Thousands of high school musicians will gather at Valley Stadium Oct. 12, to compete in one of the state’s largest and longest-running marching band competitions as the 34th annual ValleyFest begins. ValleyFest, brings high school musicians from across the Midwest to Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, to compete for awards. "We have 34 bands this year coming from all across Iowa and Nebraska and it’s nice to see their families and fans travel far and wide to be here, to support the kids and the many thousands of hours of practice they put into each proud marching band performance," says Josh Waymire, Band Director, Valley High School.

Valley High School’s Marchmasters have received 51 Superior (Division I) consecutive state ratings in state marching competitions, but as host for ValleyFest, they will not compete; instead, they’ll perform in exhibition. "These young musicians often hold two-a-day practices starting at dawn, in all kinds of weather conditions. They not only have to sound great, they have to look great. The judges see everything and competition each year gets more intense; new music, costumes, challenging choreography and yet there’s always a surprise around the corner at ValleyFest," says Waymire.

The 34th annual ValleyFest is Oct. 12, starting at 8 a.m. at Valley Stadium, at 4440 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. Gates open at 7 a.m. Merchandise and food concession items will be available for cash purchase at various locations throughout Valley Stadium, staring that morning.

Ticket prices are set at three levels; an all-day value pass, which allows the ticket-holder to view all participating bands during the day and evening showdown, for $15. ValleyFest fans who wish to see only the day or only the evening "Show Down" performances, will pay $10. Student passes are $5 and Senior citizens are eligible for a two-dollar discount on all ticket prices. ValleyFest accepts cash, and ATMs will be available at the stadium.

"Valleyfest relies on the time and talents of community residents, parents and area music enthusiasts to run smoothly, so we encourage area residents who want to take in the music at ValleyFest34 to sign up for volunteer opportunities," says Waymire. Volunteers can sign up at:

All parking at ValleyFest is free near Valley Stadium at various locations including Valley Church and West Des Moines Christian Church lots, or as directed by ValleyFest parking attendants on the day of the event.

Back this year by popular demand, a special afternoon performance by the All District Marching Band Spectacular featuring the Marchmasters along with all West Des Moines School band students in grades 6th through 9th.

For additional questions or information about the 34th annual ValleyFest event, go to and click on the ValleyFest tab. Or, you can also follow event-day performances and awards on Twitter at @VHSMarchMasters or ‘Like’ us on Facebook at ValleyFest34.