DES MOINES, IOWA (June 19, 2024) – Summer is always a busy season for events in Greater Des Moines, but the addition of some new high-profile events and return of some old favorites has made June one for the record books.  

“This summer we have an impressive, full roster of national events coming to Des Moines to complement our slate of amazing annual events,” says Trina Flack, VP of Sales at Catch Des Moines. Flack specifically calls out the National Speech and Debate Tournament.  With host sites across the metro and 10,000 attendees from across the country here for a week, it serves as both a great showcase of the region and huge driver of economic impact.    

“Between Speech and Debate, the NASCAR races last weekend, and the upcoming rodeo finals, it’s a huge boost for our service industry. The packed hotels, restaurants, and attractions all create a buzz that permeates our communities,” says Greg Edwards, CEO at Catch Des Moines. “Summer events are always a great showcase for our region and having these events that are the cream of the crop in their respective fields helps validate us as a host city and opens the door for future national events to consider us.”  

In June alone, Greater Des Moines has hosted or will host numerous high-profile events, including:  

  • Principal Charity Classic (May 28 – June 2) – PGA Tour Champions Event at the newly renovated and reopened Wakonda Club raised roughly $8M for Iowa children’s charities.   

  • World Pork Expo (June 5 – 6)- Hosted 12,000 producers and industry professionals from 37 countries. Generated $11.3M in economic impact. 

  • IRONMAN 70.3 (June 9) – Brought in 1800 athletes and generated $4.4M in economic impact.  

  • NASCAR Cup Series (June 14 – 16)– The first cup series race in Iowa sold out months in advance, drawing more than 45,000 spectators each day.  

  • National Speech and Debate Tournament (June 16 – 21) - 7,000 students will participate in this event, bringing in over 10,000 attendees for the week and generating $39.7M in economic impact. NSDA is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school and high school students in the United States. 

  • National Junior High Finals Rodeo (June 23 – 29) - A six-day run at the Iowa State Fairgrounds marks the first time since 2021 that Des Moines has hosted this event. It will bring in an estimated $3.3M in economic impact. 1,200 middle school students that are the “best of the best” from 43 states, 5 provinces in Canada, Australia, and Mexico qualify for the National Junior High Finals Rodeo to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes. 

“To have the opportunity to host multiple citywide events in one month is huge,” says Flack. “We have the facilities and capacity to bring in visitors from across the world and show them what’s so special about Iowa. At the same time, it shows the community how important events are to our economy.”

About Catch Des Moines  

Catch Des Moines is the official destination marketing organization promoting and representing Greater Des Moines to leisure travelers and meeting/sports planners. Our focus is to increase visitors to the metro and elevate the visitor experience to drive economic success and enhance the quality of life in the 15 local Greater Des Moines communities we represent. For more information, visit