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Discover Ames: WelcomeFest to showcase over 40 local vendors

Discover+Ames%3A+WelcomeFest+to+showcase+over+40+local+vendors
Nicole Wiegand

Whether you are new to Ames or looking to see what the community has to offer, Iowa State’s spring WelcomeFest provides the opportune time to check out local businesses and snag some freebies.

This spring’s event will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Memorial Union.

“The goal of WelcomeFest is to help students discover all that Ames has to offer and build a sense of belonging in the Ames community,” stated Kristine Heflin, interim co-director and associate director of the Memorial Union for student engagement, via email. “Students can connect with local restaurants, banks, housing options, medical providers, nonprofit organizations and more.

Vendors will have information about their products and services as well as opportunities for engagement, employment, volunteering and more.”

WelcomeFest has been an integral part of the Iowa State community for more than two decades. The event provides an opportunity for many small businesses to receive recognition and establish their presence within the Ames community. 

New vendors for this spring’s event include the Ames Repair Café, ISU Alternative Breaks, Mustard Seed Community Farm and student-favorite food stand, Superdog. Returning vendors include OverflowThrift Store, Barefoot Campus Outfitter and Jethro’s BBQ. 

For those seeking to find living arrangements for the upcoming year, several housing vendors will be in attendance, providing rental options and information. Housing vendors to attend the event include Artisan Ames Apartments, Copper Beech Townhomes and The Quarters Ames.

Iowa State’s WelcomeFest events serve as a connecting piece between the university and the Ames community. Many local businesses rely on student businesses to remain operational and achieve success. Iowa State’s WelcomeFest provides the perfect opportunity for these businesses to showcase what they offer students.

“WelcomeFest can help students find the products and services they need whether that’s a place to live, their new favorite restaurant or a great haircut,” Heflin stated. “We are always reaching out to new vendors to expand the options for students and build connections with partners across Ames.” 

In addition to checking out and supporting various local businesses, students can pick up various freebies, food samples and coupons from select vendors. Revenue generated from WelcomeFest also helps to provide financial support for Iowa State student engagement programs.

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