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Shop Local for Valentine’s, Embrace the Blues + More in Downtown DSM This Week

Five Things to Do

Embrace the blues this week at the Winter Blues Festival in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), plus enjoy a celebration of African American food, arts and culture to kick off Black History Month, shop for your special someone at a local Valentine’s market and much more! Here’s a look at five can’t-miss events taking place over the next week:

Embracing Excellence Gala

Friday, Feb. 9 | World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
This black-tie event highlights African American food, arts and culture. This year’s Heritage Legacy Awards, taking place as part of the gala, will honor Dasia Taylor, Marquas Ashworth, BLK & Bold Coffee and Audrey Kennis. The awards provide statewide recognition for Iowans and organizations who exemplify, through their actions and community contributions, the mission of I’ll Make Me A World in Iowa — Iowa's African American Festival.

Embracing Excellence Gala 

Winter Blues Fest

Friday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 10 | Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Featuring 20 musical acts across two nights in Downtown DSM — if blues is your jam, you cannot miss this! The line-up includes Toronzo Cannon, Carolyn Wonderland, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Cashbox Kings and many, many more. Pro tip: Snag your tickets in advance, with weekend passes available, to receive the best deal!

Tippi Toes Dance Class

Saturday, Feb. 10 | Des Moines Public Library – Central Library
This free, high-energy class is great for kiddos ages two to 10 to participate! Kiddos can burn off some of that extra winter energy while trying something new. Pro tip: Free parking is available within the Central Library underground parking garage, up to two hours per visit!

Tippi Toes Dance Class 

Love is in the Village: East Village Valentine’s Market

Sunday, Feb. 11 | Des Moines Heritage Center
Love is in the air in the Historic East Village! Enjoy your fave local vendors and their wares, including gifts, flowers, art plants, coffee, food, vintage items and lots more. There will be more than 20 vendors on-site — including Oh High Bakery, Petals & Moss, Frederickson Press and Big Gay Candle Company, to name just a few. Be sure to pop by the polaroid photo booth (include a version for you and your furry friend!) and the free Valentine’s make-and-take station.

Valentine's Market

Capital City Pride: Brea Baker

Thursday, Feb. 15 | Temple Theater
Hear a first-hand narrative from Brea Baker, a queer and millennial woman of color, covering the heart of her mission with topics such as navigating the realms of race, gender identity, public safety and community. As the Director of Programs at Inspire Justice, Brea advocates for a comprehensive strategy to address the intricate challenges society faces. She champions progressive policies alongside a cultural landscape that honors and uplifts everyone's right to flourish.

Brea Baker

Looking for more? Here’s a list of five free things to do in Downtown Des Moines in February.

For these upcoming events and more, find tips on Downtown Des Moines (DSM) parking and navigation. For additional upcoming events, visit the Downtown DSM events calendar. Plus, follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.