Get ready for an exciting summer in Iowa, with a wide range of festivals taking place over the next few months. From vibrant wine and flower festivals to sweet corn and root beer extravaganzas, check out the state’s the top summer festivals.
June 17: Wurst Festival
Guests are in for the wurst time at the annual Wurst Festival in Amana, courtesy of Amana Colonies on Saturday, June 17. This German tradition celebrates everything about sausages, and attendees can expect to enjoy a variety of meats in addition to beer, drinks, desserts and local vendors who have created unique menu items just for the festivities. In addition to sampling some sausages, visitors can enjoy live music, sips from the beverage tent, participate in a Best Wurst competition, yard games, a Dachshund Derby and more.
Cost: $5; children 12 and under get in free.
For more information: amanacolonies.com.
June 24: 3rd Annual Root Beer Festival
Calling all pop lovers to the 3rd Annual Root Beer Festival taking place in Cedar Rapids this summer in Iowa on Saturday, June 24. The root beer fun will kick-off at noon and will feature endless amounts of root beer floats to drink to your heart’s content, tours of The History Center museum, live music from local favorites, bounce houses and indulgent fare from food trucks. The first 500 people to enter the event will receive a signature Root Beer Festival cup and one free root beer. Tickets can be purchased online, but those looking to take advantage of the Freedom Festival Button discount must buy their tickets at the gate. There is no discount for online ticket purchases.
Cost: $5 per person.
Select Dates in June and July: Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival
Arguably one of the largest festivals this summer in Iowa will take place at Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival. This three-week-long event, beginning on Wednesday, June 4, will run until Independence Day for a grand finale with the largest firework show in all of The Hawkeye State. Though there are seemingly endless amounts of events to enjoy, some highlights locals can expect include the Freedom Festival parade, a variety of live music festivals, car shows, glowing hot air balloon rides, pancake breakfasts, pickleball tournaments and much more. This year’s festival is extra special, with it coinciding with Freedom Festival’s 40th year celebrating Independence Day. Guests can purchase a one-time button to access all events for free (children ages 5 and under do not require a button).
Cost: $10 per person.
July 7 and July 8: 80/35 Music Festival
80/35 is a multi-day festival celebrating music and artists, taking place July 7 and July 8 at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines. The War on Drugs is set to headline on the 7th, while Big Boi ends the night on the 8th. Proceeds support the nonprofit Des Moines Music Coalition.
Cost: Tickets start at $55; there are music stages also found in a free area of the festival. (Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.)
Select Dates in July and August: Wine & Flower Fest
A local staple in Iowa, Bloomsbury Farm is hosting a summer extravaganza with a Wine & Flower Fest on select dates starting July 21. This annual event celebrates the sea of Zinnias that have bloomed on acres of the grounds. Visitors can stroll the flower grounds with signature Bloomsbury wine slushies, visit the one-of-a-kind flower house for some Insta-worthy selfies or pick a bucket of Zinnias to take home. In addition to floral fun is an assortment of activities for all ages, including live music, flower trucks, a beer garden, mini golf, food trucks, gemstone mining, corn zones, yard games and much more. Some baby animals have also just arrived at the farm and can be seen at the petting zoo.
Cost: $19.95 at the gate or $15.95 online.
August 11 to August 13: St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival
Back for its 48th year celebrating kernels, the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival will take place from August 11 to August 13 at St. Jude Church in Cedar Rapids. The corny event will feature family-friendly fun for all ages, including live music performances, silent auctions, raffle prizes, a bingo tent, carnival rides, game zones, food canopies, craft beer tastings, and, of course, a variety of ways to enjoy sweet corn. Whether you want your corn on or off the husk, battered in butter or popped to perfection, St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival has you covered this summer in Iowa.
Cost: $5 per person.
Seeking more summer fun around town?