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!
The season of fresh produce is here! Farmers markets across Greater Des Moines are opening for the season. There are farmers markets happening daily (except Sundays) to show local vendors and keep things fresh in your home. You can go big with something like the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, or you can go for a smaller market like the Johnston Farmers Market. See the full list of area farmers markets here.
Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. The 15th annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is back, May 12 and 13! This year’s theme goes back to the basics – bacon and beer. The perfect duo, if we say so ourselves. Prepare for plenty of bacon samples, bacon dishes, beer, and entertainment, like the Bacon Queen contest. General admission tickets are $45 for two days and you can get them here.
National Veterans Golden Age Games
Veterans 55 and older will be competing in a range of events during the National Veterans Golden Age Games, May 20 – 25. Veterans are encouraged to follow the Fitness for Life model. These events will have them competing in sports like pickleball, bocce, air rifle, swimming, and track and field events. Spectators are free to attend. Masks will be required for indoor sports, due to the age of these athletes.
Greenbelt Music Festival
A new music festival is coming to Horizon Events Center, May 19 – 20 – Greenbelt Music Festival. The outdoor festival features more than 20 acts of multiple genres including Bluegrass, Red-dirt Country, Pop Country, Fun, Jam bands, and more. There will be activities for the whole family including face painting, laser tag, rock climbing wall, cornhole tournament, basketball 3-point contest, and more. See the full event lineup and get tickets here.
Get a taste of Mediterranean flavor at Green Olive, now open at 4221 Fleur Drive in Des Moines. Their meals are made with fresh ingredients to bring the Middle East flavor to life. Their dishes include beef, kafta, chicken, or shrimp kebabs, gyros, falafel, chicken shawarma, wraps, and salads.
It’s time for a whole new season of thrills! Opening day for Adventureland Resort is May 6. A new season of thrill rides means new additions to the park as well. Enjoy two brand new rides, Flying Viking & Draken Falls! Draken Falls is the return of the beloved Log Ride in a whole new light, and Flying Viking is Adventureland’s seventh roller coaster. While these rides won’t be ready for opening day, they are predicted to be finished by the end of May. Adventure Bay will open on May 27, ready for a summer full of splashes. See the full calendar here.
Grind for Life
Springtime in Des Moines means it’s time to enjoy Lauridsen Skatepark again! Open daily, it’s the perfect place to test your skateboarding, biking, or scootering skills. Not a huge skater? It’s a great place to go and watch people of all ages grind it out at the park. With Lauridsen being back open, that means more competitions coming to the park. On May 13, check out the Grind for Life series. This is a competition that benefits the Grind for Life Organization, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists cancer patients with travel expenses. This is a national, all ages and skills series that anyone can register for. Registration closes once they have 175 competitors, so learn more and register here.
Prairie Meadows Live Horse Racing
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 starting May 12, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy some time outside while cheering on the fastest (or cutest) horses. Don’t forget about the best weekend in horse racing, the Kentucky Derby! While Prairie Meadows won’t have live races that day, they will have a live watch party full of all the traditions. Find your best hat and cheer on the horses to victory. Learn more about the event here and see the full race schedule here.