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Iowa State Fairgrounds

Address: E. 30th St. and University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-262-3111
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89%
Ranked #2 of 30 Attractions in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Owner description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Owner description: 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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319 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

As a native Iowan, I try to make my yearly visit to Des Moines for the state fair. I am never disappointed when I leave. Minus last year when I could not find the fried butter. Yes I said it, fried butter on a stick. It tastes like a cinnamon roll. The bbq is amazing as well. If you are... More 

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Washington, Illinois
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

I ALWAYS enjoy my time at the Iowa State Fair. Atmosphere and selection of fair food are second to none!

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Des Moines, Iowa
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

there is so much to do during the fair, there are millions of shows (music performances,magicians,wood carvers,music contests),animal,food,and craft contests,and anything on a stick. other than fair time the fairgrounds are a great place to go for a picnic or go for a run because they are huge and have lots of grassy fields

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Aiken, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2014

Been years since I've been to a state fair, but if you are into farming and agriculture this is the one to go to! Lots to do and the food vendors are amazing. Entertainment is great too. Get there early (Before 9) because the parking lots fill up very fast.

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Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

I have been going to the iowa state fair since I was a young girl, I enjoy every minute of it, there is something for all ages. I love the competition in the food, agricultural, animals. I love the Cowgirl Contest, it is fun watching the girls in there fancy cowgirl outfits and the horses too. In the evening there... More 

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Des Moines, Iowa
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
42 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

Seriously. Why do people go here in the hot sun with normally high humidity to eat high calorie fatty foods? Save your money and travel somewhere. Get out of Iowa. There is nothing here you haven't seen.

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Stinnett, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014

its hot hot hot hot hot check out the pork/steak eateries go only when there are good entertianers playing take th ski lift so the scuputlue of butter

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Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014

If you have the good fortune to be travelling through Iowa in mid August, the Iowa State Fair is a must see and do!! If you want to ride the rides in the midway-get a wristband that you can use to ride as many rides as you want, as many times that you want. You can park free outside the... More 

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Ames, IA
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
18 attraction reviews
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

Iowa really has the best and biggest state fair, true to its agricultural roots. It truly is a celebration of all things Iowan. It is a must if you are a resident of the state, but even if you aren't it is certainly worth the visit.

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Lincoln, Nebraska
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
20 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

The Varied Industries building was a good location and great parking for vendors and attendees. Conference breakout rooms very accommodating. Exhibit space roomy, didn't feel cramped. The lunch which was delicious was held upstairs and the elevator stopped working. Some folks may have been a little nervous having to walk up two flights of stairs.

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