Mainstream Living

Fun for Everyone!

Des Moines:

Wednesday, July 3
Event: Des Moines Symphony’s 26th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops
Time: Concert prelude starts at 6:30 p.m., the concert starts at 8:30 p.m.
Location: West Terrace, Iowa State Capitol 
Admission: Free
Come see the Des Moines Symphony’s 26th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops on July 3! DART will detour its FREE D-Line shuttle and extend its hours to 11 p.m. to accommodate attendees. The Des Moines Bicycle Collective will also be offering a FREE bike valet on the Capitol grounds. The bike valet will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Bring your picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs, or purchase food from an array of vendors at the concert. End the night with post-concert fireworks over the Des Moines skyline.

Wednesday, July 3
Event: All Iowa Bash
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Location: Historic Valley Junction 
Admission: Free
Try food and drink from local Iowa vendors, family fun, music from Iowa bands, and more! This event will feature live music, food and fun for the entire family. The celebration will be held in the 300 block of 5th Street before, during and after the completion of the West Des Moines Independence Day Parade (which ends at 4th and Maple in the heart of Valley Junction).

Thursday, July 4
Event: Independence Day at Living History Farms
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Living History Farms
Admission: Ticket prices range from $9.50 to $16
Enjoy an old-fashioned fourth with an iconic, historic Independence Day celebration in the town of Walnut Hill. 1876 marks the first centennial of the United States, and Living History Farms’ Independence Day activities truly show what this day meant to those in the 19th century – a day of family fun. Families can take part in pie eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, the town parade, watermelon seed spitting contests, and more! To fit everything in, be sure to arrive early to tour our historic farms, enjoy the town activities, and still have time to catch the Walnut Hill Bluestockings baseball game at 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 4
Event: Des Moines' 2nd Annual Fourth of July by the River
Time: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: Brenton Skating Plaza
Admission: Tickets range from $15 to $20
Join House of Leopold and Stutterbox Productions at Brenton Skating Plaza to celebrate the fourth. There will be music, food, drinks, dancing and more!

Thursday, July 4
Event: Des Moines Firecracker 5K
Time: Race starts at 9 a.m. 
Location: Peace Tree Brewing
Admission: Registration starts at $40, group discount rates available 
Celebrate America's birthday by running through the best city with your best friends! Post-run festivities to follow at Peace Tree Brewing.

Thursday, July 4 - Friday, July 5
Event: Iowa Cubs Baseball + fireworks show
Time: 7:08 p.m. 
Location: Principal Park
Admission: Ticket prices range from $14 to $16
Cheer on the Iowa Cubs as they play the Memphis Redbirds! Both games will start at 7:08 p.m. and will be followed by fireworks.

Friday, July 5 - Sunday, July 7
Event: Goodguys 28th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals
Time: Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Iowa State Fairgrounds
Admission: Ticket prices range from $10 to $60 
Head to the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the Goodguys 28th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 7. See over 4,000 unique cars, enjoy live music and experience a fireworks show Saturday night. Kids are invited to play in the Kids Zone, filled with free arts and crafts, prizes and more.

Saturday, July 6
Event: Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market
Time: 7 a.m. - Noon
Location: Historic Court District
Admission: Free
Celebrate the holiday weekend with a trip to the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market! Shop local vendors, enjoy live music and taste plenty of ready-to-eat foods. The market is open from 7 a.m. to Noon and will have fun options for the entire family.

More info on Des Moines area events can be found at:



Monday, July 1 - Sunday, July 7
All Day / Downtown Ames
5pm, JUNE 7 ~ 5pm, JULY 7

Take your time and enjoy the CYtes! This interactive scavenger hunt is live on the FREE SCAVIFY app. Download the SCAVIFY app (IOS or Android) and search for CYtes of Downtown Ames. Teams of 1-10 may play and ALL participants are entered to win prizes. The team with the most points will receive the GRAND prize.It is not necessary to do all the tasks to be entered to win a prize! Winners will be notified by Friday, July 12, 2019. Also, check out the CYtes Downtown Scavenger Hunt Facebook event page for more details and to invite your friends.

Wednesday, July 3
Event: Fireworks
The Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau, FUEL Story County, City of Ames and Iowa State University are excited to present the fireworks at Reiman Gardens. Visitors may bring their folding chairs, coolers with food and drinks. No fireworks or sparklers are allowed inside the Gardens. Attendees may also watch the display from the Jack Trice/Iowa State Center parking lots.  If it rains on July 3, the fireworks will be moved to July 5. 

Thursday, July 4
All Day / Downtown Ames
Events include the free community pancake breakfast hosted by the Ames Mayor and City Council from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the front entrance of City Hall, 515 Clark Ave. The Fourth of July parade on Main Street will begin at 11 a.m.  The 4th of July Parade is one of the largest events of the summer. Don your red, white, and blue, and help us celebrate Independence Day at this family-friendly event!

Thursday, July 4
7:30 am – 10:00 am / Ada Hayden Heritage Park, 5205 Grand Ave, Ames
Come and join us for our annual 4th of July run/walk at Ada Hayden (Kids’ Fun Run at 7:45 am). Our race is a fun, family friendly event to start off your holiday activities in Ames while supporting Friendship Ark. Friendship Ark Homes celebrates the uniqueness of adults with intellectual disabilities living in our homes. We help these core members reach their fullest potential in a faith-based community.

Thursday, July 4
10:00 am – 11:00 am / Reiman Gardens, 1407 University Blvd, Ames
Join us for this summertime favorite! Every week, hear books read aloud and join in an activity or craft. Best for children up to eight accompanied by an adult. No preregistration required.

Thursday, July 4
10:30 am – 2:00 pm / Wheatsfield Co-op, 413 Northwestern Ave, Ames
Our annual 4th of July grill-out is back! Stop by before, during or after the parade for hot dogs, bratwursts or a veggie brat grilled in our parking lot! Make it a meal by adding chips and a drink. We’ll offer a traditional made-from-scratch 4th of July dessert as well!

Thursday, July 4
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm / Durham Bandshell, 6th St & Duff Ave, Ames
No preshow will be presented due to 7 pm concert  |  Vocal Soloist: Miles Morgan

The Ames Municipal Band presents free hour-long concerts each Thursday evening in Bandshell Park in June and July.  Each week the band performs a different concert featuring popular music, light classical, hymns, marches, and music from Broadway and Hollywood.  Each concert has a vocal soloist and at times, instrumental soloists and guest conductors.

Thursday, July 4 - Saturday, July 6
All Day / Burnett Ave between 5th St and 6th St, Ames
DockDogs is a series of competitive dog jumping events held across the nation each year (click on link for schedule of events). It is comprised of three aquatic events: Big Air (dogs compete to jump the farthest), Extreme Vertical (dogs compete to jump the highest), and Speed Retrieval (dogs compete to retrieve a toy the fastest).

More Ames area Fourth of July event information can be found at:

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