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Top Five August Events in Ames


Summer is winding down. But don’t start buying new notebooks and dusting off those bookbags just yet! There’s still plenty of fun events you can attend in Ames before summer is officially over. Keep reading to find out our top five favorite August events!

Tour the Garden and Grounds of the Iowa Arboretum

Tuesday, August 7 | 7–8 p.m.

Iowa Arboretum

Head over to Madrid for a guided evening tour of the gorgeous Iowa Arboretum summer grounds. This is a great way to experience the gardens without the hot heat of the afternoon! If you’re a gardening fanatic, you surely won’t want to miss this opportunity. Members pay $5, while nonmembers pay $10.

KHOI Annual Birthday Street Celebration*

Sunday, August 12 | 4–7 p.m.

Pantorium Building

Join local radio station KHOI in celebrating six years of community radio with their very own birthday street party celebration! The Heath Alan Band will get the party started at 4:30 p.m. with a live concert in the parking lot behind the station. Besides enjoying live music, participants will be able to bring their own t-shirt and have it printed with a KHOI logo or slogan. And, of course, birthday cake and lemonade will be offered!

Senior Variety Show*

Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18 | Times vary

Ames City Auditorium

Enjoy a fun night out and watch local talent at the Senior Variety Show! This year’s theme is “Simply Stellar”. This annual Ames event allows local seniors, ages 60 or older, to showcase their special talents and perform for the general public.  This year’s event will feature over 100 performers, and 1,000 people are expected to attend. Net proceeds go to benefiting local senior programs. Don’t delay; get your tickets before they sell out!

Live Like a Pioneer Day

Saturday, August 18 | 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

McFarland Park

Story County Conservation has always offered the ever-popular Pioneer Day program to school children. Now you can get the experience as an adult! Designed for adults and older children who have aged out of the school-offered experience, the program allows participants to travel to 1869 and discover life as a pioneer. You’ll meet two pioneers and help them with daily chores. Try your hand at carding and spinning wool, doing laundry, making your own soap and more. Participants will be outside the entire day, so don’t forget to pack your lunch and sunscreen!

First Friday Passport to Campustown

Friday, August 24 | 4–8 p.m.

Campustown Court

Looking for something new to do? Head over to Campustown and learn about everything they have to offer! This event is held on the first Friday of Iowa State University’s fall semester, so it’s the perfect time to acquainted with the neighborhood. Participants can enjoy special deals from local businesses, delicious food, cool prizes and more!

Want more fun Ames and Iowa State University events? Visit for a full list!


* All events marked with an asterisk (*) are funded in part by the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau Community Grant Program. The program funds a wide range of events and activities that are open to the public and enhance both residents’ and visitors’ experiences. Learn more about the program here.