Glenn Miller Festival

Clarinda, June 8-11, 2017

On the second weekend in June, visitors and entertainers from around the world converge in Clarinda, site of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum & Home, to celebrate the music of Alton Glenn Miller, the top bandleader during the Big Band era. Hear bands from around the world and the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. (

National Balloon Classic

Indianola, July 28-Aug. 5, 2017

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Iowa’s largest ballooning event wows visitors with more than 100 hot-air balloons, including eye-popping special shapes. Enjoy musical entertainment, an open-air market, fireworks and the Nite Glow Extravaganza. (

Iowa Irish Festival

Waterloo, Aug. 4-6, 2017

Celebrate Irish culture with activities like a rugby tournament, whisky tasting, and soda bread and Irish stew competitions. All three days are packed with live entertainment on six stages. Gaelic Storm is the headliner this year. (

World Food & Music Festival

Des Moines, Sept. 15-17, 2017

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Enjoy food from all over the world in one place. Featured food includes Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Caribbean, Bosnian and Greek—and that’s just a handful of the offerings. Also featured is live music from many cultures. Chefs will be holding cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend. (

Nelson Pioneer Farm Fall Festival

Oskaloosa, Sept. 16, 2017

With over 30 exhibits and demonstrations of pioneer living, this festival is sure to entertain the whole group. Participate in hands-on activities like butter churning and rope making. A parade, country dinner and old-fashioned children’s games are some of the other activities offered. The Old-Fashioned Fiddle Contest will take place and attract fiddlers from all over Iowa. (


Amana Colonies, Sept. 29-30 & Oct. 1, 2017

Celebrate fall the German way at Oktoberfest with live entertainment and plenty of beer. The festival kicks off on Friday with the official keg-tapping ceremony, where free beer is served until the keg is empty. The weekend starts with a parade and continues with ample opportunities for games, art activities, and live music and entertainment.(


Anamosa, Oct. 7-8, 2017

Anamosa, the pumpkin capital of Iowa, hosts the annual Pumpkinfest. Food, crafts, games and giant pumpkins are aplenty. The festival is home to one of the largest parades in Iowa. The Pumpkinfest 5k run, giant pumpkin weigh-off, pumpkin recipe contest and pumpkin carving exhibit are among the many exciting activities. (

Harvest Festival

Decorah, Oct. 14, 2017

Celebrate fall at the Harvest Festival. Hayrides, cider pressing, soup cook-offs, food storage workshops and children’s activities are among the activities. (

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival

Winterset, Oct. 14-15, 2017

Winterset, home of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, spotlights the Madison County bridges made famous in the novel and 1995 Clint Eastwood/Meryl Streep movie. Guided bus tours stop at some of the six bridges. In addition, there are foods, crafts and live music, plus cannon-firing and sheep-shearing demonstrations. (

Pella Tulip Time

Pella, May 3-5, 2018

Pella Tulip

Parades, quilt and flower shows, Dutch foods and tours of Pella Historical Village and Pella Opera House bring busloads to town every spring. Also enjoy demonstrations of wooden shoe making and other crafts. The Grandstand Show features street scrubbing, Dutch dancing and a Dutch cheese market reenactment. (