A Rising Tide of Events at Water Works Park

The Des Moines Symphony will return to Water Works Park for two concerts in September. Photo: Des Moines Symphony.

This year, the steady stream of events at Water Works Park may swell into a full-on river. The park’s foundation and the party-planning gurus with In Any Event announced this week that the park will host a leisurely new sporting event called the Nice Tri, as well as the annual Oktoberfest, which is moving to the park after 18 years downtown.

Both events will take advantage of the newish Lauridsen Amphitheater, which opened in 2019 but got off to a slow start due to a soggy first summer and then the pandemic. But this year the park will be hoppin’. Here are the highlights:

May through October: Last fall’s pop-up Des Moines Biergarten is expanding to offer craft brews and German-style food 2-9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Bonus: Local bands perform every Sunday afternoon. Check dsmbeergarden.com for updates.

Starting May 5:The new Field Daze music series features a half-dozen concerts through July 20, including Styx on July 14.

June 3: The Iowa Craft Brew Festival showcases breweries from across the state.

July 4:The Nice Tri involves an unhurried lap around the lawn (bonus points for folks in flip-flops), a float across the pond and a bike ride as far as anyone cares to pedal.

July 9 and 16: The Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band bring their Music Under the Stars series to the Lauridsen Amphitheater. (They play their first four concerts, as usual, on the west steps of the state Capitol.

July 26:The spandexed RAGBRAI hordes invade for concerts, camping and carbohydrates.

Sept. 2-3:The Des Moines Symphony returns for two pops concerts.

Sept. 24-26:Oktoberfest overflows with beer, brats and the heart-thumping call of the polka. And you, dear reader, are willkommen!

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