Weekender Central Iowa! Water Lantern Festival | Ren Faire | Patio Fest


Your weekly editor-curated arts compendium

We’re still a few weeks out from fall, but everyone’s gearing up for the last big parties of summer, as Labor Day Weekend brings a days-long Patio Fest at Confluence, the Renaissance Faire and so much more. Top pick? Check out the Water Lantern Festival at Des Moines Waterworks Park for a late-summer experience that will take your breath away.

Brunnier Art Museum

Reception for John Buck: Prints and Sculpture

Sep 1 – 5:00pm

Opening reception for artist John Buck’s prints and sculpture exhibition.

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Beaverdale Books

Reading with Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez

Sep 1 – 6:30pm

Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez will read from her memoir, “A Time to Mourn & A Time to Dance: A Love Story of Grief, Trauma, Healing & Faith.” She will discuss somatic and spiritual healing practices.

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Confluence Brewing

Labor Day Weekend Patio Fest

Sep 2 – 3:30pm

Party on the patio with live, local music all Labor Day Weekend

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Mainframe Studios

Open Mic for GR!DSM Community

Sep 2 – 5:00pm

Join us at the City Sounds Studio for First Friday at Mainframe!

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Teehee's Comedy Club

Stephen Taylor | Stand-Up Comedy

Sep 2 – 7:00pm

Originally a Louisiana native, Stephen moved to Kansas City to escape his traditional southern roots.

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Tallgrass Theatre Co.

The Sweet Delilah Swim Club

Sep 2 – 7:30pm

The Story: Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships.

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Sleepy Hollow

The Renaissance Faire

Sep 3 – 10:00am

The dates for 2022 will remain the first three weekends in September, including Labor Day.

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Gas Lamp Des Moines

Stateparks, Atlas Support Group, Freeman Band, Dolliver

Sep 3 – 4:00pm

Stateparks, Atlas Support Group, Freeman Band, Dolliver at Gas Lamp

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Des Moines Water Works Park

Water Lantern Festival

Sep 3 – 5:00pm

Water Lantern Festival is an amazing experience where you’ll witness the magic of lanterns as they light up the water.

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Lefty's Live Music

Tantric & Smile Empty Soul

Sep 3 – 7:00pm

Tantric & Smile Empty Soul w/ Silvertung, Phenixx & Balefire at Lefty’s

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Downtown Ames Fareway

Handmade & Vintage Beautiful Land Market

Sep 4 – 11:00am

A carefully curated market featuring over 50 local makers, vintage collectors, food trucks & live music in the heart of Ames

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Norwalk City Park

Norwalk Music Fest

Sep 4 – 11:00am

Come enjoy nine local bands, food trucks, vendors, kids games, a dunk tank, and a beer garden! Don’t forget your lawn chair!

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xBk Live


Sep 4 – 6:00pm

xBk presents Tapestry

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Big Wigs Bar

Big Wigs Block Party

Sep 4 – 7:00pm

Ames Pride and Big Wigs Bar welcomes 80’s Pop Diva, Tiffany and YouTube Sensation, Leslie Hall!

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Des Moines Water Works Park

Des Moines Symphony: Hooray for Hollywood

Sep 4 – 7:30pm

Join the Des Moines Symphony in the Lauridsen Ampitheater at Water Works Park for a salute to the silver screen, from The Wizard of Oz to Star Wars and more!

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Lefty's Live Music

Snailmate, Allegra, Haploid

Sep 4 – 8:00pm

Snailmate is back! The synth hyper pop duo from the desert is here to melt your faces.

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Iowa photographer Samm Yu makes the finals in $20,000 national contest

by Adria Carpenter, Aug 25
Samm Yu got her first camera on her 16th birthday, her dad’s old Canon model. Three years later, Yu has turned a passion for photography into full-fledged portrait photography business.