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Cultural Festivals to Attend in Iowa

Iowa communities celebrate their multicultural heritages with festivals throughout the year.

May 1, 2018

Cultural Festivals to Attend in Iowa

Iowa communities celebrate their multicultural heritages with festivals throughout the year.

1. I'll Make Me A World In Iowa

Des Moines
Annually in January

Iowa’s premiere African American festival includes several powerful, cultural events held over several days each January. Enjoy performances by Iowa’s most talented jazz, gospel, classic, blues and R&B artists, as well as a dinner, dancing and black history presentations from Iowa middle and high school students. Celebration Day is the festival’s crowning and concluding event.

2. St. Pat's Irish Celebration

St. Patrick's Day Weekend

Mostly populated by Irish immigrants and named after a famous Irish patriot (Robert Emmet), the city of Emmetsburg celebrates its heritage every St. Patrick’s Day. In 1962, Emmetsburg and Dublin, Ireland, were named “Sister Cities.” Since then a member of the Irish Parliament presides over the three-day St. Pat’s festival each year.

3. Faces Of Siouxland Multicultural Fair

Sioux City
Annually in March or April

The richness of Sioux City’s diverse population is on display at this annual, free event hosted by the Sioux City Human Rights Commission. Live entertainment and activities for kids entertain guests who can also purchase a range of crafts and ethnic dishes, including Chinese, soul and Indian food, to name a few.

4. Maifest

Amana Colonies
First Weekend of May

A traditional German celebration of spring complete with Maipole dancers, German music, a parade and delicious food.

5. Pella Tulip Time

Annually in Early May

celebration of the town’s Dutch heritage with street scrubbing, Dutch dancers, tulip gardens, historical village with working crafters, Scholte House tours, crafts, quilts, and Dutch foods.

6. Houby Days

Cedar Rapids
Annually in Early May

Pronounced "HOE-bee" and translated to "mushroom" in Czech, the Czech Village celebrates their history and culture with a spring festival. The festival includes a car show, kid's carnival, vendors, an egg and houby breakfast, live music and kid's games.

7. Syttende Mai Celebration

Annually in Mid-May

A celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day that includes free admission to the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, a children’s parade, Nordic dancers and a street dance.

8. Orange City Tulip Festival

Orange City
Annually in Mid-May

Founded in 1936 as a way to keep the town’s prominent Dutch heritage alive, the three-day event is known for its tulips (naturally) and night show as well as its authentic Dutch costumes, dances and food.

9. Tivoli Fest

Elk Horn
Memorial Day Weekend

The town’s annual Danish celebrationis held over Memorial Day weekend. Activities include Danish foods and specialties, tours of the Danish Windmill and the Museum of Danish America, a parade, Danish folk dancers, live entertainment, fireworks and more.

10. Scandinavian Days

Story City
Annually in Early June

The festival has changed over the years but still remains true to its Norwegian roots with traditional foods, folklore and community pride.

11. AsianFest

Photo Courtesy AsianFest Facebook

Cedar Rapids
Annually in July

Celebrate the colorful and exotic traditions of several Asian countries at AsianFest, held annually at McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids. Event highlights include a variety of traditional Asian foods and beverages, a show of Asian fashions and a high-energy international dance party.

12. Nordic Fest

Annually in Late July

For more than 40 years, the city of Decorah has celebrated its Norwegian roots with Nordic Fest. The event boasts delicious foods, traditional crafts, a colorful parade, lively entertainment and a Saturday night torchlight parade and fireworks.

13. Iowa Irish Fest

Annually in Late July/Early August

This festival celebrates the Irish culturein Iowa with Celtic bands, Irish dancers, Irish food and beer, a kid's play area, 5k run/walk and a parade.

14. Oktoberfest

Amana Colonies
Annually in Early October

German-style fall festival featuring a parade, German singing and dancing, food, drinks and more.

This content was republished from Travel Iowa. Access the original content here.



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