Des Moines Symphony’s 26th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops

Joseph Giunta
Supporting Sponsors
Additional Funding
Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 8:30 pm

West Terrace, Iowa State Capitol

Join us for the Des Moines Symphony’s 26th annual Yankee Doodle Pops, Iowa’s largest single-day concert event! This family-friendly and patriotic concert concludes with the area’s premier fireworks display over the downtown Des Moines skyline, and best of all, it’s FREE! Bring your picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs, or purchase food from an array of vendors at the concert.

This year’s concert, The Dream of America, celebrates the rich history and vivid dreams of our great country. Reprising a much-lauded performance from the 2018-2019 Masterworks season, the Symphony will perform a suite from Ellis Island: The Dream of America, an ambitious new work by Peter Boyer which blends theatre, narration, historical images, and music to portray immigrants in search of the American dream. Our nation’s vibrant heritage is brought to life in music as a cast of five actors perform short monologues from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. As always, the Des Moines Symphony will perform time-honored, patriotic favorites including the Armed Forces Salute, The Stars and Stripes Forever, and the 1812 Overture with live Howitzer cannons and fireworks.

View the Concert Program.

The winner of the Des Moines Symphony’s tenth annual “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” Competition, Andy Oakden, will open Yankee Doodle Pops with The Star-Spangled Banner. Andy studied opera performance at Waldorf College and Indiana University. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2011 as Lavitski in Boris Godunov, and has performed with New York City Opera, Opera de Nice France, Sante Fe Opera, and more.

Participate in the Yankee Doodle Drive Against Hunger by bringing a non-perishable food item to the concert, and receive a discount offer for the Des Moines Symphony’s 2019-2020 Masterworks Season.


FREE! No tickets required.


6:30PM: Concert Prelude
8:30PM: Des Moines Symphony’s 26th annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert

Live Broadcast and Streaming

Free Shuttle

  • Park and ride to Yankee Doodle Pops! DART will detour its FREE D-Line shuttle and extend its hours to 11PM on July 3 to accommodate Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops attendees.
  • Click here to view the DART map for Yankee Doodle Pops.

Bike Valet

Parking/Street Closures

  • Due to street closures and limited parking around the Capitol, we recommend using the FREE D-Line Shuttle or Bike Valet services.
  • Limited parking is available in designated downtown lots around the Capitol. The public is welcome to park in all lots with the exception of 13 and 21 – click here to see map
  • The following roads will be closed during the following times:
    • Penn/East 7thStreet – Locust Street to Grand Avenue (8:30AM Tue Jul 2 –  3AM Thu Jul 4)
    • Locust Avenue Bridge – Robert Ray Drive to 2nd Avenue (closed for construction)
    • Grand Avenue Bridge – Robert Ray Drive to 2nd Avenue (12:00PM Wed Jul 3 – 12:00AM Thu Jul 4)

ADA accessibility

  • Capitol lots 9 & 10 (near the intersection of Grand and Finkbine) will be available for handicapped parking. Only those with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) parking tags or plates will be allowed in these lots. Click here to see map
  • A drop off for those with physical disabilities is located at the corner of Grand Avenue and East 9th (Finkbine) Street.
  • Additional handicapped parking spots may be available in Capitol lots 1, 2, 8, 11, 15, 19, 24, PS1.

Food vendors (on Finkbine)

  • Benoit Concessions: Cheese curds, tater ribbons, giant tenderloins, chicken strips, fries, corn dogs, lemonade
  • Big Red Food Truck: Fried tacos, jumbo walking taco boats, shrimp tacos, beef and lamb gyros, mozzarella sticks, fresh squeezed lemonade
  • Boy Scouts Troop 141: Bottled water
  • Brandmeyer Popcorn: Kettle corn, gourmet popcorn, roasted nuts, soda, water
  • Hy-Vee: Burgers, brats, hot dogs, chips, soda, bottled water
  • Over the Top Ice Cream: Ice cream cones or cups
  • Pacific Rim Noodle House: Fresh soba noodles wokked with all fresh veggies, garlic, fresh ginger, & tossed in house blue-ribbon finishing sauce, fresh squeezed lemonade, lavender lemonade, limeade
  • Rita’s of West Des Moines: Italian ice, frozen custard, gelati
  • Roadside Tacos: Street tacos, walking tacos, nachos
  • The Outside Scoop: Ice cream cones or cups
  • Wild Bill’s Olde-Fashioned Soda Pop:  Nine flavors of fountain soda, daily refills with mug purchase
  • Willie’s BBQ: Ribs,  pulled pork, brisket, hot dogs, brats, turkey legs
  • Wings and More: Walking tacos, hot dogs, water, gatorade


  • For on-site medical needs, please visit the medical unit on Finkbine or a uniformed on-site police officer.


  • Interested in volunteering at Yankee Doodle Pops? Check out our SignUp page for available shifts. You’ll get great parking and reserved seating close to the stage!


  • For safety and security needs or concerns, please visit the Iowa State Patrol Command Center on Finkbine or notify a uniformed on-site police officer.
  • Members of the Iowa National Guard will set off four howitzer cannons, as designated in the musical score, during Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The cannons will be located in the west corner of the triangle bounded by the Public Safety Parking lot, Walnut Street and Finkbine.
NO fireworks or firecrackers YES all ages welcome
NO audio or video recording devices YES picnic baskets
NO alcohol YES blankets
NO smoking or illegal drugs YES strollers
NO laser pens or similar focused light YES lawn chairs
NO sparklers YES dogs on leashes
NO bicycles in Capitol grass/gardens YES sunglasses
NO unlicensed vending YES hats
NO weapons YES sun block


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