‘Let the Good Times Grow’ at the 2023 Polk County Fair!

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‘Let the Good Times Grow’ at the 2023 Polk County Fair!

Before the State Fair, it’s the Polk County Fair! The 84th annual Polk County Fair, Let the Good Times Grow, will be held July 15-21 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Hundreds of Polk County youth in 4-H, FFA, and in open class exhibits will participate and will display and exhibit their work through livestock shows and static displays. The weeklong event is free and open to the public!

“Each year we have hundreds of local youth sharing their skills, talents, and abilities through livestock shows, art, photography, and communications exhibits, and STEM-based projects like woodworking, tractor restoration, or mechanics,” said Marci Vinsand, Polk County 4-H County Youth Coordinator. “At the Polk County Fair, there is something for everyone! If people want to catch cute critters and animals before the State Fair, the Polk County Fair is a great option. We hope that people come and check out the huge variety of projects and animals!”

A variety of shows and exhibits will be held from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily and are free to attend.

Here are the 2023 feature events with a full schedule available here:

Sunday, July 16

  • 8:30 a.m.: 9th Annual Clover Dash 5K fundraiser: Registration is still open for the 5K! The money raised through the annual run is one way Polk County 4-H raises money for scholarships, conference opportunities, club community service grants, and other 4-H workshops and promotions. For more information on the Polk County Clover Dash 5K or to register visit runsignup.com/Race/IA/DesMoines/CloverDash5k
  • 11:30 a.m.: County Fair Barbecue at the 4-H Building
  • 1:00 p.m.: Polk County Fair King and Queen Coronation at the 4-H Building
  • 4:00 p.m.: Bill Riley Talent Search at the 4-H Building

Monday, July 17 

  • 8:30 a.m.: Dog Show at Jacobson Arena

Tuesday, July 18

  • 7:00 a.m.: County Council Pancake Breakfast at the 4-H Building 

Thursday, July 20

  • 1:00 p.m.: Bacon Buddies & Friends: Youth with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities (Buddies) are partnered with a 4-H or FFA mentor to show swine and goats.

Friday, July 21

  • Noon: Livestock auction in order – beef, poultry, sheep, goat and swine

Every day: 4-H Exhibit Building opens at 8:30 a.m.

If you can’t make it, a live stream will be available on the Polk County Fair website.

About the Polk County Fair

The Polk County Fair is operated and managed by an elected volunteer board comprised of Polk County 4-H and FFA Fair Association members, and is implemented as a cooperative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach staff, Polk County Extension Council, Polk County 4-H and FFA Fair Association. 

About Polk County 4-H

Polk County 4-H through ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County challenges youth to actively prepare for their future by exploring college and career options and encourages them to build skills that improve their communities today. Through 4-H programming youth build leadership, citizenship, communication, and life skills in youth as well as provide a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. For more information on Polk County 4-H visit www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/4h or to learn more about all the programs offered by Polk County Extension visit www.extension.iastate.edu/polk.


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