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Ankeny Summerfest 2018, Part II

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Welcome back to part II in our series highlighting ANKENY SUMMERFEST and some of our favorite/we-think-you-ought-to-know-about events!  As we mentioned last time, not only do we pride ourselves on being the “Ankeny Specialists” when it comes to real estate, but we’d like to think we know a little something about our community and it’s happenings, too.  So, without further ado, here are just a few of the, what we consider to be, can’t-miss events from SummerFest days 3 and 4 (July 14 and 15).

Read Part I {here}.

Saturday, July 14, is a day jam-packed with fun and activities for all ages and citizens with a wide variety of interests. 

The day begins with a bang as the SummerFest Grand Parade takes to the streets of Ankeny at 9:00 am.  As long-time patrons, we encourage parade-goers to find a spot along the route early, come prepared, and be ready to be entertained!

In its 20th year, the Cardboard Boat Regatta is among the most popular of SummerFest events!  The challenge to, “design and build a person-powered corrugated cardboard boat that is capable of racing, or at least floating, “ is not only exciting for participants, but is also highly entertaining (read: hilarious!) to watch.

Once again, no SummerFest evening is complete without a stop by the Leisure Garden where Damon Dotson and the Pork Tornadoes will be performing on Saturday.

Among much, much more, don’t forget to check out other Saturday events, such as: The Miss 16 Contest; Kiwanis Pancake Fest; Sand Volleyball, Slowpitch Softball, and Kickball Tournaments.

Even on its final day, SummerFest doesn’t let up on fun!  The events schedule is full, but a few of our Sunday favorites are:

Family Fun Day.

SummerFest 5k/1 mile run.  This is the perfect way to work off some of that fantastic fried food from the midway that you’ve been consuming all weekend!  Even better?  It’s for a great cause!

Fireworks!  The finale!  It’s a spectacular show...especially for those that choose to be up close and personal, viewing the fireworks from the Leisure Garden or Prairie Ridge Sports Complex!  These fireworks are the perfect way to celebrate another successful year of SummerFest!

And there you have it!  Our complete list of must-see/must-do 2018 SummerFest activities!  For the full schedule of events, details, and other general information, visit http://summerfest.life/.

Now, we want to know, are YOU planning a trip to SummerFest this year?  If so, what’s on your list of can’t-miss events?

Ankeny Summerfest 2018, Part 1

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we like to refer to ourselves as the Ankeny Specialists when it comes to Ankeny homes.  BUT, that doesn’t mean that our expertise ends with the real estate market. Nope! We are proud to be a long-time, Ankeny-based business, which means our community ties are strong and we are well-versed on all things Ankeny...including local events. 


This year’s ANKENY SUMMERFEST is right around the corner and we think you need to know about it!  However, this 4 day event (July 12 - 15) is just too BIG for us to cram into just one blog, which is why we’ve decided to make this a 2-post series.  Today we’re excited to share with you some of our favorite Summerfest activities, beginning with the events of the first 2 days (July 12 & 13), then finishing up with the final 2 days (July 14 & 15) in our blog post next week.  So, hang onto your hats -- this is going to be fun!

Summerfest 2018 begins with a Thursday evening chock-full of fun!  Here’s the rundown on what Day One has to offer:

  • Summerfest on-site carnival and vendors.  Runs Thursday, July 12 thru Sunday, July 15.  There are games, rides, and lots of attractions for the kids (or kids a heart!), as well as, plenty of foods, drinks, and vendors for those less interested in the Midway shenanigans. 

  • The ever-popular Leisure Garden will be playing host to the band, The Maytag on Thursday, July 12, from 8:00-11:00 pm.  As always, entrance to the Leisure Garden is free.
  • This year’s 3-On-3 Youth Basketball Tournament gets its start on opening day.  What an awesome opportunity to grab a couple buddies, lace up those sneakers, and begin your quest for 5th-8th grade total basketball domination! 

