Des Moines Festivals

Greater Des Moines is known for hosting great events. In fact, The International Festivals and Events Association honored Des Moines with the “World Festival & Event City” award! Festivals here appeal to all kinds of different cultures and interests. Celebrations dedicated to music, food, and the arts - it’s no wonder people travel long distances to experience summer in our city. Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend these events annually, immersing themselves in the eclectic festival offerings of Greater Des Moines.


If you have a preference for pop and alternative tunes, then 80/35 is for you. Hosted by the Des Moines Music Coalition, their mission is to host a diverse mix of artists for a 2-day festival of entertainment while showcasing local Des Moines businesses. Check out fitness workshops, interactive art, and local food and retail vendors. Past artists have included The Roots, Modest Mouse, Weezer, Portugal The Man, and more. 

Capital City Pride Festival 

Spend a warm sunny weekend at the Capital City Pride Festival, celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and allies with an event full of live music, shows, a parade and local vendors. Bring your dog, kids, friends, and family to a festival celebrating Pride. Shop colorful merchandise and check out ways you can support your community through giving or volunteering. 


Celebrate Asian culture at CelebrAsian and taste eastern cuisines, and experience art and music. CelebrAsian unites Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities all across Iowa. Watch live performances of Bollywood dances, martial arts demonstrations, a fashion show, and many other cultural performances from Eastern countries. Participate or watch the “Pho-King Cook-Off,” celebrating Pho, a popular style of Asian noodle soup. 

Des Moines Art Festival 

Some consider this the crown jewel of the summer festival season, The Des Moines Arts Festival is an award-winning event featuring renowned artists from across the nation. This free event hosted annually in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park features national touring musical acts, local performers, and plenty of food and beverage options to keep you entertained all weekend. An eleven-time winner of the coveted Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), this outdoor festival celebrating arts and culture attracts more than 200,000 people each year. 


Hosted just south of Greater Des Moines, country, pop, and alternative acts collide at the popular music festival, Hinterland. Whimsical and groovy, this festival takes on a lively, communal atmosphere and invites all ages! Hinterkids is a special tent to keep young ones occupied with arts and crafts, games and more. When you’re not in the crowd enjoying live performances, kick back at your spot on the on-site campground. Past performers have included Kasey Musgraves, Hozier, Willie Nelson, CHVRCHES, and more. 

Iowa Craft Brew Festival

Known for our incredible array of breweries, the Iowa Craft Brew Festival is a celebration of all things brewed in Iowa. 70+ local breweries, cideries, and meaderies from all over Iowa come together at Lauridsen Amphitheater for a day to sample all the best brews. Tickets include over 300 unlimited samples of Iowa craft beer & cider. There is also live music, food trucks, and more.

Latino Heritage Festival 

Celebrate the Latin culture of Central and South America at the Latino Heritage Festival. Check out Iowa Latino art pieces, reflecting the creative voices of Latino culture. And make sure to stop by one of the many food vendors serving up spicy Latin cuisine. It's the perfect time to try something new by finding a twist on one of your favorite classic dishes. 

National Balloon Classic

Fun takes flight at the National Balloon Classic, happening at the end of July each year in Indianola. More than 100 magnificent hot air balloons paint the sky each day (and night) with brilliant colors. It’s an event like no other, with concerts, fireworks, skydivers, balloon rides, and fabulous food.


The grandaddy of all Oktoberfests, Des Moines’ original Oktoberfest is located at Waterworks Park in September every year. The tapping of the Golden Keg kicks off the event, and the lineup features German beers, seasonal and craft beers in the Craft Beer Village, a Party Plaza, traditional German dance troupes, Bier Maiden contest, Stein Holding competition, German carnival games, and of course food.

World Food & Music Festival 

Savor the experience of premier international cuisine at the World Food & Music Festival with live music, cultural dance, cooking demonstrations, wine, craft beers, and of course, enough food to satisfy all your cravings. It’s no wonder this festival was named “Best Food and Beverage Program” by the International Festivals and Events Association.