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5 fun things to do this summer in Iowa

By Blaine Williams
On April 27, 2012

With spring semester winding down, attention is turning to summer. Here are some suggestions for fun things you can do this summer without having to travel far.

1. Go to an outdoor festival

Check out the 20th Annual Marion Arts Festival on May 21. Go see the "Art in the Depot" public art project, watch 5,000 people race through uptown Marion and partake in live music, specialty foods and off-beat artist demonstrations. The festival is located at 1225 Sixth Ave. in Marion.

2. Attend a July Fourth celebration

Have a blast at Clear Lake's Fourth of July Celebration, which will run from June 29 to July 5. The celebration will include a midway, carnival, amusement rides, bingo, a large craft show by the lake, live music nightly, a traditional Independence Day parade and a fireworks show. For more information, visit www.clearlakeiowa.com.

3. Go to an amusement park

There are more than 100 amusement parks to visit in the United States. You don't have to travel far to enjoy one. Visit Adventureland in Des Moines. Be sure to check out Adventureland's Adventure Bay with its newest attraction, Breaker Beach, billed as Iowa's largest wave pool.  For more information, go to www.adventureland-usa.com.

4. Check out RAGBRAI XL

Heading into its 40th year, The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa bills itself oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. Cyclists will pedal from Sioux Center to Clinton in a seven-day ride scheduled July 22-28. The riders will be stopping in Cedar Rapids on July 26. The city has announced plans to host a special celebration that evening titled "Celebrating 40 Years of Iowa." For more information on RAGBRAI, visit www.ragbrai.com.

5. Attend the Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair in Des Moines will run Aug. 9-19. The fair features free entertainment plus stage shows. On Aug. 9, TobyMac will be performing with special guests Tenth Avenue North and Jamie Grace. Tickets are $32. On Aug. 11, Larry the Cable Guy will perform along with special guest Reno Collier. Tickets are $35. Other confirmed acts for this summer include The Band Perry, Big Time Rush, Hank Williams Jr. and Rascal Flatts. For more information, visit www.iowastatefair.org.


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