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When and Where is the Iowa State Fair?

When and Where is the Iowa State Fair?

The Iowa State Fair isn’t your ordinary state fair. It’s an eleven-day industrial and agricultural exposition––the biggest in the entire country; in 2021, a total of 1,094,480 people were in attendance. At the fair, attendees can ride rides, visit livestock shows, and partake in other showstopping events. So when is the next event, and where does it take place?

The 2022 Iowa State Fair is August 11 through August 21. It’ll be held in Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but you can follow the Iowa State Fair’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for more updates. You can even download the Iowa State Fair App. Keep reading to learn more about this exciting event and all it entails. While the 2021 Iowa State Fair has come and gone, there’s a lot underway for next year’s event.

When is the Iowa State Fair?

In 1994, the Iowa State Fair Board moved the annual fair to the second week of August to accommodate the start’s school year. The Board has the dates for the Iowa State Fair planned three years in advance.

The following is a chart of the upcoming fairs:

YearFair Dates
2022August 11 to August 21
2023August 10 to August 20
2024August 8 to August 18

Where is the Iowa State Fair?

The Iowa State Fair is at the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds in Des Moines. For 354 days a year, the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds is a lush, 160-acre site where campers can pitch tents and enjoy the area’s natural scenery.

When approaching fair season, hundreds of RVs create temporary towns in the area where guests can enjoy electricity, plumbing, and outdoor firepits.

How to Get to the Iowa State Fair

If you live locally in Iowa, you can purchase a pass that allows you to visit the fairgrounds for the full 11 days. But as far as getting to the event goes, here are your options:

  • You can fly. Now’s the time to buy your plane ticket if you want to visit the Iowa State Fair. The closer you get to the event’s date, the more expensive tickets will be.
  • You can take a train. Trains aren’t the archaic mode of travel people think they are. Many come outfitted with Wi-Fi, video streaming services, and onboard amenities, like showers. Des Moines has two different Amtrak stations.
  • You can drive. If you’re not locally from Iowa, why not make a road trip out of it? There’s plenty to do along the way. You can visit to map out your destinations along the way.

Does the Iowa State Fair Have On-Site Accommodations?

You’re not going to pull up at the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds and see “Iowa State Fair Hotel.” However, there are plenty of hotels in the area that offer accommodations. The Iowa State Fair Board partnered with Catch Des Moines, a referral site that features over 2,800 hotel rooms in proximity to the fairgrounds.

You can also:

  • Camp. True to the name, the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds is, in fact, a campground. Right now, there’s no information online about pricing. Yet, seniority does play a factor in booking a certain site. For instance, if you’ve camped at the campgrounds before, you’ll get priority over someone visiting the grounds for the first time.
  • Stay at an Airbnb. Right now, there are 288 Airbnbs that offer accommodations in Des Moines. Some units range from entire houses to in-law suites.
  • Do it in a day. Live locally? Somewhat locally? Not a problem. There’s on-site parking. There’s even a fairgrounds motorcoach and transit system that makes commuting from the parking lot to the fair itself easier. Visitors can use the MyDART App to get more information.

What’s There to Do Near the Iowa State Fair?

The Iowa State Fair Campgrounds, as noted, is in Des Moines, Iowa. There’s plenty to do here besides camp; the Fairgrounds are close by to the following:

  • The Blank Park Zoo. Make no mistake; this zoo is anything but “blank.” It’s a 49-acre zoo that features lions, tigers––and no bears, actually, but there are black rhinos, which are an endangered species.
  • The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. An anonymous user on Google Reviews describes the gardens as: “A breath of fresh and humid air in the middle of winter in Iowa!” The 15-acre garden has over 1,000 species of plants and features nearby recreational trails that are part of the greater Des Moines trails system.
  • Pappajohn Sculpture Park. No, not that Papa John. This 4-acre park features millions of dollars in sculptures and installations that visitors can enjoy free of charge. Currently, the park has 28 sculptures, ranging from Avant-Garde pieces to those a bit more conventional.

In Conclusion

The Iowa State Fair is a once-a-year event that draws people from all over the nation. As mentioned, it’s slated for the second week of August at the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds. The Iowa State Fair Board will release more information about tickets, camping, and shows the closer the event gets.