Shots from Studio 3 LIVE, Roadtrip Iowa, Gardening with Steil and Tractor Wars

Festival 2024 Programming Highlights

Celebrate Iowa during Iowa PBS Festival and invest in all that you love about Iowa PBS: high-quality programs, enriching educational programs for children, hours and hours of how-to programs to spark your creativity, science and cultural programs that feed your curiosity, and dramas and mysteries that bring you pure delight. 

It's very easy to do. Simply donate what feels right to you.

This week, be sure to check out these programs in Festival 2024:

Freddie Mercury: The Tribute Concert, Friday, March 1 at 10 p.m. — In April 1992, the surviving members of Queen took the stage of London's legendary Wembley Stadium for a tribute to Freddie Mercury.

Social Security & You With Mary Beth Franklin, Sunday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m.  — Mary Beth Franklin guides viewers on securing their retirement funds with tips and advice on making the most of their social security benefits.

Tractor Wars, Sunday, March 3 at 7 p.m. —  This Iowa PBS production follows the fascinating battle to develop a reliable tractor in the early 1900s.  

There's always something for everyone on Iowa PBS. 

Check out the new Festival 2024 gifts. It's just our way to say thank you for supporting Iowa PBS. 

Head up to Boone and take a train ride on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad or team up with another friend and ride the rails on a Rail Explorers Tandem vehicle that you pedal yourself. 

Take a day tour to see the Covered Bridges of Madison County or the many historical sites in Mason City and Clear Lake or your favorite sites in Des Moines. You'll never stop learning when you take an adventure with Iowa PBS. 

\Would you like to see how tractors are made? Sign up for the Totally Tractors day tour in Waterloo where you'll visit the John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations and the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Iowans spend the day enjoying the Iowa State Fair. This year, Iowa PBS is giving you a behind-the-scenes and in-depth tour of the State Fairgrounds — minus the crowds! 

How about indulging your curiosity in cooking? You'll hop on a luxury motorcoach and be chauffeured to three interesting kitchens: Dotdash Meredith, where recipes for your favorite food are tried and tested, the Culinary of Institute of Iowa, and the Barksdale Cookies Kitchen. It's a day tour you'll long remember. 

Festival 2024 is the opportunity for you to support the great programs you value on Iowa PBS. Your support fuels all we're able to do. Take a moment to donate today — you'll be glad you did! And, be sure to check out all of the wonderful ways we have to thank you for your donation.

In a world filled with an overwhelming amount of TV to watch, Iowa PBS stands out as the best of the best and offers a carefully selected roster of programs that inform, inspire and entertain. So, mark your calendars, set your reminders, and get ready for a thrilling adventure this February. Additional program highlights and schedule:

Iowa PBS Productions

  • Gardening with Steil, Saturday, February 24 at 4 p.m. — Aaron Steil and Cindy Haynes discuss plant passions such as bonsai and daylilies, tour an herb garden and unique water-wise garden, show how to set up a worm composting bin, and learn about the future of autonomous mowers.
  • Road Trip Iowa: Series Preview, Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. — Take an adventure across Iowa’s scenic byways, enjoying the historic sites, unique attractions and natural beauty along the way during this preview of Iowa PBS’s upcoming new series.
  • Studio 3 LIVE: Best of Season 1, Friday, February 23 at 9 p.m. — Mickey Davis takes viewers on a musical journey through the 10 acts featured on season 1. Watch interviews and performances from Elizabeth Moen, James Tutson, Adeem the Artist, William Elliott Whitmore, Avey Grouws Band, Bad Bad Hats and more.
  • Tractor Wars, Monday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. — In 1909, hundreds of companies were trying to bring powered implements to America’s farms. By the 1920s, Deere, Ford and International were in a battle to develop a reliable tractor that would become part of everyday agriculture.

