Carnivals & Town Festivals in Central Iowa 2016

Carnivals & Town Festivals in Central Iowa 2016

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!

Make sure you also check our event calendar for dates!

Carnivals & Town Festivals


Pella Historical Village

May 5th – 7th

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. Travel back in time with us Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 5, 6 & 7, 2016 to a European village full of, tulips and excitement as we celebrate the 81st anniversary of this colorful festival. The following pages showcase the exciting events that make this annual festival great. Many of these activities continue year-round. Anytime you visit Pella, there are historical sights, ethnic foods, Dutch architecture, great shops, and friendly people. Please visit Pella this year and “Re-discover Iowa’s most colorful tradition”. For Tulip Time tickets call 641-628-4311 or contact

CelebrAsian Festival

Friday, May 27th & Saturday, May 28th

Western Gateway Park

Why pay for airfare when you can travel to Asia for free at CelebrAsian! And we’ll even provide you with an official passport to 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!


June 3rd  & 4th

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 for more information. Check out the full schedule of events here!


June 9th – 11th

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 Ride TR3S: Ride for El Cured!

Friday, June 17th & Saturday, June 18th

Centennial Park

Friday night 4pm – 11 pm, in Centennial Park will be an exciting party before the big event on Saturday! There will be a live band, along with bacon, other food, beer garden with local and national brews!

Put it all together and you have the BACooN RIDE starting and ending in Waukee. Take a 71 mile (or less by using optional starting points) on the Raccoon River Valley Trail featuring numerous bacon stops, a bacon-themed lunch and numerous drink specials at establishments along the way.

The event is presented by RAGBRAI, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2016! Not only will the BACooN RIDE TR3S be great fun, but 100% of the proceeds benefits the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, RAGBRAI’s Dream Team and other great Iowa charities!


June 16th – 19th

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!


June 24th – 26th

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.


July 2nd – 4th

Admission is FREE!

Lions Park in Urbandale, Iowa.

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


July 7th – 10th

Admission is FREE!

Near Prairie Ridge Middle School.

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


July 8th & 9th

Western Gateway Park

80/35 is ready to begin it’s 9th life with two days of music in the heart of downtown Des Moines at Western Gateway Park, with three stages and more than 40 acts. Organized by the non-profit Des Moines Music Coalition, 80/35 was founded in 2008 with the vision to spark growth in the city’s live music economy — to think outside the box to further enhance a create, vibrant culture.


July 21st – 23rd

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.


July 15th & 16th

Admission is FREE!

Located in the Polk City town square.

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


July 29th – August 6th

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!


August 13th

 The Adel Sweet Corn Festival is a community event celebrating summer. The event is held the second Saturday in August in downtown Adel.


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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