The Summerfest fun continues on into Friday with a full day of activities offered.  Some of our favorites include:

  • The Ankeny Alumni Association will be hosting its 15th Annual Golf Tournament at Otter Creek Golf Course.  This is a 4 person best shot tourney, with a $70 registration fee that includes a cart, lunch, and plenty of swag!  Details can be found {here}
  • This year’s Kiddie Parade is fully embracing the Summerfest theme of “Go Wild!” and we have no doubt that it’ll be full of fun and LOTS of kids! Kids (and parents) should meet in front of the Ankeny Schools Administration Building at 5:45 pm.  Judging begins at 6:15, with the parade to start soon after at 6:30.
  • Friday night’s Entertainment Garden band line-up continues with opener Royce Johnson, from 6:00-7:30 pm and headliner Casey Muessigmann from 8:00-midnight.

And there you have it -- just a FEW of our Summerfest favorites from Days 1 & 2.  To view a complete schedule of events and to learn more about all that Summerfest has to offer, visit their website at http://summerfest.life/.  Plus, don’t forget to stay tuned next week, when we highlight more of event favorites from Saturday and Sunday in our blog: Summerfest, Part II.

Ankeny Area Summer Bucket List 2018

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Ankeny parents everywhere, you may all breathe a collective sigh of relief right now, as we present you with the key to summer with kids!  We’ve done the work for you and created a list of fun, FAMILY FRIENDLY ANKENY AREA ACTIVITIES to keep the kids busy and your adventures exciting!


 

1. Fun in the Sun at Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center and Splash Park.

 

2. Testing the waters (including the Flowrider Surf Machine!) at Cascade Falls.

 

3. See a show by taking advantage of the reduced price movies at local theaters. 

 

4. Spend time with the family and see the sites at Ledges State Park.

 

5. The perfect spot to picnic AND enjoy art -- PapaJohn Sculpture Garden.

 

6.  Kirkendall Public Library summer reading program and frequent special events.

 

7.  Play while getting a spray at the American Legion Garden park.

 

8.  Another way to stay cool while burning some energy -- Dean Park in Prairie Trail.

 

9. Tackle Big Creek State Park’s ENORMOUS wooden playground!

 

10. Feed the ducks at Hawkeye Park.

 

11.  Take in all the fun activities of SummerFest, an Ankeny tradition.

 

12.  Catch a free flick on a warm summer night at Movie Under The Stars.

 

13. Ride the rides and see the sights at Adventureland Park.

 

14.  Have fun in, on, and around Gray’s Lake.

 

15. Get our play on with friends and neighbors at Ankeny’s All City Play Day.

Ankeny Movies Under The Stars 2018

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re huge fans of all the free fun that Ankeny has to offer.  And now that our sunshine-y summer weather has finally arrived, the fun is in full force! Topping the list of our favorite free family events in town are the Movies Under The Stars presented by Veridian Credit Union.

A free event open to the public, Movies Under The Stars, gives our community a place to come together on Friday nights, take in a show, and relax under the warm summer sky.  Movie-goers are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, bug spray, snacks, and lots of excitement for, what is sure to be, an enjoyable evening. Movies Under The Stars takes place at Wagner Park Bandshell, is free to attend (have we mentioned that?!?), and beings at dusk.

So, what fabulous flicks can you expect to see?  Here’s the line-up for the rest of this season.

June 8: Despicable Me 3 (PG)

June 15: Secret Life of Pets (PG)

June 22: Wonder (PG)

June 29: The Emoji Movie (PG)

July 6: The Jungle Book - 2016 (PG)

July 20: Leap (PG)

July 27: Coco (G)

From the Uptown Farmer’s Market and Ankeny Unplugged, to Movies Under The Stars, this city offers fantastic options for free family fun.  Check out Ankeny’s website for more ideas and information on all the fun to be had!  http://www.ankenyiowa.gov/

Ankeny Farmers' Market 2018

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you’re like us, then there’s a good chance that you’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for opening day of the ANKENY FARMERS’ MARKET.  Well, good news -- it is FINALLY here!  The Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market kicks off this Saturday, May 19 and, rumor has it, this year will be even better than the last!


