Iowa State Fair

It’s Fair Time – Everything You Need to Know to Get to the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, IOWA — The 2019 Iowa State Fair officially kicked off on Thursday, August 8, 2019. It’s easy to stay up-to-date with all of the latest and greatest activities and news at the Iowa State Fair online at or the official Iowa State Fair App.

PLAN YOUR DAY — Planning your day at the Fair is made easy with our interactive online daily program and official Iowa State Fair App. Fairgoers can search by date, location, or keyword to create their own personal itinerary on Android and Apple devices. Please note: Apple users will need to re-download the App from last year. Visit or download the official Iowa State Fair app for a full list of daily activities.

Text FAIR to 75782 for special offers, updates on concerts and daily activities, weather alerts and more. Text BABY to 75782 to receive updates when new babies are born at the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. Message frequency varies. No purchase necessary. By texting in, you agree to receive autodialed marketing messages at the number provided. Message & data rates may apply. For Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, visit:

Additional information can be found through social media or e-newsletters; sign up today at

GET TO THE FAIR — There are multiple ways to get to the Fair: Fairgoers can drive, take DART Park & Ride, use taxis, Uber and Lyft or come by bicycle.


  • Northern Iowa- From I-35, take I-235 to Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.
  • Southern Iowa – From I-35, take IA 5/US 65 to Exit 79 then head west on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.
  • Eastern Iowa – From I-80 take Exit 141 (Hwy. 65 Bypass), travel south on Hwy. 65 to Exit 79 and head west on Hwy. 163 (E University Avenue) approximately three miles to the Fairgrounds. It is suggested that visitors enter the Fair parking lot at E 36th as a left-hand turn may not be allowed into the grounds at E 33rd at certain times.
  • Western Iowa – From I-235, take Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Taxis, Uber and Lyft: Taxis, Uber and Lyft will be available at Gate 8 for pick up and drop off.

Bicycle: Bicycle parking is available inside Gate 11 for free.

DART Park & Ride: Three Park & Ride locations are available, with free parking, from 8:30 a.m. to midnight each day of the Iowa State Fair. At the Fairgrounds, all DART buses will drop off and pick up at the DART Transit Hub sponsored by Buick GMC at Gate 10 on East 30th Street.

  1. Center Street Park & Ride, 7th and Center Streets

Enter Center Street parking ramp on 7th Street. Bus picks up at the corner of 6th Avenue and Center Street.

  1. Iowa State Capitol, East 12th Street

Parking available at State Capitol visitor lots. Bus picks up on East 12th Street, directly east of the Capitol building.

  1. Southeast Polk High School, NE 80th Street and Highway 163

Parking available in high school parking lots. Bus picks up at main door of high school and drops off at DART Transit Hub at Gate 10 on the Fairgrounds. This is a very popular Park & Ride location and fills up quickly each morning.

If you’re heading to the Fair in the late morning or early afternoon, you are encouraged to use the Center Street or Capitol Park & Ride locations.

For more information on parking lot changes, or closures, please text FAIR to 75782. To see the daily program visit or download the new Iowa State Fair App.

Don’t Forget to Buy Tickets!

Purchase discounted Thrill Park passes, Family Fun packs and admission tickets before August 8 and save.

Purchase tickets online at or at the ticket office located in the Administration building on the Fairgrounds or at area HyVee, Fareway, Cash Saver or Price Chopper locations.

About Iowa State Fair — Frequently ranked as one of the top events in the country, the Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair, located at East 30th and East University, just 10 minutes from downtown Des Moines, is Iowa’s greatest celebration with a salute to the best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. Nothing Compares to State Fair Favorites, August 8-18, 2019. For more information, visit

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