City Council Night to return at Bandshell Park


The Ames Municipal Band performs in the bandshell during the 1930s.

Kelly Snawerdt

City Council Night, a traditional Ames summer event, creates an opportunity for community members to meet their City Council members while they hand out ice cream and city of Ames water. The event returns this year and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Bandshell Park.  

According to a press release from the city of Ames, the event will have a brief recognition of the 125th anniversary of public power in Ames at 7:55 p.m., followed by the Ames Municipal Band concert with featured guest soloist Simon Estes singing bass baritone at 8 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the new Durham Bandshell lighting project will also be recognized.

The citizens of Ames voted to approve a bond issue of $12,000 for the construction of a municipal power plant at the regular City Council meeting in 1896, and this vote was also the first election to include women. After the vote was favored with 298 citizens to 40 opposed, the site of the current Ames Power Plant was purchased from E. Lougaran for $250, according to the press release. 

E.F. Clinton was then appointed as superintendent of the new utility, and the city of Ames purchased a 150-horsepower engine, a 150-kilowatt generator and two 100-horsepower boilers for the original plant. This specific project needed $5,000 borrowed from the general and water funds to finish, according to the release.

Ames Electric Services is planning small celebrations throughout 2021 along with a partnership with the Ames History Museum to showcase public power artifacts. According to the release, the Bandshell, constructed originally in 1935, was upgraded recently to include state-of-the-art LED lights with color-changing capabilities, and these upgrades add a “new dimension” to concerts and performances while meeting safety code.

The release said the Ames Municipal Band performs at 8 p.m. every Thursday through July at Bandshell Park, depending on the weather. These events are free, and the public is always encouraged to come out and enjoy the activities.

If weather is not acceptable for City Council Night, it will be rescheduled. For more information about Ames events along with timely content regarding weather, visit the city of Ames website.