Downtown Ames plans summer events to entertain students, community members


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

A number of Main Street businesses are getting a facelift after being awarded grant money from the Ames City Council for improvements.

Katie Devore

While many students vacate Ames in the summer months, many stay and wonder what Ames has to offer. A farmers market, live music, art and a parade are events the Main Street Cultural District has planned for the summer of 2012.

Other happenings include late-night shopping until 8 p.m. on Thursdays, new bars such as Della Viti, construction and renovation of new and current businesses.

Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market

“This year’s market will be bigger, more dynamic,” said Tom Drenthe, executive director of the Main Street Cultural District.

The farmers market, which began last year, is extended to six months this year, beginning Saturday, and will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

The market includes more than 30 vendors, live entertainment and children’s programs. Stop by the farmers market to shop and buy local goods. Stay for local shopping and dining on Saturday afternoons.

“There is more to do when the farmers market is over; we have an entire shopping district and unique restaurants for people to try,” said Mandy McWherter, events coordinator.

Main Street Cultural District Art Walk

“It’s one of the most popular events that we do. Businesses sign up to participate and artists place and perform artwork in the businesses,” McWherter said.

Chocolaterie Stam will host the event from 5 to 8 p.m. June 1.

Tune in to Main Street Concert Series

Beginning May 24, local artists will perform a free concert at Tom Evans Park. The concert series also provides sidewalk shopping and food vendors. 

Ames 4th of July parade and festival

As many as 10,000 people come out for this parade each year. The event starts with a City Council pancake breakfast and Bill Riley Talent Search before the parade begins at 11 a.m. Local groups, bands and floats move into the Main Street Cultural District. The festival takes place after the parade on Burnett Avenue where food and activities will take place.