Iowa’s second largest fair kicks it up a notch for 100th Anniversary

Those summer nights amidst Iowa’s soft breeze and humidity have been around for decades. The smell of fried food and the screams of delight from amusement rides and concert-goers have become a staple in late July and early August in the Quad Cities. It’s tradition–a one hundred year tradition–that we previewed the history of with coordinator, Vicky Speth. Through my preview, I learned that the fair has taken the spot of Iowa’s second largest fair (after the Iowa State Fair)  — an incredible honor for one of our favorite Quad Cities events. Among the historical displays, the fair will return with fan-favorite and fanatic new features for the 2019 season. 

Grounds Attractions 

The fairgrounds are full of life, laughs and splendor! Filled with crazy rides, corn-dog eating contests, cook-offs, pirate contests, music and more, I’m not sure what this fair doesn’t have. The best part will include the 100th year historical attractions in the Heritage House and in other venues on the grounds. You can always have fun and learn at the same time.

What else is headed to the fairgrounds this year? There are so many spectacular events, that even I can’t list them all! Check them out in the schedule below or head to the Mississippi Valley Fair website. 

Grandstand Shows 

The grandstand shows have boomed over the years, attracting artists like Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts, and Alabama. The fair upped its game this year with a hit of headliners gracing the stage. Throughout the week, you can see six incredible concerts for the average price of a single concert at a performance arena. These are artists (and experiences) you will not want to miss! 

Tuesday, July 30th –  Dan + Shay

Wednesday, July 31st – Brooks & Dunn

Thursday, August 1st – Jake Owen

Friday, August 2nd – Tesla 

Saturday, August 3rd – Nickelback 

Sunday, August 4th – Brad Paisley 20621331_10208776933134898_1698702891994123096_n


Music is a central part of the fair. While the grandstand holds larger performances, the fair solidifies the importance of music and Midwestern hospitality by opening up the pavilion to area artists. All afternoon and evening, QC and surrounding area bands will fill the summer breeze with tunes of their own. It’s so important to remember music at its roots and to know that local music is just as important as mainstream, world-wide music. Even if you feel like you’re just coming for the larger concerts or the rides, I will highly encourage you to come support and check out the bands from this area. They are highly talented and worth seeing. Check below for the schedule! 

Tuesday, July 30th 

4:00PM-7:00PM Hap Hazzard 

7:30PM-12:00AM Corporate Rock 

Wednesday, July 31st 

4:00PM-7:00PM: DM Project 

7:30PM-12:00AM: Wild Oatz

Thursday, August 1st

4:00PM-7:00PM: Crooked Cactus 

7:30PM-12:00AM: North of 40

Friday, August 2nd 

4:00PM-7:00PM: The Merchants

7:30PM-12:00AM: The Bingers 

Saturday, August 3rd

4:00PM-7:00PM: Moonshine Run

7:30PM-12:00AM: Nuclear Plowboys

Sunday, August 4th 

4:00PM-7:00PM: Stone Flowers 

7:30PM-12:00AM: Dirt Road Rockers

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and night

Farmer’s Tent 

The power of music at the Mississippi Valley Fair does not stop at the grandstand or local artists. This year the fair is bringing in other national talent to entertain fair goers during these hot summer afternoons and evenings. While these artists might not be as well known, they still pack a lot of fun and talent — and of course, a love for music. From a The Voice contender to an AC/DC cover band, the Farmer’s tent party is ready to roll! Each performer has an 8:00PM-12:00AM time slot.

Tuesday, July 30th – Jake McVey 

Wednesday, July 31st – Love Dogs 

Thursday, August 1st – Casey Muessigmann

Friday, August 2nd – Electric Shock 

Saturday, August 3rd – Tomb 



About the author

Katy Williams Henderson A life-long Quad Cities resident, Katy is a Preschool through 4th Grade ESL Teacher at a local elementary school. She attended St. Ambrose University, graduating in May 2018 with a B.A. in Elementary Education with ESL and Reading concentrations and an English minor. She is working on a Master's in Early Childhood Education. She loves running, traveling, cooking, working with kids, spending time with her husband and her family and friends, education, and putting a pen to paper. Her writing credits include the Dispatch-Argus Newspaper, Radish Magazine, Midwest Writing Center and being a writing tutor at SAU and now for The Princeton Review's

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