Each month, we highlight the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. It's your “in the know” list of places to go!


PrideFest will take over the Historic East Village, June 7 – 9. The weekend-long celebration helps raise awareness of LGBTQ+ achievements and celebrates individuals and families. Events throughout the weekend include the 5K Pride Stride, the PrideFest Parade, Pet Parade, and more. There will be four zones throughout the East Village you can visit; Health and Wellness Zone, Teen Zone, Family and Kids Zone, and Pet Zone. Check out the full schedule of events here

Des Moines Arts Festival 

Celebrate the arts at the Des Moines Arts Festival happening at Western Gateway Park, June 28 – 30. Immerse yourself in interactive arts like being part of a mural or trying spin art. You can also check out visual art and meet some of the artists. Or catch some live entertainment at one of the stages around the park. The Des Moines Arts Festival is free to attend. 

IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines 

It's time for another year of 70.2 miles of intensity! Throughout the day on Sunday, June 9, IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines will be happening throughout the whole city! Cheer on the swimmers at Grays Lake, bikers throughout the city to beautiful countryside of West Des Moines, and the runners throughout Downtown Des Moines. Need an idea of what to do or where to eat while you're here? Check out our Top Things to Do and Top Places to Eat blogs. Enjoy cheering the athletes on to the finish line! 

Prairie Meadows 

Let’s head to the races! It’s officially Prairie Meadows season, which means a summer full of trying to pick the winning horse. They have live racing every weekend through September, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy some time outside while cheering on the fastest (or cutest) horses. Don’t miss out on special events all summer long, including the Belmont Stakes, fireworks, and more. See the full race schedule here

National Junior High Finals Rodeo 

Head to the Iowa State Fairgrounds from June 23 – 29 for the National Junior High Finals Rodeo. This is one of the largest rodeos in the world and hosts approximately 1,200 middle school students from 43 states, 5 provinces in Canada, Australia, and Mexico. There are rodeo performances daily starting Saturday, June 23. Find tickets and schedules here.  

The Ruckus 

A favorite country music festival is making a move to Adventureland Park on June 7 and 8. The Ruckus is making its debut at Adventureland Park featuring a stellar lineup of country music favorites. Sing along with Chris Young, Russell Dickerson, Brian Kelley, Maddie & Tae, Jake Owen, and more. Every ticket to The Ruckus includes admission to both Adventureland Park and Adventure Bay Waterpark, so you’ll be able to spend the day exploring the park before enjoying an evening of concerts. Tickets are available here


Celebrate Juneteenth in Greater Des Moines with events happening all month long! Play in a charity golf outing, explore the Neighbor’s Day Celebration, watch Wakonda Forever outside, and more. Check out a comedy show at TeeHee’s with shows from Lyssa Laird and Mo Alexander. Learn more about Juneteenth Celebrations here.  

National Speech & Debate 

National Speech & Debate are bringing their national tournament to Greater Des Moines from June 16 – 21. With over 6,000 students from 1,500 schools, these competitors will be taking Greater Des Moines by storm. Spanning from the Iowa Events Center to Johnston High School to Roosevelt High School, it’s all hands-on deck to cheer on these students in the national tournament. This event is free to attend, with events happening all week long and the finals happening Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21. If you can’t attend in person, they even have a livestream you can tune into. Learn more here.