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Cajun Fest: The Midwest Mardi Gras in Downtown DSM

Cajun Fest 2023

April 20, 2023

Are you ready to spice up your summer? Join us at Cajun Fest, the ultimate Southern-themed food and music festival, right in the heart of Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Going into its fifth year, Cajun Fest will take place on Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Cowles Commons and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

What to Expect

Enjoy some Southern classics with our gumbo and jambalaya, hurricanes and crawfish flown in straight from Louisiana. Camp Cajun returns this year with all the fun activities for your kids, including face painting, bead making, crown making and more. Plus, the NOLA Jazz Band and The Swampland Jewels will take the stage again, playing Southern tunes all day long. We'll also be tossing some new and exciting pieces into the mix with the addition of The Matt Woods Band rounding out the live music line-up, a spicy food contest, crawfish races and our first ever crowning of the Cajun King and Queen!

Face Painting at Cajun Fest

Best of all, Cajun Fest is partnering with St. Vincent De Paul, a local nonprofit focused on ending community poverty, to create a unique model for philanthropy. Come join us for the Midwest Mardi Gras at Cajun Fest!


General admission for Cajun Fest is $50, which includes crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, muffulettas, hotdogs (for the less adventurous) and beignets. VIP tickets are $100, which also includes a private space to enjoy the festivities along with table service, private restrooms, spots to throw beads to the crowd and, as usual, first drink with specialty beads on us!

Cajun Fest Kiss

If you’re bringing friends, purchase a group of two tickets for $90 or a group of four tickets at the low price of $170. Children under 10 are free but must be registered along with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Find out what to expect at this year’s event by watching highlights from Cajun Fest Iowa 2022.


For more information about Cajun Fest, check out cajunfestiowa.com. You can also find updates on Facebook and Instagram.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is on the Marketing Committee for Cajun Fest. She enjoys creating a fun community event with her friends and developing strategies to increase ticket sales. Maddie is also a Talent Development Partner at American Equity, where she helps employees reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.