The Uptown Ankeny Farmer's Market features homemade, homegrown, hand-crafted products and in-season produce. Not only is this open-air market known for the freshest locally grown produce, but each week boasts a variety of offerings. On any given Saturday, you can find meats, baked goods, cut flowers, starter veggie plants, and hanging baskets, along with prepared food vendors, local artists, and entertainers.  When it comes to vendors, no two weeks are the same -- which seems like the perfect excuse to never miss one!

So, what makes the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market unique?  Well, according to regular attendee, Kelly Munter (Ankeny), the small-town feel just can’t be beat!  “We love stocking up on our fruits, veggies, and bread for the week without fighting large crowds.  Not to mention, supporting local farmers, the Ankeny community, and our economy is of the utmost importance to us!” 

Well, when you put it like that, the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market sure sounds like a place we would all want to be! 


Where:

Ankeny Market & Pavilion Park

715 W 1st Street

 

When:

(May-September)

Saturdays May 19 thru Sept. 29, Closed July 7 for Summerfest

8:00 am to 12:00 pm

For more information visit www.uptownankeny.org

2018 Easter Events Around Ankeny

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

By now you know that at Ankeny Real Estate Service, we are passionate about supporting our community and its amazing, family-focused events! With Easter just days away, we wanted to give you a heads-up about two BIG events happening in or near the Uptown Ankeny area.

First off, you won’t want to miss out on the annual “Hop Into Uptown” event held TODAY, Thursday, March 29, from 5-6:30 p.m. in Uptown Ankeny (of course!). Visit the Easter Bunny at the Historical House, located on Southwest Third and School streets. Get your magic number (while supplies last!) and then find your egg at participating businesses.

The other HUGE event happening on Saturday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. is the Ankeny First United Methodist Church Easter Egg Hunt. You can find this huge Easter Egg Hunt at the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center at 1220 N.W. Prairie Ridge Drive in Ankeny. The Easter Egg Hunt is free (no cost) to children ages 2 through fourth grade, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Children are asked to bring their own Easter baskets. Over 8,000 candy filled eggs are scattered over two and a half acres of land adjacent to the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center. The Easter Bunny will be on hand and parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. New this year, there will be a specified area for children with physical and visual special needs!

This Easter Egg Hunt is a 20 year old tradition that began in the church’s courtyard, with only about 50 families attending. That attendance has steadily increased over the years and the event was eventually so large that is was moved to Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center.

Holiday Light Displays Around the Metro 2017

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Nothing says “Holiday Spirit” like grabbing a snack and some hot cocoa, then jumping in the car to take in the lights and sights of the season!  In and around the Des Moines metro, the choices are plenty when it comes to areas for your tour de lights.  We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of our faves! 

First up, the obvious: Jolly Holiday Lights in its 2nd year at a new location!  Drive through Adventureland to enjoy one of Central Iowa’s most beloved traditions!  Oh, and don’t forget a stop at Santa's Wish Shop where you can talk to Santa, get a snack or even snag some stocking stuffers! See link for admission prices and hours.

Next, we recommend planning a drive through of a few well-known Beaverdale neighborhoods!  Beaverdale Lights is a show of about 50 homes on Ashby and Wallace Avenues east and west of Beaver Avenue.  Some of these are historic homes with some serious holiday cheer!


One of the more popular light displays on this list, the entire Historic Valley Junction area, comes out with lights, Christmas icons, and tons of holiday cheer. They turn it on full force with more than 100,000 holiday lights strung around the shopping district.  You’ll want to get out of your car and walk around to take it all in!

While you’re out and about in Des Moines, see to it that your tour involves a drive to the Gingerbread House at 200 North Main Street in Grimes.  This is where Bob Jordan and his family set up their elaborate indoor and outdoor display every year. And just to put this one in perspective, the Jordan’s have so many lights that they beginning the decorating process in October!  A show said to use more than 1,000 feet of drop cord, the 2010 show used 127 plastic snowmen and 74 Santa Claus statues. The family gives all proceeds to the Special Olympics – a win, win in our book!

