Despite the state's large expanses of rural land, Iowa is home to plenty of attractions for people seeking urban adventure and experiences. During the year, Iowa residents and tourists enjoy a robust repertoire of seasonal festivals, theater productions, special events and much more. Visitors can also take advantage of the state's numerous outdoor destinations to see Iowa's natural beauty.
- Clear Lake, Iowa in Clear lake, IA
The annual event occurs during the last weekend in January at the Surf Ballroom and commemorates the last live concert provided by Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens before their plane crashed just outside of town in 1959. Don your poodle skirts, bobby socks or rolled up sleeves and penny loafers and head over for a night of historic rock 'n' roll.
The community celebrates spring and their Dutch heritage every year by hosting this event during the first weekend in May at various locations around Pella. Stroll through the magnificent tulip gardens, see the many examples of Dutch crafts and attend the auto and antique farm implement shows or tour the local museums. Vendors are on hand to provide refreshments and crafts.
- East Park Mason City, IA 50401 in Mason City, IA
Considered the largest competition of its kind in the Midwest, the festival offers family entertainment as numerous bands compete during an annual May weekend. Visitors cheer for their favorite young musicians while taking a break to indulge in the concessions, carnival and marketplace. The event also features an auto show along with arts and crafts exhibits.
- UNI Campus 23rd and College Streets Cedar Falls, IA 50614 in Cedar Falls, IA
Art fans have the chance to view the works of budding artists for an entire weekend during the middle of June at the annual festival located at the University of Northern Iowa. A jury chooses 75 artists to display their presentations that span different genres. The event also features live music, food and a special hands-on creativity area for children.
- Western Gateway Park Des Moines, IA 50309 in Des Moines, IA
This popular event takes place during the last weekend of June and provides guests with the chance to appreciate a combination of visual, interactive and performing arts. Almost 200 hand selected artists proudly display their creations along with a K-12 special arts display. Browse through the artwork, attend a one night film festival and enjoy the food and fireworks at the Western Gateway Park.
From the third week in June through July 4th, the community celebrates the country's freedom through this gala event that features everything from races and live entertainment to fireworks displays. See parades daily, attend car shows and live demonstrations in addition to movie night at the ball park. Feast on a good old-fashioned barbecue. The event promises over 70 activities geared for visitors of all ages.