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.
- Capital City Pride Festival
- Ciao! Des Moines: Italian American Heritage Festival
- Des Moines Art Festival
- Latino Heritage Festival
- World Food & Music Festival
Get your glow sticks ready for 515Alive! For fans of hip-hop, rap, and EDM, 515Alive is the perfect place to get your dance on and party with popular artists from across the country. Camp out on-site to immerse yourself in the experience, enjoy food from local food trucks, buy merchandise, and drink at on-site bars. Past artists have included Lil Nas X, Wiz Khalifa, Playboi Carti, and more.
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.
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.
Why travel to Europe when you can visit Italy here? Ciao! Des Moines is the Italian American Heritage Festival highlighting Italian culture from music and dancing to live cooking demonstrations. Check out interactive contests and games like Bocce, grape stomping, “Best Sauce” competition, and more.
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.
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.
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.