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Iowa’s state parks are continually adding new programs and events. Check both the events calendar at the right and our special events calendar for activities that may interest you and your family or friends.
Some annual park events to check out include:
State parks across the United States are celebrating the start of the camping season. Iowa will join the celebration with special programs and activities scheduled in our campgrounds. We hope to see you there!
Lewis and Clark Festival – Usually the second weekend in JuneThis buckskinners’ rendezvous will take you back to the time when Lewis and Clark explored this area of the Missouri River. Activities, demonstrations, food and fun are all part of this annual event.
Christmas in July – - check the events calendar and individual parks for exact dates/timesCampers in a number of Iowa state parks decorate their campsites and celebrate Christmas in July. Join in the fun or just visit these parks for a look at how creative our visitors can be.
Fort Atkinson Rendezvous – Last full weekend in SeptemberEvery year, since 1977, this recreation of the frontier rendezvous and 1840s military life is held at Fort Atkinson Preserve. More information about the event hosted by the DNR and local community can be found at http://www.fortatkinsoniowa.com/rendezvous.html
Halloween Celebrations - check the events calendar and individual parks for exact dates/timesLike Christmas in July events, many of our state park campers are hosting Halloween celebrations, welcoming other visitors to checkout their spooktacular costumes, decorations and treats.
First Day Hikes – Jan 1Kick on the New Year will a little outdoor exercise. More than two dozen Iowa state parks will host this event in 2017 along with hundreds more state parks across the country.
State parks are popular places for people and groups to hold a wide variety of events (weddings, scout jamborees, festivals, rendezvous, triathlons, fun runs, etc.) A special event permit is required when the event is an organized race, tournament, exhibition, demonstration or other planned event in which a fee is charged, prizes are awarded or competition occurs between participants. A special event permit is also required for any other planned event that, due its nature, potential or actual size, or length, would likely adversely impact the use of the area by the public. NOTE: Special events that take place solely within a reservable day-use lodge or shelter structure, do not require a special event permit. The person or group holding the event must reserve and pay the appropriate rental fee for the facility that will be used.
At least 30 days before the scheduled date of a special event, an application must be submitted to the DNR using the Special Events web-based application found at https://programs.iowadnr.gov/specialevents/.
For more information, contact your local State Park office, or the State Parks Special Events Program Manager or call 515-725-8486.