Up for just a little longer drive? Ted Lare Garden Center in Cumming is a great spot to see beautiful holiday lights. The garden center is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, including their large metal cactus by the front doors of the Center. Put the kids in their jammies, turn up the Christmas tunes and make the drive. They’ll be asleep when you get home!

Looking to stay a little closer to home, Ankeny friends?  Our town is proud to feature several well-lit neighborhoods known for their festive-ness and magnificent light displays! 

Perhaps the most popular is the famous Gingerbread Lane on Richland Court and the nearby Richland and Rio Circles. Rumor has it that Santa, Mrs. Claus, and four elves will be making an appearance on weekend evenings and collecting donations for the Food Bank of Iowa from 6-8pm. These neighbors have a story to tell and do so using lights and decorations! 


Called the city’s best kept Christmas light secret, some homes in The Country Club division boast beautiful displays and lots of holiday spirit, as well!

Of course, the well lit and decorated homes in and around Ankeny are too numerous for us to mention all.  But we want to know…Where have you found the best light displays and festive decorations?  We’ll be checking the comments and making sure to take your advice!

2017 Ankeny Holiday Event Round-Up

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Tis the season to spend time with family, friends...and your community!  Lucky for you, Ankeny is a town with lots of really special Holiday events happening soon, making that quality family/friend/community time a reality!  Below you will find a list of a few of our favorite must-see and do special events.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Mayor’s Tree Lighting

Kick off the Holiday Season at the third annual Mayor's Tree Lighting! New Location and addition of a fireworks finale for 2017!

Gary Lorenz, Ankeny Mayor and the City Council invite the community to the third annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting on Friday, Dec. 1, 6 – 7 p.m. This free event will be held at AMP located at 715 W. First St.

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting is an opportunity to come together as a community to kick off the holiday season. Mayor Lorenz and the Ankeny City Council will welcome guests at AMP starting at 6 p.m. The event will feature kids’ activities, an ice carving demonstration, music, Iowa Wild slap shot hockey and more. At 6:50 p.m. Santa will arrive to help the Mayor with the official tree lighting and the event will close with a spectacular fireworks finale. 

After the fireworks, Santa will travel to Porch Light Coffeehouse, 417 SW Third St., for a meet and greet until 8 p.m. Families are encouraged to return to Uptown Ankeny on Saturday for Christmas in Uptown, starting at noon.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ankeny Historical Society Christmas Cookie Sale

Need Christmas cookies, but don’t feel like doing the baking?


Christmas in Uptown Ankeny - Santa’s Treasure Hunt

See Santa and Mrs Claus at the Historical Society Barn, take your own pictures and get your token for the treasure hunt. Then stop into the Uptown businesses with a Santa Stop Sign for your treasure bag. Treats, specials, shopping, gift wrapping and horse drawn wagon rides.

Holiday Ho Ho Home Tour


Take a magical tour of six Ankeny homes that will be all decked out for the holidays. Each home will have their own unique decorations, style and appetizers to share! This annual event will benefit the Ankeny Service Center. 100% of all proceeds will be used to help those in the Ankeny and northern Polk County area. Get in the spirit and purchase your ticket today. This is an adults only event (ages 16+) tickets are also available at the door. The number of tickets is limited so don't delay! Ho Ho Ho!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ankeny Community Chamber Luncheon

This event is open to the public and requires tickets in advance.


Kick off the holiday season with the Ankeny Area Chamber's annual Christmas Luncheon! Join Ankeny Area Chamber members, their employees, and the community to celebrate the holiday season together. Enjoy lunch as musical entertainment and holiday cheer fill the air.

Is there someone that cannot make the event? Bring them back a Lunch To Go and share part of the festivities!

December 8 – 17

Ankeny Community Theatre’s production of A Christmas Chaos


The Royal Shakespeare Company hasn't arrived as promised to perform their stirring rendition of "A Christmas Carol." An intrepid band of hapless actors and technicians must put together their own production in only seven hours! The play is a hilarious backstage comedy that pokes fun at the classic novel and everything that can go wrong with a theatrical production. Written by Michael Wehrli.

