Arts Festival Returns to Valley Junction

An aerialist from Cirque Wonderland performs for attendees at a previous festival. Photo: LaMont Copeland Photography.

Writer: Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

After the past few quiet seasons, West Des Moines’ Valley Junction is back in business. The farmers market has returned on Thursday nights, the recent Cinco de Mayo festival honored the neighborhood’s century-old Mexican heritage, and this Sunday, May 15, the annual Valley Junction Arts Festival will take over Fifth Street.

“The arts festivals took a hit during the pandemic, so the people who show their work now have an abundance of stuff to sell. They’ve been kind of cooped up this whole time,” says Larry Kaster, event coordinator for the Historic Valley Junction Foundation.

In addition to 50 exhibiting artists from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin, this year’s event will feature break dancing by the Des Moines Breakers, aerialists from Cirque Wonderland, and a handful of local singer-songwriters. The festival in one Iowa’s 55 designated Great Places is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m., rain or shine.

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