We're already dreaming about all sorts of amazing spring and summer events here in Eastern Iowa! Here are ten of the big fairs and festivals  that we're looking forward to the most:

Iowa Eats Festival

The 2024 Iowa Eats Food & Drink Festival is set for Saturday, April 6th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Waterloo Convention Center. The event features food and beverage tasting, cooking and product demonstrations, live entertainment, and more! According to the Facebook page, it's "the first and only event in Eastern Iowa to feature all Iowa foods, products, chefs, authors and agriculture-related products."

Admission for the festival is $10, with children 5 and under free (children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult). You can purchase tickets online HERE.

Tulip Time

The Pella Tulip Time Festival is a popular Dutch festival that features over 300,000 beautiful tulips! Held in the heart of Pella, the 2024 event is scheduled for May 2nd through 4th. In addition to the flowers, Tulip Time also has vendors, food, drinks, entertainment, city tours, parades, and more! You can check out the 2024 brochure HERE.

Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival

The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is an annual celebration that features a whole slew of different events over the course of several weeks. Some of the most popular events include:

  • Balloon Glow
  • Dock Dogs
  • Pancake Breakfast
  • Freedom Fest Parade
  • Imagination Square
  • Downtown Fireworks

This year will also feature a brand new event called the Freedom FEASTival. That's coming up on Friday, May 3rd from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the 2nd Avenue Bridge in Downtown Cedar Rapids. The website says that "attendees will explore a celebration of local culinary delights from food trucks and community vendors." Admission is free.

Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Markets

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Markets are a must-visit for folks all over Eastern Iowa! The markets take place on Saturday mornings from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the dates for the 2024 season include:

  • May 25th
  • June 1st
  • June 15th
  • July 6th
  • July 20th
  • August 3rd
  • August 17th
  • September 21st

There are typically around 200 vendors and 12,000 guests that show up for each market. And don't forget about the Market After Dark! That event will take place August 24th from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and typically draws anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 people!

Iowa Arts Festival

When it comes to arts festivals, Iowa City has one of the best! According to the website, "the Iowa Arts Festival is an award-winning, weekend-long community celebration featuring over 110 local and national visual artists." In addition to tons of art and vendors, the event also has love music performances, food vendors, and creative activities and entertainment for children. The 2024 festival is scheduled for June 7th through 9th.

The Linn County Fair

Live music, food, a beer tent, rides, games, competitions, entertainment... the Linn County Fair in Central City has everything! The 2024 fair will kick off on June 26th and run through June 30th. This year's Grandstand events include a Truck & Tractor Pull, Concerts from Joe Nichols, Sara Evans, and Tracy Byrd, Tough Trucks, and more! Tickets are available for purchase HERE.

North Liberty Blues & BBQ

What's better than live music, craft beer, and delicious BBQ?! The 2024 Blues & BBQ Festival will return to Centennial Park in North Liberty on Saturday, July 13th. The all-day event is family-friendly, and admission, parking, and inflatables are all free!

Great Jones County Fair

The Great Jones County Fair in Monticello is one of the biggest and best country fairs in the whole state of Iowa! In addition to lots of food, games, competitions, kids' activities, rides, a beer tent, and lots of live entertainment, the 2024 fair also has an incredible lineup of Grandstand concerts! That includes:

Tickets for all the concerts are available for purchase online HERE. Admission is $15 per person at the gate Wednesday through Saturday and $5 on Sunday (children 10 and under are free). Discounted admission is available online HERE.


Iowa Irish Fest

Iowa's biggest Irish celebration is headed back to Downtown Waterloo August 2nd through 4th! The three day event features classes and workshops, live Irish music and dancing, a Guinness Experience, Whiskey Masters Classes, Highland Games, sheep herding, a family fun area, vendors, food, and so much more! Tickets have not yet gone on sale for the 2024 event.

St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival

The 49th Annual St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids is coming up August 9th through 11th! The main draw of the event is the 18,000 ears of fresh Iowa sweet corn that are available for $1 apiece, but there's SO much more than that. You can enjoy live music in the beer tent, a huge car/cash raffle, tons of food, games, carnival rides, and free parking/shuttles. Daily admission is $5 for ages 11 to 59, but with paid admission on Friday or Saturday, you can get FREE admission on Sunday (as long as you're wearing your wristband!).

What big events are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know by sending us a message on our station app!

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