Frequently Asked Questions About the Fairgrounds

Every year the Iowa State Fair staff fields questions from visitors. Some of the most frequently asked questions are below. The answers are a constant reminder that nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair.

  • Who do I contact to plan an event on the Fairgrounds?

    Information about our facilities can be found on the Facilities page. To plan an event at the Fairgrounds, please fill out a New Client Application form located under the Facilities tab.

  • How can I find out what events are happening at the Fairgrounds?

    All public off season events are listed on our Calendar of Events. Private events are not listed on the calendar. For more information on a specific event, please contact that event’s planner or promoter directly; their information is listed on the Calendar of Events.

  • Where can I find a map of the Fairgrounds?

  • Am I allowed to bring my own food onto the Fairgrounds for an event?

    Food and beverages are not allowed into the Fair. However, there are many facilities that are available for rental on the Fairgrounds. Some of these facilities do allow for your own food. Facilities that do not allow food include the Jacobson Exhibition Center, Varied Industries Building, Elwell Family Food Center, 4-H Exhibits Building and Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Please review the facility and catering policies for additional information.

  • Are the Campgrounds open during non-Fairtime?

    Yes, the Campgrounds are open mid-April to mid-July and September to mid-October for non-Fair camping.  For more information visit the Off-Season Camping page. For information on Fairtime camping, visit the Fairtime Camping page.

  • Are pets allowed on the Fairgrounds?

    Pets on leashes are allowed on the Fairgrounds during non-Fairtime only. They are not allowed during the Fair.  Pets are not allowed in buildings during events unless special arrangements have been made prior to the event start.  Certified service animals are allowed in buildings.

  • How do I find out if an event is cancelled or post-poned?

    The Calendar of Events is updated with current information as we are informed of any cancellations or post-ponements.  You can also contact the event's planner or promoter for the most current information.

  • Where are lost items claimed?

    Lost and found is located at the Iowa State Fair Public Safety Building, located at the west end of the Grand Concourse.  Public Safety can be reached by phone at 515/262-3931.

  • Where are public restrooms located?

    Public restrooms are located adjacent to the northeast corner of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building.

  • Where can I find information about hotels near the Fairgrounds?

    The Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau ( provides up-to-date lodging information. You may contact them by calling 800/451-2625 or search their online accommodations listings.