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Des Moines

November 25, 2022

Established in 1851, Des Moines is the capital and the largest city in Iowa. Des Moines was initially known as Fort Raccoon but was eventually granted its current name as a nod to the river nearby. While these days Des Moines is a lively city, it had quiet beginnings. Believe it or not, from 1942 to all the way to 2009, local laws banned dancing overnight! Des Moines has also made its mark in pop culture news! Many probably remember (or at least hear of) Ozzy Osbourne’s “bat incident” during a tour in 1982. 

One of the most beloved tourist attractions in Des Moines is the Iowa State Fair, which takes place every year during the month of August. It has been estimated that almost one million people visit the fair each year, representing about one-third of the state’s entire population. One of the main reasons why so many people flock to the fair each year is the local culinary delicacies, which include apple pie on a stick and funnel cake sticks, among other high-calorie foods.

Des Moines Facts:

  • Des Moines has a population of approximately 214,133 residents.
  • Des Moines was first settled in 1843 when the construction of Fort Raccoon began in the area.
  • The city got its current name from the Des Moines River, which in French means “River of the Monks.”

Des Moines Attractions:

  • The Des Moines Blank Park Zoo is one of the most visited attractions in the city. In addition, the zoo houses three of the world’s remaining 10,000 red pandas.
  • Des Moines is home to the Iowa State Capitol, where the shiny golden dome is made with about 100 ounces of real gold.
  • Gray’s Lake Park offers visitors a wide array of trails and boat rentals so visitors can enjoy a relaxing moment on the lake.


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