About the Fairgrounds

Major building and exhibit facilities, plenty of free parking and a full-time planning staff make the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines a complete year-round meeting and exposition center.

Choose from more than 20 facilities including the modern Jacobson Exhibition Center (opened in 2010), the colossal Varied Industries Building, the midsize Elwell Family Food Center, the huge 4-H Exhibits Building and mammoth Cattle Barn. People have even rented the parking lots to stage circuses, barbeque contests, swap meets and car shows. Nearly 200 events are held on the grounds annually.

Additional features include free parking, a 160-acre campgrounds outdoor stages, picnic shelters, indoor/outdoor show rings, and horseshoe courts.

Whether you're planning a simple event or an elaborate experience, the Fairgrounds staff will help you arrange for caterers and decorators, sound equipment and lights, tables and chairs, forage and hay, dozers and forklifts, plumbers and electricians, plus hauling and clean-up service. Internet access is available anywhere on the grounds (price depends on location; advance notice required). A professional printing and sign shop is on-site. The 24-hour Fair Police are available for special security requests.

The Iowa State Fairgrounds are located in Iowa's capital city, at the hub of Interstates 80 and 35 - just 10 minutes from downtown and 20 minutes from the Des Moines International Airport. Des Moines is easy to reach via major airlines and boasts a per diem rate that is consistently about 20 percent less than the national average. Tradeshow Week named Des Moines the most affordable city to host a trade show. The city also features upscale shopping areas, fine restaurants and excellent hotels and motels.

Fairgrounds facilities and services — as much or as little as you need — are available at surprisingly low cost. Requirements are simple: a signed contract and a certificate of insurance. Start planning your Fairgrounds event today.