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“Great state fair” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iowa State Fairgrounds

Iowa State Fairgrounds
Ranked #2 of 60 things to do in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Panama City, Florida
Level Contributor
1,246 reviews
347 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 532 helpful votes
“Great state fair”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2013

Just to clear things up: this is the state fair where they have a webpage dedicated to keeping track of the 50+ food items they serve "on a stick." This is definitely one of the better, and larger, state fairs we've been to. Realize that this fair occurs in August and it will most likely be very hot and very humid. Plan ahead and wear light clothes, bring sunscreen/umbrella and drink plenty of fluids. They have water fountains scattered around pretty regularly and there are plenty of air-conditioned exhibit spaces too.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank Rather_Nomadic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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648 reviews from our community

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Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Iowa State Fair”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2013

Fun for all ages, great food, and attractions. I can never eat enough in one trip. There are tons of great food stands to try. My kids really like the animals and the rides.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Bucksta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, Iowa
1 review
“Iowa State Fair is Great!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

Something for everyone. Great for kids. Educational and fun. All kinds of animals, shows, exhibits, midway, grandstand events, and FOOD! Some amazing food you can only get at the Iowa State Fair.

Visited August 2012
Thank Ilovethemidwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Glutton's Paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

The Iowa State Fairgrounds has so many attractions that you need to set aside one or two days to take it all in. Concerts, carnival rides and games, horse shows, beer tents & margaritas galore! Buildings full of local and out of state vendors that will sell you items from quilts to tractors. Clowns on parade and cotton candy, cow chip tossing contest, I could go on forever! But oh my gosh, the food! There is so much food there it would make your head spinI My advice is to go there hungry and forget about your diet since you'll be tempted by tasty treats, such as, smoked turkey legs, pork chops, corn dogs, desserts, a huge variety of food on a stick and my favorite, nachos from Jalepeno Pete's. There's more than just eating and playing here, check out the history of the Iowa State Fair and you'll find it truly interesting!

Visited August 2012
Thank Christina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
62 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“IA Horse Fair”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

Attended the event as a vendor. Nice grounds and clean facilities. Seem to have good security. Concession food was OK.

Visited April 2013
Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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