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Ames City Council approves late April Campustown cattle show

Josue Aleman
Ames City Council Member Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen laughs during City Council Meeting, Nov. 28, 2023.

The Ames City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday to approve requests for the Campustown Showdown in April for a grand drive featuring twelve cattle from different categories on Welch Avenue.

Assistant City Manager Brian Phillips said this is the first time Ames has received a request for a cattle show.

“This is an event that we were approached about several months ago by the organizers who have successfully implemented this event in Manhattan, Kansas,” Phillips said.

Christian Calliham, Grand Drives’ founder and executive director, told the council that the company’s mission is to hold cattle events in “entertainment districts that provide consumers with an immersive experience.”

“We love merging the rural and the urban side of things and in a melting pot community like Ames to experience more and learn more about the beef industry,” Calliham said.

Calliham also said the company has held a cattle event for three years in Manhattan and that businesses this past year saw $500,000 in “economic impact.”

Maps from city documents showing road closures for the Campustown Showdown presented in the agenda of the Ames City Council Jan. 22, 2024 meeting.

According to the event’s website, the cattle show will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 19 at the Hansen Agricultural Student Learning Center and continue the following morning at 9:30 a.m.

Six events are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. April 20 in Campustown, including a fashion show, live music, market beef and breeding heifer show selections and a showmanship winners announcement.

Several weekend road closures are planned for the day of the Campustown event from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., including from Welch Avenue “approximately 100 feet south” of Chamberlain Street to Knapp Street and Hunt Street from Chamberlain Place to Welch Avenue.

Entries for the Campustown Showdown open Feb. 1 and are due by April 12. However, late entries will be allowed with an additional fee so that sign-up is available at the show.

Cactus receives liquor license, self-restricts alcohol sales after 10 p.m.

Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff presented to the council his recommendation to allow a 12-month license for Cactus with “50/50” status, among other parameters, following the closure of Cactus 2.

“Before [at Cactus 2], they made minors leave the premises at 10 p.m. Now they’re proposing they’re just going to discontinue alcohol sales after 10 p.m., which I think is actually a better plan,” Huff said.

In addition to restricting sales after 10 p.m., Huff said Cactus’ plan is for staff to complete training offered by the state, attend Ames Police quarterly bar meetings, monitor patrons to prevent the sharing of drinks and conduct their own “sting operations.”

Huff also explained to the council the history of violations at Cactus 2 but said he believes they have made adequate changes to how they handle the sale of alcohol since September.

“They’re actually opened right now; they’re just not serving any alcohol. When they start [50/50 status], if we immediately notice that that’s not working, I’ll revoke that 50/50 and say ‘No more, that’s not working,’” Huff said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the license, but Ward 2 Rep. Tim Gartin said he is “fatigued by the number of bars” that have undergone a liquor license review by the council.

“When I started on council, we didn’t have near this number of contested matters. This has really gone up in the last few years and I’m going to be very deferential to you, Chief,” Gartin said.

Overdue parking tickets will restrict vehicle registration

According to city documents, Ames has over $1.4 million in unpaid bills and just over $550,000 of that is parking tickets that are over 90 days overdue, dating back to 2015.

The council voted to enter a 28E agreement with Story County, preventing vehicles with overdue parking tickets from registering or renewing registration until the balance is paid.

Ames City Manager Steve Schainker said the council could decide “soon” on the minimum necessary payment to register a vehicle.

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