Des Moines Autumn Festival 2021 schedule, including Oktoberfest


What traditionally was the first festival of the festival season in central Iowa will be the last this year.

“We had to make the call in February / March (for delay),” said Nu Huynh executive director of the Iowa Asian Alliance, the organization behind CelebrAsian. “We tried to respect the dates and times of the other festivals very much.”

The result is three weekends of major consecutive festivals on the Des Moines Metro, led by the World Food & Musical Festival this weekend, the Latino Heritage Festival on September 24th and 25th, and the CelebrAsian on October 1st and 2nd.

Here is the Des Moines Register’s guide to these events and six more you need to catch before the leaves start to fall.

More:The eventful end of the festival season limits the year that despite COVID. seems to be “back to normal” for events

17th-19th September

The World Food and Music Festival in Des Moines September 14th 2018.

World Food & Music Festival

More:Des Moines World Food & Music Festival announces food sellers with kitchens from 23 countries

The World Food & Music Festival will hold its 17th annual edition this weekend, filling Des Moines Western Gateway Park and the surrounding streets with dozens of local food vendors from 20 countries and nearly two dozen musical performances from Friday through Sunday.

The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a naturalization ceremony on the main stage of the festival. 50 people were expected to become US citizens.

For the remainder of the weekend, the main stage will feature artists like The Original Wailers, a Grammy-nominated reggae group led by Bob Marley and Wailers veteran Al Anderson, as well as local favorites like the Maytags and the NOLA Jazz Band.

Like almost every festival in central Iowa, the 2020 World Food & Music Festival has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re excited to bring the World Food & Music Festival back to downtown Des Moines,” said Colleen Murphy, events director for the downtown Greater Des Moines Partnership, in a press release. “The event provides a unique opportunity to offer a range of global food, entertainment and activities for the whole family as we celebrate cultures from around the world.”

A full schedule for the festival can be found at

Made vintage & fair

The Vintage & Made Fair is held at the Dallas County Fairgrounds in Adel and holds its fall edition on Saturday.

The indoor and outdoor event gathers sellers of antiques, handcrafted items, and related items that show-goers have to browse and buy.

More:Beaverdale Fall Festival has been canceled again as Iowa COVID-19 cases are on the rise

Entry is $ 8 per person, with free entry for children under 12. Please visit for more information.

A winter edition of the fair is coming to The River Center in Des Moines on November 13th.

24.-26. Sept

Pork + Pinot and the Unexpected Cellar

After a round of virtual events, Winefest returns to host Pork + Pinot, a personal wine-and-pork tasting on September 24th at 6pm in Cowles Commons that also includes musical performances. Tickets are $ 70.

On September 25th at 6 p.m. the Winefest will continue with The Unexpected Cellar at a location that will be announced a week before the event. The speakeasy-themed event includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and live music. Tickets are $ 110.

More information is available at

The golden barrel will be tapped to begin the Des Moines Oktoberfest on Friday 28 September 2018.

Oktoberfest (Des Moines)

Des Moines annual Oktoberfest is celebrating its 17th year downtown, taking over Fourth Street south of Court Avenue from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on September 24th and 25th

A souvenir pint glass and drinks menu are included in the entrance fee, and Friday visitors can bring their glasses back for free Saturday entry. A large selection of German beers is tapped on tap, and guests can also enjoy mixed drinks or a shot of Dr. Enjoy McGillicuddy’s. Grocery stores like Smokey D’s and Karam’s Mediterranean Grill serve a variety of German dishes on weekends.

The festival is open to everyone until 8 p.m., after which only people aged 21 and over will be admitted.

Admission is $ 12.50 in advance online at or in Hy-Vee stores on the Des Moines metro; 15 dollars at the gate.

Visit for more information.

Oktoberfest (adventure land)

Adentureland’s seventh annual Oktoberfest 21+ party extends across the park from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on September 25th. Admission includes access to all musical performances and shows, the rides that are open for the day, one free beer, and one free meal.

Adventureland will have over 70 beers on tap for the event, including Samuel Adams Oktoberfest and Dogfish Head Pumpkin, as well as other beverages such as coffee cocktails. G. Love and Special Sauce is the headliner, and roaming acts will be popping up in the park throughout the day.

Entry is $ 65. Gold Season Pass (does not include beer or food) and Platinum Season Pass holders have free entry.

More information is available at

Latino Heritage Festival

Des Moines Latino Heritage Festival returns to Western Gateway Park on September 25th from 10am to 11pm and on September 26th from 10am to 6pm.

Food, music and dancing will fill the weekend, with Grammy-nominated music artist Sonia De Los Santos opening her gigs on Saturday at 11 a.m. and indie Latin rock band Movie Makers ending at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Dance groups like the Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico and the Aztec Dancers will also perform, and there will be cultural performances and vendors representing different styles of Latino cuisine.

Admission is $ 5 for adults; Children under 12 are free. More information is available at

Knot tight

For the first time since making its Council Bluffs debut in 2012, Knotfest is headlining the Des Moines-bred Slipknot.

The music festival will also feature national metal acts such as Faith No More, Suicide Boys, Megadeth and Tech N9ne. The gates will open on September 25th at 11am on the grounds of the National Balloon Festival in Indianola. Tickets are $ 125.

More:Slipknot’s Joey Jordison, “an incredibly innovative musician,” left a lasting mark on Iowa, friends say

This will be the first Knotfest since the band’s original drummer, Joey Jordison, passed away in July.

Visit for more information.

1. –2. Oct


After a scaled down festival in 2020, Des Moines’ CelebrAsian is returning in full swing, albeit much later in the year than usual.

This year’s event usually takes place on Memorial Day weekend October 1st and 2nd from 11am to 9pm at Western Gateway Park. Under the motto “Silk & Spice” it offers Asian food, music and more.

For more information on the event, please visit

Raccoon River rally

The first Racoon River Rally will take place on October 2nd, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines and will benefit the planned Raccoon River Footbridge, which will connect the park to Walnut Woods State Park on the south side of the river.

The event includes musical performances, a morning bike ride and beer tent, food trucks, and other festivities.

More information is available at

Isaac Hamlet covers the arts, entertainment and culture in the Des Moines Register. Reach out to him at [email protected] or (319) -600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.


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