Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines

Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines

Carnivals & Festivals in Des Moines 2019

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.

Des Moines, carnival, festivals, summer, iowa

Pella Tulip Festival

May 2-4

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.

Food Truck Throwdown

May 4

Des Moines Social Club 

FOODIES UNITE! Join the Des Moines Social Club’s fifth annual Food Truck Throw Down for a kick-off to summer and celebration of local food and musical fanfare. $5 admission gives attendees access to 13 food trucks, live music, beverage tents, art activities. For all ages; Kids 10 and under are free!

Celebrate The Parks

May 19

Noon to 4 p.m. 

A Northside street festival to celebrate all the exciting things that make the Highland Park/Oak Park Neighborhood so great!

River Valley Festival 

May 24 – May 26 

Boone, Iowa 

The Boone IA River Valley Festival celebrates the outdoors in Boone County IA! They believe the ‘River Valley’ gives outdoors enthusiasts access to some of the country’s best hiking, biking, fishing & exploring & makes our community unique for generations of travelers.
Whether boating along the sandstone cliffs of the Des Moines River, hiking trails in Ledges State Park, rocking out to music or exploring the scene inside Arts in the Park, festival-goers will discover and celebrate the beauty of Boone Co. for themselves.

CelebrAsian Festival

May 24-25

11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Western Gateway Park

Why pay for airfare when you can travel to Asia for free at CelebrAsian! Experience over a dozen Asian Villages where you can delight all five of your senses from the authentic Asian food, educational activities, to live cultural entertainment! Each May the festival unites the different Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Iowa. Since its inception, CelebrAsian has become one of the year’s most anticipated events. Don’t miss out on the largest Asian American event in Iowa, showcasing cultural exhibits, history, food, performance artists, sports, martial arts, and family-friendly activities. Who knew you can experience so many rich cultures of Asia without leaving Iowa!

Celebrate Waukee

June 1

11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Centennial Park 

Admission is free.

Celebrate Waukee is Waukee’s annual festival. This family-friendly 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.

City of Grimes, Governors Days

June 6-8

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.


June 6 – 8 

Newton, Iowa 

The idea for Newton Fest began when a group of local citizens realized there was a lack of a community celebration in Newton and wanted to work to provide a weekend of family-friendly, affordable fun. Newton Fest is meant to celebrate what is great about our community. From showcasing Red Pride to admiring Newton’s artistic side, the weekend is planned by a group of local citizens and community organizations to provide family-friendly, affordable fun for everyone. The jam-packed weekend is meant for kids, teens, families and adults and organizers hope the event will encourage ALL Newton residents to get out of their homes and celebrate what is great about the community.

Johnston Green Days

June 13-16

Terra Park 

Admission is free.

Johnston Green Days 2019 activities include the parade, carnival, live entertainment in the beverage garden,
Bill Riley Talent Search, 5K run, interactive games for kids, and much more!

Altoona Palooza

June 22

Sam Wise Sports Complex

Altoona Palooza returns with a pancake breakfast, art in the park, car show, live music and entertainment, inflatables and fun for the kids and much more.

Des Moines Arts Festival

June 28 – 30

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.

4th of July in Urbandale

July 2 – 4

Lions Park in Urbandale, Iowa.

Admission is free.

Urbandale is home to one of the largest 4th of July celebrations in the area!  You are invited to bring the family to celebrate Independence day in the community. From family-friendly street dance to carnival rides or a 2-mile long parade to a breathtaking fireworks display – the celebration has something for everyone.

80/35 Festival

July 12-13

Western Gateway Park

80/35 is ready, to begin with, two days of music in the heart of downtown Des Moines at Western Gateway Park, with three stages and more than 40 acts.

Ankeny Summerfest 

July 11 – 14

Near Prairie Ridge Middle School.

Admission is free.

Ankeny’s annual SummerFest is a four-day celebration with carnival rides, parades, bands, family fun and more!

Clive Festival 

July  19 – 20

Located at the Clive Aquatic Center.

This festival will be here before you know it and we are continually making it better!  As one of the best community festivals in the Des Moines Metro area, we have built upon a nature theme to celebrate our beautiful Greenbelt Trail. This year’s schedule is packed with activities for both kids and adults to provide a well-rounded event for the entire Clive community.

Four Seasons Festival

July 19-20

Located in the Polk City town square.

Admission is free

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

National Balloon Classic

July 26 – August 3

Located in Indianola at the Balloon Field.

There is an evening admission of $5.00

Watch hot air balloons take to launch, ride the hot air balloons, food, kids activities, live music nightly and more.

Iowa State Fair 

August 8-18 

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 10

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

Glow Wild

August 24

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!

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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