2016 Guide: Festivals in the Iowa City area

Expertly curated by area food and culture mavens, festivals combine a selection of dining, drinking and cultural options to offer fun for the whole family.

Top Chef: Downtown

February 27, Iowa City, hotelVetro

In this friendly competition, local restaurants prepare signature dishes, competing to earn the title of “top chef.”

Mission Creek Festival

April 5-10, Iowa City, Downtown

A week-long festival taking place in venues all across downtown Iowa City, Mission Creek celebrates music, literature, art, food and culture.


April 30-May 1, Amana Colonies

A family-oriented celebration of the arrival of spring, Maifest highlights Amana’s German heritage through food and culture.

Wurst Festival

June 18, Amana Colonies

A one-day festival of sausages and wursts complete with samples, beers, and music in historic Amana.

Bourbon and Blues

July 1-4 , Swisher, Cedar Ridge Winery

The Bourbon & Blues Festival is annual tradition centered around Iowa-made Cedar Ridge Bourbon with distillery tours, spirit tastings, BBQ food, and live music.

Taste of Iowa City

August 24, Iowa City, Downtown

This food festival celebrates the culinary diversity of the Downtown and Northside districts with sample portions from more than 35 local restaurants.

Northside Oktoberfest

September 24, Iowa City, Northside Marketplace

At this popular Northside beer festival, patrons enjoy live music, local food vendors and a tremendous selection of beer. There is also a smaller SodaFest, so the whole family can enjoy the day.

Oktoberfest in the Amana Colonies

September 30-October 2, Amana Colonies

Amana’s Oktoberfest is a traditional celebration with entertainment, dancing and German food and beer.

Witching Hour Festival

November 4-5, Iowa City, Downtown

Produced by Little Village and the Englert Theatre, Witching Hour Festival explores and engages the unknown through interdisciplinary events that highlight the creative process. Artists working in a variety of areas (including food and craft beer) take part in a weekend of discussions, performances and culinary surprises.

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