It's Almost Fairtime- How do you get to the Iowa State Fair?

DES MOINES, IA (08/06/2018) (readMedia)-- The 2018 Iowa State Fair kicks off Thursday, August 9, 2018. There are multiple ways to get to the Fair; Fairgoers can drive, take DART Park & Ride, use taxis, Uber and Lyft or come by bicycle.


Text FAIR to 75782 to get parking lot closure or other announcements sent to your mobile phone.

Northern Iowa - From I-35, take I-235 to Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Southern Iowa - From I-35, take IA 5/US 65 to Exit 79 then head west on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Eastern Iowa - From I-80 take Exit 141 (Hwy. 65 Bypass), travel south on Hwy. 65 to Exit 79 and head west on Hwy. 163 (E University Avenue) approximately three miles to the Fairgrounds. It is suggested that visitors enter the Fair parking lot at E 36th as a left-hand turn may not be allowed into the grounds at E 33rd at certain times.

Western Iowa - From I-235, take Exit 10A then head east on E University Avenue approximately four miles to the Fairgrounds.

Taxis, Uber and Lyft:

Taxis, Uber and Lyft will be available at Gate 8 for pick up and drop off.

DART Park & Ride:

Three Park & Ride locations are available, with free parking, from 8:30 a.m. to midnight each day of the Iowa State Fair. All buses will drop off and pick up at the DART Transit Hub at Gate 10 on the Fairgrounds.

1. Center Street Park & Ride, 7th and Center Streets

Enter Center Street parking ramp on 7th Street. Bus picks up at the corner of 6th Avenue and Center Street.

2. Iowa State Capitol, East 12th Street

Parking available at State Capitol visitor lots. Bus picks up on East 12th Street, directly east of the Capitol building. NOTE: On weekends, all State Capitol parking lots are available for DART Park & Ride parking.

3. Southeast Polk High School, NE 80th Street and Highway 163

Parking available in high school parking lots. Bus picks up at main door of high school and drops off at DART Transit Hub at Gate 10 on the Fairgrounds. This is a very popular Park & Ride location and fills up quickly each morning. If you're heading to the Fair in the late morning or early afternoon, you are encouraged to use the Center Street or Capitol Park & Ride locations. Please also be advised that as SE Polk fills up, there is a longer walk from further parking spots to the bus pick-up location. Overnight parking is not allowed at SE Polk High School. Vehicles will be towed after 2 a.m.

Round-trip Fares (cash or MyDART app passes only). All riders need a bus ticket to get to the Fair. No ticket needed for the return trip. One-way fares are available upon request. Show your Iowa State Fair advance admission ticket OR purchase your ticket in the MyDART app and receive half off the round-trip fare!

• $2 adults (ages 11+)

• $1 children ages 6-10, adults (65+), Medicare card holders and people with disabilities (half-fare)

• Children 5 and younger are free


Bicycle parking is available inside Gate 9 and 11 for free.

For more information on parking lot changes, or closures, please text FAIR to 75782. To see the daily program visit or download the new Iowa State Fair App.


Frequently ranked as one of the top events in the country, the Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair located at East 30th and East University, just 10 minutes from downtown Des Moines is Iowa's greatest celebration with a salute to the best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. "Nothing Compares" to State Fair Moments, August 9-19, 2018. For more information, visit or download the Official Iowa State Fair App.