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Top 20 Iowa USA Events and Festivals

View the Top Events USA highlights of the main Iowa events and festivals (in calendar priority) taking place in the state of Iowa, USA.

Two of the main Iowa USA events and festivals are the Iowa State Fair, featured in the New York Times’ "1000 Places to See Before You Die", and the Orange City Tulip Festival – a huge success for over 70 years

See below for a complete list of the main Iowa events and festivals.

University of Okoboji Winter Games
late January
Okoboji, Iowa

Held the last full weekend in January each year, the University of Okoboji Winter Games have been in existence for over 35 years. The weekend includes both indoor and outdoor activities to give people a much-needed break from cabin fever. The U of O Winter Games feature broom ball, snowball softball, boot hockey, snowmobile fun run, flag football, 5K/10K road race, Polar Bear Plunge, Freeze Your Fanny Bike Ride, Chili Cook Off, Chocolate Classic, Cribbage, Omelet Brunch, Bingo and much, much more.

For more information about the University of Okoboji Winter Games visit:

Pella Tulip Time
early May
Pella, Iowa

top tulip events in the USAOne pof the main Iowa USA events, Tulip Time in Iowa, held the first weekend in May celebrates Pella's Dutch Heritage with parades, stage performances, a Dutch market, costumed wooden shoe dancers, quilt and flower shows, and even wooden shoe carving demonstrations.

For more information about the Tulip Time Festival in Pella visit:

Orange City Tulip Festival
mid May
Orange City, Iowa

top tulip events in the USAAttracting more than 150,000 people each year, the Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa, recognised as one of the top 20 Iowa USA events and festivals is celebrated annually on the 3rd weekend in May and features everything from the world respected flower show with thousands of tulips, an evening performance of a Broadway play, afternoon and evening parades, a carnival midway, dutch delicacies, delicious food, and street dancing for everyone. The Orange City Tulip Festival has been a huge success for over 70 years.

For more information about this Tulip Festival in Orange City visit:

DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival
mid May
Dubuque, Iowa

Taking place in historic downtown Dubuque in Iowa the DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival features three days of free concerts and varied performances, a juried fine art fair showcasing fine art & fine craft by 100 artists and artisans throughout the region, and the annual and very popular Dubuque Old House Enthusiast’s Old Home Tour. There is also free children’s hands-on art activities, interactive art for all ages, a community art project, and an annual book release & reading by the Dubuque Area Writers Guild.

For more information about the DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival visit:

North Iowa Band Festival
late May
Mason City, Iowa

Rated as one of the top 100 events in North America, the North Iowa Band Festival has been a success for over 73 years and is the largest free marching band competition in the Midwest. Three days of wholesome family entertainment include a fun carnival in East Park and a musical parade through State Street followed by the music of “Battle of the Bands”.

For more information about the North Iowa Band Festival visit:

Glenn Miller Festival
early June
Clarinda, Iowa

On the second weekend in June, visitors and entertainers from around the world will converge on Clarinda, Iowa to celebrate the music and memory of Alton Glenn Miller, American bandleader, composer and arranger who went missing in action while directing the Glenn Miller AAF Band during World War II.

For more information about the Glenn Miller Festival in Clarinda visit:

Burlington Steamboat Days - American Music Festival
mid June
Burlington, Iowa

Attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year, the major attraction at Burlington's Steamboat Days event is the abundance of music in all shapes and forms including everything from rock music to country, pop, R&B, jazz, big band and golden oldie groups presented on numerous outdoor stages along the riverfront, as well as special entertainments for children as well as fireworks and a parade.

For more information about the Burlington Steamboat Days - American Music Festival visit:

Des Moines Arts Festival
late June
Des Moines, Iowa

The Des Moines Arts Festival is a top-ranked downtown festival with a field of national artists and continuous live entertainment. Features include 175 professional juried artists, emerging Iowa artists, a Student's Vision K - 12 Art Exhibition, Interrobang Film Festival, over 25 family and adult art activities, performing arts stage, eclectic food booths, live music, street theatre, sculpture garden, and fireworks.

For more information about the Des Moines Arts Festival take a look at:
or visit:

Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival

late June to early July
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

top 4th July celebrations festivals in the USAOne of the main Iowa USA events, attracting over 400,000 participants every year, the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival has been a popular event for more than 28 years with a variety of attractions including classic rock concert nights and a patriotic pops concert night, balloon events and all sorts of foods, concluding with the Celebration of Freedom Fireworks on July 4th.

