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Top Five May Events in Ames


Ames and Iowa State University is a great place to visit this May.  Summer is just on the horizon, and there are great events happening all month long! Keep reading to check out our five favorite events that you should attend this month.

Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market Opening Day & Food Truck Showdown *

Saturday, May 5 | 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ames Main Street

Come celebrate Opening Day at the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market! Enjoy great vendors selling locally produced fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, honey, eggs, fresh-cut flowers, plants, jams, jellies and baked goods, along with other handmade products crafted by local artisans. There will also be a special Food Truck Showdown, with 15 food trucks open for business at the Market.

Virtuosic Panorama*

Saturday, May 5 | 7:30 –9:30 p.m.

Ames City Auditorium

Music lovers won’t want to miss Virtuosic Panorama! A celebration of dazzling skill in many forms, Central Iowa Symphony’s May concert features piano virtuoso Mei-Hsuan Huang performing Beethoven’s tour de force Emperor Concerto. Music from Weinberger’s opera about a remarkable bagpiper is paired with Franz Liszt’s glorious Les prelude, bringing the season to a triumphant conclusion.

Foodies & Brew

Friday, May 11 | 6 – 9 p.m.

Ames Airport Hangar

Love local cuisine and regional craft beer? Then this is the event for you! Local restaurateurs and chefs will showcase their talents by providing samples of unique food creations. Event attendees will be encouraged to visit each station and vote for the People’s Choice Award. A selection of craft beers will also be available for sampling, and each attendee will receive a souvenir glass! Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door.

Special Olympics Summer Games*

Thursday – Saturday, May 17 –19 | Event times vary

Iowa State University & Ames

Cheer on athletes at the Special Olympics Summer Games! Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. The event brings together more than 5,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators from across the state. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this great event.

Gladiator Assault Challenge

Saturday & Sunday, May 19 & 20 | All Day

Seven Oaks Recreation

Gladiator Assault Challenge is the Midwest’s premier test of endurance, speed, agility, strength, and mental stamina. The obstacle courses are a series of physically challenging obstacles, both natural and man-made, that individuals or teams must navigate. These courses will challenge you with running, climbing, jumping, crawling, balancing and mud, with the aim of testing overall endurance. All participants 21 and older get a complimentary beer!

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.