Carnivals & Town Festivals in Central Iowa

Through out the Summer many towns in Central Iowa host special festivals to celebrate! A lot of the festivals include carnival rides & games, live music, yummy food, beer gardens, special runs, parades, and more! Here is a list to keep bookmarked of carnivals & town festivals happening this summer in Central Iowa. Is your town having one and it’s not listed? Let me know! We will get it added!

Carnivals & Town Festivals

Celebrate Waukee: Unlock Yours

June 5 – 6

Admission is FREE!

Centennial park and downtown triangle.

Celebrate Waukee is Waukee’s new annual festival. This family-friendly inaugural event will kick off with a Friday night Movie in the Park brought to you by the Waukee Parks and Recreation Department. Saturday morning the festivities will begin in the historic Waukee Triangle with a pancake breakfast and a 6K run. Around midday, a parade will take the fun to Centennial Park where attendees will find a wide range of activities for all ages, including inflatables, food, drinks, live music, fireworks, and much more. Follow Celebrate Waukee on Twitter @CelebrateWaukee or Facebook @CelebrateWaukee for updates. Email celebratewaukee@gmail.com for more information.

City of Grimes, Governors Days

June 11th – 13th

Admission is FREE!

Held within the Governors District.

Governors Days is one of the grandest summer festivals in the Des Moines, Iowa metropolitan area. Held entirely within the Governors District, in the heart of Grimes, Iowa, this premier summer event incorporates all the ingredients for an exciting family friendly event.

Complete with concerts, parades, carnivals, car shows and much, much more; Governors Days has something for everyone. This grand community event is headed up by a vibrant group of dedicated volunteers and organized with the help of Grimes Chamber & Economic Development.

BACooN Sizzles Waukee

June 19th; Ride – June 20th

Centennial Park

The City of Waukee will once again play a special part in BACooN Ride with Centennial Park as home base for the 2015 ride. An exciting party called BACooN Sizzles Waukee the night before the event will kick off the weekend full of bacon and bikes. All bacon lovers are invited and those who attend the party on Friday night will enjoy two great live bands—Members Only and the New Mexicos—along with mouth-watering bacon delicacies from a host of vendors, and a beer garden with a variety of local and national brews. Visit www.waukee.org/bacoonsizzles for more details to come on this sizzling event.

Johnston Green Days

June 18th – 21st

Admission is FREE!

Held next to the Johnston Public Library.

When the event was started in 1996, it focused on Johnston’s agricultural and horticultural tradition. The Chamber worked with Johnston’s many nursery and greenhouse operations, local garden clubs and other groups, to start this tradition – and helped it grow to be one of Iowa’s leading summer festivals. Today, the Green Days activities include a parade, carnival, children’s activities, entertainment in the beverage garden, rib tasting, Bill Riley Talent Search, 5K walk and run and much more!

Des Moines Arts Festival

June 26th – 28th

Admission is FREE!

Western Gateway Park.

The Des Moines Arts Festival® is a multi-day Festival that adds vibrancy to Central Iowa by creating opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to celebrate the arts.

4th of July in Urbandale

July 2nd – 4th

Admission is FREE!

Lions Park in Urbandale, Iowa.

Races, carnival rides & games, fireworks Saturday evening to celebrate!

Ankeny Summerfest

July 9th – 12th

Admission is FREE!

Near Prairie Ridge Middle School.

Talent show, carnival rides & games, fireworks, and more!

Clive Festival’s 40th Celebration

July 16th – 18th

Admission is FREE!

Located at the Clive Aquatic Center.

Clive Festival’s popular Kid’s Corner will return on Saturday with expanded crafts, story-telling,

tug-of-war, inflatables, and two giant slip-and-slides hosted by the Clive Fire Department.

The tradition of the Mayor’s Bike Ride continues with a 29-mile ride or a family-friendly 8-mile ride. The rides start at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the Aquatic Center parking lot.

This year’s Festival will also feature an art contest for local school children from many of the local area schools. Art will be judged by the Clive Arts Commission with winning artwork from each age group proudly displayed in Clive’s City Hall.

The fun will wrap-up Saturday evening around 9:45 p.m. with an annual “Thunder Over Clive” fireworks celebration.

Four Seasons Festival 

July 17th & 18th

Admission is FREE!

Located in the Polk City town square.

Parade, car show, rides, games, food, pancake breakfast and more!

National Balloon Classic

July 24th – August 1st

There is an evening admission of $5.00

Located in Indianola at the Balloon Field.

Watch hot air balloons take launch, ride the hot air balloons, food, kids activities and more!