festival. Get a taste of Iowa’s grape and apple harvest from more than 20 Iowa wineries and cideries. Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. www.jasperwinery.com

SEPTEMBER

  • SEPT. 6: Savannah Bananas. The Bananas bring their bananas style of baseball back to Des Moines. They tweak the rules of America’s favorite pastime, get the crowd involved and have tons of fun doing it. Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines. www.thesavannahbananas.com
  • SEPT. 6: Marc Maron. Maron has been an icon in the standup comedy and podcast scene for more than a decade. Starting at 8 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. www.hoytsherman.org
  • SEPT. 14: Applefest. Celebrate and sink your teeth into the apple harvest season. A full day of family fun and entertainment at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. www.lhf.org
  • SEPT. 14: Norwalk Music Fest. All participating musicians are from central Iowa. The fest will have food vendors, games, beer tent and activities. Norwalk City Park, 907 North Ave., Norwalk. www.norwalkhometownpride.org/home
  • AUG. 31 – SEPT. 2, 7-8, 14-15: Fall Renaissance Faire. The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow returns. The park changes to immerse attendees into the olden days for two weekends full of fun. Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, 4051 Dean Ave., Des Moines. www.sleepyhollowrenfaire.com
  • SEPT. 20-21: Beaverdale Fall Festival. A community festival featuring food, drinks, art, commercial vendors and plenty of entertainment. Downtown Beaverdale. www.fallfestival.org
  • SEPT. 20-22: Pufferbilly Days 2024. More than 30 different events coincide during the Pufferbilly Days celebration. Everything from spelling bees to concerts, pet shows, car shows and more. Downtown Boone, 903 Story St. www.boonecountychamber.com
  • SEPT. 21-22: Latino Heritage Festival. An action-packed weekend for the largest celebration of Latino heritage in Iowa. Western Gateway Park, 1205 Locust St., Des Moines. www.latinoheritagefestival.org
  • SEPT. 21: Des Moines Art Center Gala. This year’s theme is “Modern Dream.” An evening of elegance to celebrate and support the DMAC. Scottish Rite Consistory Building, 519 Park St., Des Moines. www.desmoinesartcenter.org
  • SEPT. 26-27: Third Annual “Ron Don” Cigar, Bourbon & Brew Bash. The fun is in the name: cigars, bourbon and brews, with a pheasant hunt on day one. Country Lane Lodge, 29300 Prospect Circle, Adel. www.rmhdesmoines.org
  • SEPT. 26-28: Des Moines Area Quilt Guild Quilt Show. You’ll be hard pressed to find something more comfortable to keep you warm than a homemade quilt. Luckily, this show has you covered. Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave. www.woodsidequilting.com/dmaqg-quilt-show.htm
  • SEPT. 27-28: Oktoberfest. To no one’s surprise, there will be a lot of beer. However, there’s plenty of fun to go around the entire weekend with food, music and competitions. Lauridsen Amphitheater, Des Moines Water Works Park, 2251 George Flagg Parkway. www.oktoberfestdsm.com

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Summer Stir - June 2024