We Iowans know how to have fun, and that’s pretty clear considering we have a whole festival dedicated to bacon, and another festival dedicated to the Star Trek series. With all the festivals and county fairs going on, there is never a dull day in an Iowan summer, and these 12 unique festivals will keep you coming back again and again.
1. National Balloon Classic in Indianola
This 9-day festival takes place from July 24-August 1 this year. There will be live music, lots of food, fireworks and, of course, giant hot air balloons.
2. Tulip Festival in Pella
This festival celebrates the Dutch heritage of Pella's citizens (and their infamous tulips) with a parade, and traditional Dutch dress, meals, and entertainment. The festival was in the beginning of May, but now you can put it on the list for next year!
3. Des Moines Renaissance Faire
This one is a little later in the summer, and takes place on weekends from September 5-20. There is plenty of renaissance themed food (giant turkey legs, anyone?), drinks, entertainment, music, and more to keep you busy at this festival.
4. Iowa Arts Festival in Iowa City
The Iowa Arts Festival this year will be from June 5-7, and will feature a beverage garden, culinary row, and art fair to name a few things.
RAGBRAI, or, Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, will be from July 19-25 this year. Each stop usually has live music, entertainment, food and lots of drinking involved.
7. Des Moines Arts Festival
The festival this year will be from June 26-28 at Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. The festival will showcase live music and other entertainment, as well as plenty of vendors selling art, food, and more.
8. Trekfest in Riverside
Live long and prosper at Trekfest in Riverside. Trekfest will be celebrated June 26-27 this year, with the theme being "a Fistful of Datas." Trekkies can look forward to a parade, beer garden, carnival, trivia contest, and more.
9. Iowa City Jazz Festival
This music festival will be from July 2-4 this year, and festival-goers can expect extra special performances and entertainment this year for the festivals 25th anniversary.
10. Red White and Boom in Davenport
The fourth of July in Davenport will offer festival-goers a gorgeous display of fireworks over the river, as well as music and activities for families.
11. Iowa Tug Fest in Le Claire
On August 13-15 this year, Le Claire, IA will verse Port Byron, IL in a tug-of-war contest. The festival will also include a parade, 5K run, and carnival.
12. The Iowa State Fair in Des Moines
Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair. This year, the fair will be from August 13-23, and fair-goers can expect the same extravagant festivities as always. This year on the performance list is: The Fray, Justin Moore and Easton Corbin, Casting Crows, and more.
Are there any more unique festivals you think should be on here? Share your favorites in the comments section below!