Arts and Entertainment

  • ’70s Soul Superstars, Saturday, February 24 at 10 p.m. — Join Patti LaBelle for an all-star reunion of the legends of 1970s Motown, R&B and soul.
  • All Creatures Great and Small: On a Wing and a Prayer, Sunday, February 18 at 8 p.m. — James tries to get home for Christmas and Skeldale House prepares for a new arrival.
  • American Pop Flashback! Great Hits of the ’60s and ’70s, Saturday, February 24 at 8:30 p.m. — Hosted by Micky Dolenz, this special celebrates the feel-good songs of the ’60s and ’70s with a dazzling cavalcade of stars including Glen Campbell, The Osmond Brothers, Lesley Gore, Bill Medley, Crystal Gayle, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Tony Orlando, and others.
  • Bee Gees: One Night Only, Saturday, February 24 at 7 p.m. — Enjoy the group's 1997 concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. One of the very few Bee Gees performances ever filmed, the music special showcases many of their greatest disco and pop hits.
  • Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name, Sunday, February 25 at 7 p.m. — Join the legendary performers in a look back at their decades-long careers and ongoing partnership. This special features performances of King’s classics, including “It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away” and Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” “Fire and Rain” and many more.
  • Celtic Woman 20th Anniversary Concert, Sunday, February 18 at 6 p.m. — Celebrate 20 years of spectacular Irish music with a new concert filmed at the Helix in Dublin. With fan favorites, new arrangements and stirring originals, this emotional evening features a stellar lineup of eight world-class Celtic Women.
  • Charley Crockett: Live From the Ryman, Saturday, March 2 at 10:30 p.m. — Grab a front-row seat to the country and blues singer's first-ever show at the fabled auditorium in downtown Nashville, a sold-out celebratory event. Crockett performs songs from his deep catalog along with his ace band, The Blue Drifters.
  • Freddie Mercury: The Tribute Concert, Friday, March 1 at 10 p.m. — In April 1992, the surviving members of Queen took the stage of London's legendary Wembley Stadium to announce the start of one of the biggest events in rock history: a tribute to the incomparable Freddie Mercury with a glittering array of guests. This concert special captures that historic event.
  • Johnny Mathis: Wonderful Wonderful!, Saturday, February 24 at 5:30 p.m. — Recorded in 2006 in Atlantic City, pop-vocal legend Johnny Mathis displays the silky-smooth croon that made him a star.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Celebrating 50 Years, Recorded Live at the Ryman, Saturday, February 17 at 10:30 p.m. — As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, Lynyrd Skynyrd played their greatest hits at the Ryman Auditorium in November 2022.
  • Marcus King: Live in Nashville, Friday, February 23 at 10:30 p.m. — Buckle up for a "country-fried, psychedelic, honky-tonkin', rock 'n roll, soul music" concert with King and his band. Known for his unparalleled performance prowess and a dynamic live show, King shoots from the hip and plays straight from the heart.


  • America: The Land We Live In, Wednesday, February 28 at 9:30 p.m. — Take a modern-day adventure to rediscover America’s hidden treasures and forgotten national wonders through the lens of a 19th-century travel guide. Follow the clues as the hosts uncover the “then and now” of each 150-year-old location.
  • America’s Home Cooking: Gadgets & Gizmos, Saturday, February 24 at 10:30 a.m. — Host Chris Fennimore presents recipes showcasing popular kitchen gadgets, including the slow cooker, air fryer and instant pot.
  • An American Family at 50, Monday, February 26 at 9:30 p.m. — First broadcast in the 1970s, this series was unlike any program before it. This special revisits the original series and explores the impact it had on the films and programs that came after it.
  • Armenia, My Home, Saturday, March 2 at 5:30 a.m. — Experience spectacular aerial and ground views and cultural revelations of a country like no other in a virtual tour of Mount Ararat, Khor Virap, Yerevan, the Genocide memorial, and more, with Eric Bogosian, Peter Balakian, Michael Aram and others.
  • Italy Made With Love: Generations, Saturday, February 24 at 9 a.m. — Explore the passion and pride of Italian artisans, from hatmakers in Tuscany to truffle hunters in Umbrian forests to pasta chefs in Bologna. These stewards of tradition pass down their finely honed skills from one generation to the next.
  • Living Wild: Plant-Spiration With Hilton Carter, Saturday, February 24 at 2:30 p.m. — Discover the art of creating stunning indoor greenery with the influencer and author’s helpful tips and expert advice. Learn about the many benefits of cultivating a love of plants and turning a home into a beautiful living oasis.


  • Raising Mentally Strong Kids With Daniel Amen, M.D., Sunday, February 25 at 6 a.m. — Dr. Daniel Amen will share 7 Core Conversations to help parents and grandparents raise happy, responsible and mentally strong kids.
  • Social Security & You With Mary Beth Franklin, Sunday, February 25 at 10:30 p.m. — Mary Beth Franklin guides viewers on securing their retirement funds with tips and advice on making the most of their social security benefits.
  • Supercharge Your Brain: Maximizing Your Cognitive Abilities, Saturday, February 24 at 6 a.m. — This program shows the science and research behind how lifelong learning can improve neuroplasticity and memory, help prevent cognitive decline and reduce stress.