For more information about the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival visit:

Metro Arts Jazz in July
Des Moines, Iowa

A popular event for 30 years, and Central Iowa’s longest-running summer music festival, the Metro Arts Jazz in July event across Greater Des Moines in inviting neighborhoods and parks showcases more than 250 musicians and 30 different bands in 24 concert locations across the metro area. It attracts more than 20,000 people each year as it exclusively celebrates jazz and art with free outdoor concerts featuring both local musicians and national acts with Iowa connections. Fun at the event also includes a variety of foods and food vendors, visual artists, and activities especially catering to children.

For more information about Metro Arts Jazz in July in Des Moines visit:

late July
across Iowa

Held in July, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (The Des Moines Register is the statewide paper in Iowa) is a 7-day, 500-mile bicycle ride across the state. It is the oldest and largest touring bicycle ride in the world. Each year is a new route.

For more information about RAGBRAI visit:

National Balloon Classic
late July – early August
Indianola, Iowa

top hot air balloon events  in the USAA favorite ballooning event for almost half a century, the National Balloon Classic attracts highly skilled, dedicated pilots and at least 100 hot air balloons from all over the world. Highlights of this event features the hot air balloons themselves, balloon rides, competitions and amazing contests and it offers balloon rides and lots of fun and family entertainment.

For more information about the National Balloon Classic in Indianola visit:

Iowa State Fair
early to mid August
Des Moines, Iowa

top state fairs in the USAOne of the Top 20 Iowa USA events and festivals featured in the New York Times’ "1000 Places to See Before You Die" as one of the world's must-see events, and named the #2 choice for summer fun in America by USA Weekend, the internationally-acclaimed Iowa State Fair annually attracts more than a million fun-lovers from around the world. Special features include one of the world's largest livestock shows, the country's largest state fair foods department (about 900 classes), the state's largest arts show, hundreds of competitive events and wacky contests, 600-plus exhibitors and concessionaires selling quality and tasty treats, and 160 rolling acres of campgrounds.

For more information about the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines visit:

Knoxville Nationals
early August
Knoxville, Iowa

Conceived in 1961 as a 2-day event, the Knoxville Nationals has grown into the country’s largest sprint car event attracting more than 30,000 enthusiasts and featuring a purse close to one million dollars. Sprint cars are high-powered race cars designed specifically for short oval or circular dirt or paved tracks. Knoxville is referred to as the Sprint Car Capital of the World.

For more information about the Knoxville Nationals visit:

Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days
mid September
Creston, Iowa

top hot air balloon events  in the USAThe second largest balloon event in Iowa, Hot Air Balloon Days has been around for more than 34 years and features over 55 balloonists attracting more than 10,000 enthusiasts to this annual event. Apart from the balloon races taking place at dawn and dusk, other fun at this event includes the flea market, marching band parade, crafts fair and a pet show.

For more information about Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days in Creston visit:

Guttenberg Germanfest
late September
Guttenberg, Iowa

The small, quaint, historic town of Guttenberg celebrates its rich German heritage each year with the Guttenberg Germanfest, an event that continues to grow each year and which offers family fun activities including world-renowned polka bands, champion yodelers, authentic German beers, Princess Heidi and her Oma and Opa, games and activities for children, beer and wine making contests, a brat eating contest, a large outdoor Arts & Crafts Fair and the increasingly popular Wiener Dog Dash.

For more information about the Guttenberg Germanfest visit :

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
mid October
Winterset, Iowa

The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival has been a time-honored tradition in Madison County, Iowa since 1970. Each year on the second full weekend in October, county residents gather under the brilliant hues of autumn to celebrate their historic covered bridges. The festival features a wide variety of food, antique and craft vendors, nonstop music and entertainment, artisans demonstrating the old-fashioned ways, quilt show, car show, an antique vehicle parade, and guided bus tours of the covered bridges.

For more information about the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset visit:

National Farm Toy Show
Dyersville, Iowa

The best place to buy, sell and trade in the farm toy capital of the world, the National Farm Toy Show, affectionately referred to as the “Grandaddy of ‘Em All” was started 1978 by Claire and Cathy Scheibe, publishers of the popular Toy Farmer Magazine. Today, the show has become an annual attraction drawing more than 15,000 visitors each year.

For more information about the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville visit:


The newly updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.


• Alabama
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• Indiana
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