Which Des Moines Car Shows Should You Attend This Year?

Are you a car fanatic who lives in the Des Moines area? You’re not alone. You’re in good company. Des Moines has car shows all year round. As car fans ourselves, we make a point to attend most of the car shows here.

We used our years of experience attending Des Moines car shows to cultivate a list of the best car shows in the area:

1. Wild Wades Swap Meet

Wild wade

Next show date: March 15, 2020

Hosted at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Wild Wades Swap Meet is one of the biggest swap meets in Iowa. It’s well known for trading new and used engine parts from a variety of cars, including:

  • Stock cars
  • Drag cars
  • Street cars
  • Muscle cars

Vendors and show cars are everywhere at this event. Most of the cars showcased at this event are track cars and performance cars. You would find other types of cars there, though:

  • Stock cars
  • Sprint cars
  • Legend cars
  • Pro street cars
  • Open wheel race cars
  • NDR trucks
  • Mud race Jeeps
  • More

2. VHS Car Show Fundraiser

Valley high

Next show date: TBA

Valley High School in West Des Moines has been hosting an annual car show. It’s to raise money for their technology departments. The departments include welding, automotive, construction, and more. This family-friendly event features all makes and models. The quality and variety of the cars at this show is pretty impressive. Attending this show is a great way to spend quality time with your family and support a local school.

3. Saydel Wrestling Car Show


Next show date: TBA

This car show is another fundraising event for a local high school’s wrestling team. Saydel High School always does a good job organizing this car show. The variety of the cars showcased in this show is amazing. You would find:

  • Cars from every decade since the 1950s
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Lowriders
  • More

They give out fun popular choice awards, including:

  • Coolest Paint
  • Best Engine
  • Most Unique
  • I Really Wanted One of These in High School
  • Most Likely to Get Pulled Over
  • Kids Choice

4. Karl Kustoms Summer Nights


Next show date: TBA

This is our very own car show! We host this event often in the summertime. It’s a get together for car fanatics like us. We talk about cars, drink beer, enjoy music, eat good food, and share stories. Best of all, anyone can park their treasured car and show it off. We’ve seen all kinds of cars, including:

  • Rat rods
  • Hot rods
  • Cruisers
  • Classic cars
  • Muscle cars
  • New cars

All makes and models are welcome. We love to see trucks and motorcycles, too.

5. Concrete Cruizers Car Show

Concrete cruize

Next show date: May 16, 2020

The Concrete Cruizers Car Club has over 200 members. The members own a variety of cars, mostly classic cars. They host an annual car show on the 3rd Saturday of May every year. While all kinds of cars are welcome, most of the cars at this show are classic vintage cars.

Most of the proceedings from all their shows go to charities. They usually donate to charities that involve children. The Concrete Cruizers Car Club has been around since 1988, and they’re a great group of people to be around.

6. Ride To A Cure Car Show

RIde cure

Next show date: TBA

Want to help fight breast cancer? Bring your whole family to the Titan Tire Facility! The Ride to a Cure Car Show is a family friendly event that involves:

  • Haystack rides
  • Fun fall activities
  • A car show

The car show features all kinds of cars:

  • Classic cars
  • New cars
  • Hot rods
  • Rat rods
  • Everything in between

It’s a free event, but you’re welcome to make donations. All the funds will go to supporting breast cancer research at the John Stoddard Cancer Center.

7. Des Moines Concours D’elegance

Des moines

Next show date: TBA

This one-of-a-kind event is an invitation-only show (for the cars, not the attendees.) Over 100 vintage and classic vehicles are exhibited. Attendees enjoy seeing cars that are true to their time and kept in their glory. You would see classic cars (like Ford’s Model T). You’d also see old cars with futuristic designs. It’s a neat event for car fanatics and history buffs alike.

The organizers of this event donate the proceeds to charities. In 2019, they donated the proceeds to the Children’s Cancer Connection.

8. Fall Family Festival Car Show

Fam fest

Next show date: TBA

When autumn rolls around every year, head on over to the Grace Church. They host an annual Fall Family Festival. It’s a family-friendly festival with all kinds of activities. The activities include inflatable games and face painting. The festival also has a car show that’s open to all makes, models, and years.

9. All Ford Show

All ford

Next show date: June 7, 2020

If you’re a Mustang fan, this car show is for you. You will find all kinds of Mustangs at this show. They feature other Ford models, too, but Mustangs are the main focus. 2020 will be their 41st year doing this show. This show offers 39 voting classes with handmade trophies for each class. If you have a pristine Mustang (or another Ford) sitting in your garage, you should consider showing it off at the next All Ford Show.

10. Central Iowa British and European Auto Fest

Central fest

Next show date: June 7, 2020

Are you a sucker for British and European cars? So are we. You’ll love this car show, which is exclusive to British and European cars of all ages. The awards offered at this show are:

  • Best British Car
  • Best European Car
  • People’s Choice
  • Picker’s Choice
  • Cops Against Cancer “Never, Never, Never Give Up” award

This show benefits the Cops Against Cancer charity. The Pickers Knows Antiques store in West Des Moines hosts this show every year.

11. Goodguys Heartland Nationals


WebsiteNext show date: July 3-5, 2020

The Goodguys Heartland Nationals is one of the biggest car shows in America. They tour all over the United States all year round. In 2020, they’ll be in Des Moines between July 3 and 5. Are you ready to celebrate the 4th of July with the good guys? We are!

12. Harley & Hot Rod Celebration

Harley hotrod

Next show date: TBA

This show mostly has Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but it also has hot rods and other types of cars. Even if you’re not that into motorcycles, you should still visit because it’s at the Harley-Davidson barn right off I-35. It’s a cool place to visit. Bring your kids too, because there will be a bounce house, a balloon artist, gold cart races, and more.

The Harley & Hot Rod Celebration has five different categories for cars and trucks, as well as top 20 people’s choice winners.

13. Cruise to the Carousel


Next show date: TBA

The Rollin’ Relics Car Club hosts this car show every year. You would find all makes and models here, stock or modified. All proceeds benefit the Heritage Carousel. It’s a nonprofit organization with a turn-of-the-century replica carousel.

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