3. Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival: The Internet can’t agree on whether hogs outnumber Iowans by 3-to-1 or 4-to-1, but the fact that bacon rules is an indisputable part of American life. If you disagree, the first of many questions we have for you is, “What the hell are you doing on this site?!”
4. Writers' Workshop: With literary heavyweights like Raymond Carver, Kurt Vonnegut, and Flannery O’Connor topping its impressive list of alumni, The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop is like the MIT of American prose.
5. Slipknot: A stretch, we know, but we’ve seen the alternatives Midwestern youth have to showing their allegiance to this nu-metal powerhouse by getting barcode tattoos on their necks, wearing weird masks, and banging on trash cans. They include cow-tipping, going to church, or, even worse, devoting their lives to Insane Clown Posse (thanks, Michigan!), so their rabid devotion to this masked band of weirdos seems tame in comparison. Plus, when they’re in town, your city is virtually void of their fans for a few hours. Thank them later.