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Iowa Summer Festivals 2024

Grab some sunscreen, comfy shoes and your bestie and get ready for these action-packed Iowa summer festivals. Save the date(s) for live music, beer gardens, top-notch eats, fireworks displays and more.

Click here for Iowa summer staycations.

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Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival

May 20 to July 4: Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival

Cedar Rapids

Each year, more than 400,000 revelers head to the weeks-long Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival (this year taking place May 20 to July 4), which includes Iowa’s largest fireworks display and dozens of family-friendly events. The nonprofit provides a vast array of entertainment and educational opportunities for those living in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area. This year’s standout events include the Freedom Festival Balloon Glow on June 22 at Jones Park; Freedom Bike Ride on June 23 at Ely City Park; and Celebration of Freedom Concert on July 4 at McGrath Ampitheatre.
For more information: www.freedomfestival.com.

June 1: 14th Annual Iowa Craft Brew Festival

Des Moines

The 14th annual Iowa Craft Brew Festival takes place on June 1, 1 to 4 p.m., at the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park in Des Moines. Embrace the diversity of Iowa’s brewing scene by savoring unlimited samples from the state’s finest breweries, cideries and meaderies. Over 70 craft breweries across Iowa will be in attendance at this 21-and-over Iowa summer festival, including Iowa Brewing Co., Dimensional Brewing, Lake Time Brewery, PIVO Brewing, Flix Brewhouse, Twin Span Brewing and many more. Hop water, cider, mead, seltzers and non-alcohol will be available, as well. Attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets to relax on the Great Lawn.
Cost: VIP tickets are $65; general admission tickets are $50.
Tickets: www.iowacraftbrewfestival.com.

June 7 to June 9: Iowa Arts Festival

Iowa City

Celebrating more than 40 years, Iowa Arts Festival is an award-winning community event and a Downtown Iowa City tradition. The weekend-long celebration features over 100 local, regional and national visual artists; plus, on Saturday and Sunday, the fest spotlights youth artists ages 16 to 25 in the Emerging Artist Area. Art lovers also enjoy music performances, food vendors, educational activities and entertainment for children.
For more information: summerofthearts.org.

Outdoor-Music-Events-in-Iowa

June 22: 2024 Downtown Block Party

Iowa City

The 7th Annual Downtown Block Party is set for June 22 from 4 to 11 p.m., taking over 14 blocks in Downtown Iowa City–and promising to be bigger and better than ever. Attractions include live music, a silent disco, power bungee jump trampoline, nine-hole mini putt course, custom T-shirt screen printing, pickleball tournaments, a drag show and an Olympic-themed fashion show. Instead of selling physical tickets, the event offers Block Party cups that allow attendees 21-and-older to purchase their drink and take it into the street to enjoy.
Cost: Pre-sale tickets are $10 while day-of tickets increase to $15. 
Tickets: www.eventcreate.com/e/downtownblockparty.

July 5 to July 7: Iowa City Jazz Festival

Iowa City

Grab a cozy blanket or lawn chair and head to Downtown Iowa City for three full days of live jazz performances on two stages. The exciting annual Iowa summer festival spotlights a range of well-known national and international jazz musicians and up-and-coming talent. Event-goers can also check out artist booths, organization booths, great eats and a lively beverage garden.
For more information: summerofthearts.org.

July 25 to July 27: 57th Annual Nordic Fest

Decorah

Nordic Fest is an annual celebration of Scandinavian heritage, culture and food in Decorah. Since 1967, this Iowa summer festival has welcomed more than 10,000 people per year for three days of fun. Nordic Fest has something for the whole family to enjoy, including delicious food (like Pannekake, Norwegian meatballs, Krumkake and more) traditional crafts, a parade, lively entertainment, sporting events and an exciting Saturday-night fireworks display.
For more information: nordicfest.com.

Aug. 2 to Aug. 4: Hinterland Music Festival

Saint Charles

Taking place at the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in early August, Hinterland Music Festival will host some of today’s top music acts, including Noah Kahan, Vampire Weekend, Hozier, Orville Peck and more than two dozen others. This year, Hinterland welcomes variety of upgrades for attendees, including new ticket tiers, types and perks; additional shaded lounges; campground location enhancements; and more. Plus, camping is now included with festival tickets, and the type of camping available depends on the ticket type.
Cost: One-day general admission tickets are available for $145 plus fees (other ticket types currently have a waitlist).
Tickets: www.hinterlandiowa.com.

iowa stata fair
Iowa State Fair

Aug. 8 to Aug. 18: Iowa State Fair

Des Moines

Save the date (or dates!) for a fun-filled visit to the Iowa State Fair, set for Aug. 8 to Aug. 18. The 2024 fair schedule will be announced in mid-July, but revelers can expect a salute to the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement and an exciting schedule for guests of all ages.
Cost: $11 per adult, ages 12 and up; $7 per child, ages 6 to 11 (single-day admission).
Tickets: www.iowastatefair.org.

Aug. 24: IOWA IS FOR LOVERS

Council Bluffs

Harrah’s Stir Cove hosts an exciting concert event to the delight of local emo music fans with IOWA IS FOR LOVERS. This Iowa summer festival features performances from Yellowcard (in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Ocean Avenue), Hawthorne Heights, State Champs, Armor for Sleep and more emo favorites of the early 2000’s. IOWA IS FOR LOVERS kicks off at 3 p.m.
Cost: General admission tickets start at $69.50; VIP upgrades are also available.
Tickets: www.isforloversfestival.com,

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