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Iowa State Fairgrounds

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Address: E. 30th St. and University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-262-3111
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The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest...

The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is Iowa’s great celebration, a salute to the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. It is the true heartbeat of the Midwest, unequalled and unduplicated.The Iowa State Fair, the inspiration for the original novel “State Fair” by Iowan Phil Stong, three motion pictures and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical, is without a doubt the country’s most famous state fair. National media frequently rank the Fair as one of the top events in the country. In 2004, USA Weekend named the event the #2 choice for summer fun in America, topping New York City’s Times Square, Cedar Point Amusement Park Resort in Ohio and Disneyland in California. Midwest Living magazine named the Fair one of the “Top 30 Things Every Midwesterner Should Experience.” The Fair is also included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1000 Places to See Before You Die and the subsequent travel book, 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before you Die. Join us August 7-17, 2014.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 323
  • 109
    Very good
  • 32
  • 5
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The State Fair

There are state fairs, and there is The State Fair. Grounds are huge and lovely, try and see it sometime when it's not fair time.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
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473 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
203 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

There are state fairs, and there is The State Fair. Grounds are huge and lovely, try and see it sometime when it's not fair time.

Thank BatGuano30
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This needs to be on your bucket list it is one of the best fairs in the world. Something for everyone regardless of age.

Thank rod b
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We have been going to the State Fair annually in the last few years. I could spend days there in an attempt to see new things. But our trip is always limited to one day, so we tend to go to the same venues such as the Agricultural Building, Cultural Center, Varied Industries Building, and the Elwell Food Center. We... More 

Thank laman1girl
Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Where do I start with the Iowa State Fair, Food vendors all over, anything you could ever dream of on a stick. Up and coming country stars, to hard core rock bands are available free of charge at the many free stages. Top notch talent at the Grandstand packs them in every night of the fair. There is not enough... More 

Thank Bill H
San Francisco
Level Contributor
103 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2015

First went here around 1966. Lots of interesting historical exhibits besides the obvious food, rides, and every year things like the Police exhibit or the Fish and Wildlife exhibit. Butter Cow of course is a sacred pilgrimage and the building its in has fascinating harvest fruit and vegetables etc. Several different places for photography very good. Pork place must be... More 

Thank Cubecritter
Frankfort, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2015

We camp here whenever in Des Moines for Drake Football games Huge camp campground, very well taken care of. The only thing missing is a campfire. The campground does not let you have one, nor do they have picnic tables at the camping sites.

1 Thank Cindy H
Level Contributor
92 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2015

You have to go at fair time and check out the butter cow. Not only the butter cow but the other butter exhibit. It is sure to wow! Not into butter sculptures, venture around to find the most eclectic food you will ever find on a stick. Vegetarian? There is a stand dedicated to vegetarian foods!!

Thank Sarah O
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015 via mobile

Best fair in the US. I've been to many and this tops them all. Eat your way through the fair eatting everything on a stick. Don't miss the hot beef Sundae and chocolate on a stick. Best entertainment and even some of the best people watching in the area.

Thank hot_one1967
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2015

My husband and I have always been Iowa residents but neither of us ever went to the State Fair. We have three children ranging from 13 to 9, there was something there for all of them to do! We loved all the vendor's and entertainment! Will definitely come back for years to come!

Thank Shanna K
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2015

Love the fairground as there is always something going on.It is usually fairly clean even with all the action. August is state fair time. September was the horse show.

Thank NNYL321

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Iowa State Fairgrounds and other visitors
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
3 months ago
3 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?