Ames celebrates 150 years with first Dinkey Day event


Courtesy of the Ames Historical Society

The Dinkey train used to connect Iowa State’s campus with the rest of Ames. The Dinkey train began as an idea for a horse-car railway. It began running in 1891 and was replaced by buses in 1929. The Hub, the Dinkey’s terminal, is now a cafe and study spot today.

Patrick Budding

The Campustown Action Association and the city of Ames will host the first ever Dinkey Day on Sept. 26.

The annual event celebrates the Dinkey, the passenger train used to ferry ISU students and faculty from Ames to campus from 1891 to 1907. This year’s celebration will honor the 150-year anniversary of Ames being declared a city.

The event will be on the 200 block of Welch Avenue starting at 5 p.m. and lasting until 9 p.m. Live music, food and drink will be provided.

The event will include three live bands with Daisy Head Mazy starting at 5:15 p.m. Both Red Wanting Blue, who starts at 6:45 p.m., and Daisy Head Mazy are local Ames artists who have frequented Campustown in the past.

The headliner, Home Free, starts at 8:15 and was the season four winner of the TV show “The Sing Off.”

Kim Hanna, director of the Campustown Action Association, said she hopes that people of all ages will come to participate in the activities.

“It’s a family-friendly event,” Hanna said. “We’re going to have some inflatables and a mechanical bull set up in the activity area.”

Face painting will also be held in the US Bank-sponsored activity area.

Free commemorative cups with Ames logos will be given out, as well as free root beer and cream soda at the Kingland-sponsored soda fountain.

Hanna said there will also be seven different student organizations represented in the Cyclone Market, including ISU Rodeo, who will be helping with the mechanical bull.

Mary Misak, alumna and community outreach co-director for Dance Marathon, said Dance Marathon will have a booth at Dinkey Day.

“Dance Marathon is always looking for ways to reach out to the Ames community to spread the word about what we do to give back to the community that has given so much to our organization,” Misak said.

The Ames Historical Society will be at the celebration with a historical back drop depicting the more than a century old Dinkey train, as well as the historical train station at which students would be dropped off, which is now The Hub coffee shop on Central Campus.

The Ames Historical Society is also using the Dinkey Day celebration as an opportunity to showcase their new educational trailer, which was funded by the Ames 150 Legacy Foundation.

Dinkey Day is the third event in a series of celebrations to honor the 150 years that Ames has existed. Dinkey Day is set to honor the relationship that Ames has had with Iowa State University for more than 100 years.

The final event will be Dec. 17, which marks the official day that the first 12 blocks of Ames were laid in a grid.

If rain prohibits the event on Sept. 26, it will take place in the Ames City Auditorium.

“We are hoping to have a wonderful evening for outdoor music and fun,” Hanna said.