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Top Five July Events in Ames


Summer is in full swing! That means pools days, lots of ice cream and, of course, tons of fun events in Ames! Keep reading to check out our top five favorite things to do this month. All these events are open to the general public, so you’re more than welcome to bring the whole family.

Independence Day Celebration at Reiman Gardens *

Tuesday, July 3 | All day

Reiman Gardens

Come celebrate the kick-off of Independence Day with Reiman Gardens! The Gardens are open all day, but free admission will be offered to everyone from 6 p.m. to the conclusion of the annual Ames Independence Day fireworks display. The fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. Enjoy live music from the Indigo Monks and performances from the Iowa Youth Ballet. Bring your folding chairs and coolers, and have fun celebrating our country’s birthday!


Annual 5K on the Fourth*

Wednesday, July 4 | 7:45–11 a.m.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park

Start your Fourth of July off in a fun, active way with Friendship Ark’s 14th Annual 5K on the Fourth! This fun walk/run is held out at Ada Hayden Heritage Park, on the north side of Ames. Participants can register for the adult 5K run/walk, or the free kids’ fun run. Proceeds go to support Friendship Ark, a private, nonprofit organization established to provide residential and community support for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Central Iowa.


American Barnstormers Tour

Sunday–Tuesday, July 8–10 | Times vary

Ames Municipal Airport

The 2018 American Barnstormers Tour will be landing in Ames for a short time only! This traveling interactive display features 10 vintage Travel Air open cockpit biplanes. Five of the planes will be used for display only, with owners and restorers available to answer crowd questions. The other five planes will be available for rides! Rides are $80 per person for a 15-minute ride.


Iowa Games Athlete Jamboree*

Friday, July 20 | 5–7:30 p.m.

Parking Lot S3, University Blvd

Looking for a fun, free family event to do on a Friday night? We’ve got you covered! Check out the Iowa Games Athlete Jamboree, an outdoor event open to the public complete with kids’ activities, inflatables, photo booths, local food trucks, entertainment and more.  The entertainment wraps up at 7:30 p.m., but all are invited to watch the Iowa Games Opening Ceremony Parade of Athletes within Jack Trice Stadium.


National Carousel Day

Wednesday, July 25 | 5–8 p.m.

Story City Carousel

Head to Story City to celebrate National Carousel Day on July 25! Story City has one of only 100 wooden antique carousels still functioning today. This model was built in 1913, purchased by Story City in 1938 and fully restored in 1982. It’s been delighting generations of children (and adults) ever since. Rides are only $1, so buy a bag of popcorn and hop on your favorite animal for a nostalgic ride you’ll never forget!


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.