Favorite Iowa small town festivals

One of my favorite parts about growing up in a small town was looking forward to the summer fun celebrations at different Iowa town festivals.

Growing up in Atkins, I looked forward to Watermelon Days every year. I now love finding small town fun days to attend with my children. I decided to put together a list of local small-town and county events you can visit this summer.

Iowa small town festivals

June

Keystone Kids Celebration June 4th 3pm-7pm

Your kids will love the petting zoo, inflatables, games, water ball, fire truck rides and a free dance and karaoke.

Mount Vernon Chocolate Stroll June 4th 10am-4pm

Join Mount Vernon for their 12th Annual Chocolate Stroll. “Find treats from a variety of chocolate merchants who are hosted by our local businesses for easy shopping. Bring your family – our children’s area at Memorial Park will have outdoor games and activities”

Robbins Roundup June 11th 5pm-11pm

Visit Robbins for their Roundup festival. There will be a carnival for the kids, cornhole tournament, climbing/bungee wall, live music, and fireworks!

Kalona Days June 18th

Kalona is about 40 minutes south of Cedar Rapids in Washington County. Fun includes a Fun Run, farmers market, parade, live music pony rides, and more.

Fairbanks Island Days June 24th and 25th

“Some events come and go but you can always count on great bands, cold beer, amazing fireworks and tons of family fun!”

Fairfax USA Days June 24th and 25th

There is so much fun to be had at the Annual Fairfax USA Days. Friday night will include a street dance, live music, youth kickball, a movie in the park. On Saturday you can visit the street market, Hero Breakfast, 5K race, Fireman’s Picnic, parade, kids’ carnival, bingo, and fireworks!

Linn County Fair June 22nd-26th

Located at the Linn County Fairgrounds just south of Central City, the Linn County Fair offers all the things you can want from an Iowa county fair. Between the food, animals, a carnival, contests, and music, your family will have a great time making summer memories. Visit their site to see their daily schedule.

July

Buchanan County Fair July 5th-9th

Another fun Iowa county fair, the Buchanan County fair is located in Independence. There will be so many fun events to keep your family entertained. A demo derby, race and tactor pull will keep your race lovers happy. Music from Billy Currington will keep music lovers entertained. The whole family will love the fair food, animals, and more.

Mount Vernon Heritage Days July 8th and 9th

“The 34th Annual Heritage Days Festival, Mount Vernon’s biggest summer festival, will take place Friday, July 8 at Kernoustie Golf Club and Saturday, July 9 in and around Uptown Mount Vernon.”

Solon Beef Days July 15th and 16th

“Beef Days is celebrated every July in the small but mighty community of Solon, Iowa.”

Shellsburg Big Day July 16th

“Join us in celebrating our wonderful small town Iowa Community. Festivities in the park from sun up to sun down. Fun for all ages!”

Walker Pickle Days July 29th and 30th

Your kids will love the games, rides, live music, parade, fireworks and the pickles!

Swisher Fun Days July 29th and 30th

Fireworks, parade, live music and human foosball tournament? Sounds like a great time.

August

Atkins Watermelon Days– August 6th

Free watermelon until it’s gone. There will be live music, games, inflatables, beer tent, food trucks, fireworks and more!

Palo Fun Days August 19th and 20th

“Mark your calendars! Palo Fun Days is back in 2022”

Vinton Boomtown August 27th

“Be Prepared. Boomtown isn’t your your typical small-town-USA fireworks display. Its an Earth-shaking pyrotechnic experience you will not soon forget. If blinding ground effects and feel-the-heat-on-your-face fireballs aren’t enough, wait until the aerial bombs greet you with a heart-pounding aftershock.”

Check the links for updates and more information as it becomes available throughout the summer.

Let me know your favorite Iowa small town festival! I’d love to add a few more to our calendar.


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Kristin is a single, working mother to two (9,4). She has lived in the Cedar Rapids area her entire life, though just outside Cedar Rapids in Atkins. She enjoys the small-town life and the relationships that come with it but enjoys being close to Cedar Rapids for recreation. She is currently working towards a degree from Mount Mercy University. When she is not working or doing homework, she enjoys watching her children play sports, watching Hawkeye Football, reading, writing, and binging Netflix.

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