Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines 2021

Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines 2021

Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines 2021

One of our favorite things to do each summer in Des Moines, Iowa is to visit all the fun carnivals and festivals. Whether you are looking for food trucks, beer gardens, carnival games, live music, or just some community love, here is a giant list to keep you busy. Make sure you also check our event calendar for dates.

Pella Tulip Festival

May 6-8

Pella Historical Village

Pella is beautiful and unique all year long, but at Tulip Time it comes alive with tulips, Dutch attire, parades, food, fun, and more. Thousands of residents wear Dutch attire and celebrate our Dutch heritage. Three days each spring, Pella becomes the Netherlands to Pella residents and visitors alike. Plan your trip with this schedule of events.

River Valley Festival 

May 28 -30

Boone, Iowa

The ‘River Valley’ is worth celebrating! it gives all ages year-round access to some of the best hiking, biking, fishing & exploring! Whether fishing in the waters of the Des Moines river, exploring along trails in Ledges State Park, enjoying music in their natural amphitheaters, or exploring the art and cultural scene we set up in the middle of beautiful McHose Park, festival-goers will discover and celebrate the beauty of Boone Co. for themselves. StepOutside named Boone River Valley Festival #9 in their Top 10 List of Iowa’s Best Outdoor Festivals! View scheduled events here.

City of Grimes, Governors Days

June 10 -12

Held within the Governors District.

Admission is free.

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. Take a look at the full schedule of events here.


June 10 – 12

Newton, Iowa 

Newton Fest, the weekend that celebrates the best of Newton, is coming together for 2021. Set for June 10 through 12, 2021 the event will feature family-friendly activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Take a look at the full schedule of events here.

Johnston Green Days

June 17 – 20

Terra Park 

Admission is free.

Johnston Green Days 2021 activities include the parade, carnival, live entertainment in the beverage garden,
Bill Riley Talent Search, 5K run, interactive games for kids, and much more! Keep tabs on all the fun here.

Des Moines Arts Festival

June 25 – 27

Friday + Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Western Gateway Park

Admission is free.

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. Plan your trip to this annual event with the schedule of events here.

Celebrate Ankeny

July 10

Celebrate Ankeny presented by Karl Chevrolet and in partnership with Ankeny SummerFest will take place on Saturday, July 10, 2021, complete with a coloring contest, bands, and fireworks. View complete details here.

Clive Festival 

July 16 – 17

Located at the Clive Aquatic Center.

The 45th annual tradition will take place at the Greenbelt Landing at the Clive Aquatic Center.  The Festival will have activities for everyone including “Thunder Over Clive Fireworks” both evenings at 10:00 PM, Live Music, the popular Fire Department’s Slip-N-Slide, Clive Running Festival, and plenty more FUN! View the full schedule of events here.

Four Seasons Festival

July 16 – 17

Located in the Polk City town square.

Admission is free

The Four Seasons Festival is held annually in July in Polk City, Iowa.  Each year, the Festival features familiar favorites and new activities, including Live Music, Friday Night Bike Night, Beer Garden, 5K Run, Kids Fun Run, Parade, Bill Riley Talent Search, Classic Car Show, FREE Children’s Activities, Food Vendors, and MUCH MORE!  All ages are welcome to this family-friendly event. Take a look at the full schedule here.

National Balloon Classic

July 30 – August 7

Located in Indianola at the Balloon Field.

Full schedule and ticket prices are listed here.

For 9 days in the Summer 100+ hot air balloons from around the country fill the sky with brilliant colors and charming special shapes. Do not miss a moment of excitement as skilled pilots compete for points and prizes while dazzling guests below. Great family fun and incredible entertainment value await; take in all the sights and sounds such as live music nightly, fabulous food and beverage options, Kids Land activities, fireworks, skydivers, and more! Buy a balloon ride for a one-of-a-kind view and prepare to be awestruck as dark skies come alive with a mystical glow during Dawn Patrols and Nite Glows.

Iowa State Fair 

August 12 – 22 

Iowa State Fairgrounds

Mark your calendars for the biggest and best fair of all, the Iowa State Fair! 10 days filled with food, fun and more.

Adel Sweet Corn Festival 

August 14

The Adel Sweet Corn Festival is a community event celebrating summer. The event is held on the second Saturday in August in downtown Adel and includes sweet corn, activities, music, and more for the whole family. 

Glow Wild

August 28

4 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Jester Park 

Glow in the dark climbing wall, giant yard games, beer and other beverages, horse-drawn wagon rides, canoeing, an insect zoo, hands-on crafts, airbrush face painting, s’ mores, towering bonfire, live music, and much more! Take a look at the full schedule here.

Des Moines, carnival, festivals, summer, iowa

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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