Family Seasonal Comedy - Rated G for All Ages
Director: Scott Nielsen
Assistant Director: Lynn Arterburn

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the Library

Take your little ones for this event at our local library.  Let them visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, make a craft, watch a movie, and more from 6:00-7:30pm.

Santa's North Pole Village Craft Show 2017

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With the holidays less than 2 months away, now is the time to start that sh-sh-sh-shopping. But fear not, friends! Ankeny plays host to a HUGE annual event that makes the gift getting easy.  That’s right -- EASY!  With over 250 vendors, the Santa’s North Pole Village Craft Show is sure to have something for everyone. Even those hard to buy for people in your life!

The 36th Annual Santa’s North Pole Village is taking place this Saturday, November 4, 2017, so get it on your calendars and make plans now!  With between 5,000-10,000 visitors expected, this Ankeny Art Center fundraiser, is one of Iowa’s largest craft shows.  And, of course, that many visitors calls for multiple locations!  This year’s event will be held at Northview Middle School, Parkview Middle School, and Prairie Ridge Middle School.  Bonus: there is a shuttle service available for transportation from site to site!

From fine art crafters and “junkers,” to jewelry, candle makers, and more this is an event you do NOT want to miss!  So, here’s what you need to know:

36th Annual Santa's North Pole Village Craft Show

Saturday, November 4, 2017.    Hours: 9am-4pm

Admission: $5.  Shuttle bus available.

Three locations: Northview Middle School, Prairie Ridge Middle School and Parkview Middle School.

Cafeteria opens at 8 am and features an array of food vendors.

2017 IOWA STATE FAIR: OUR TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS TO DO

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With the IOWA STATE FAIR getting underway TODAY, we can’t help but to be thinking about all the fun (& food!!) an event of this grandeur has to offer.  And while there just aren’t enough hours in the day to talk about every single event, attraction, contest, food vendor, show, and activity available at the Iowa State Fair, we’d like to share our Top 10 favorite things to do!  So, let’s get started!

10. Take a trip down the Midway.  With attractions and rides galore, the Midway is open 10 a.m. to midnight each day of the fair. Thrill passes are available for purchase.

9. Visit the John Deere Agricultural Building. This building is the home to the butter cow (refer to #6), as well as, the largest fruits and vegetables, exciting floral contest, interesting animal exhibits (bees and ostriches -- woo hoo!), interactive displays for kids, and the Ag/Venture Trail’s 10 stops that highlight Iowa’s agricultural commodities.

 

8. Check out the Livestock Pavillion and everything the barns have to offer. From the biggest and best boars to live baby animal births, there is nothing boring about these barns!

7. Let the little ones experience Little Hands On The Farm.  This free, hands-on attraction is open daily and teaches children the importance of agriculture by letting them become the farmer.

6. No trip to the Fair is complete without a peek at the infamous Butter Cow!  An Iowa State Fair staple since 1911, the butter cow is a life-size replica of a dairy cow sculpted from 600 pounds of butter molded over a wood and metal frame.

5. Eat!  (Something on a stick, to be specific!)  With over 60 (!!) different foods on a stick and 200+ vendors, there is no shortage of options when it comes tasty treats.

4. Be entertained by some of Iowa’s finest at the Bill Riley Talent Search!  This yearly event focuses on showcasing the many talents of young Iowans and is sure to be a good show!

 

3. Take in a concert at the Grandstand.  From Flo Rida and Alabama to Little Big Town and Kid Rock, this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint!  Checkout the full concert schedule {here}.

2. Relax at the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.  This entire tent is devoted to Iowa based brewed beers.  More specifically, 33 beers, from 13 different breweries, plus 3 additional brews from 3 regional breweries.  And to top it off, there is even a locally brewed root beer available.  Stop by 9 a.m. to midnight daily.

 

1.  Finally, take time to people watch.  This great state is made up of all kinds -- from city-folk to farmers -- the Iowa State Fair attracts us all! And leave it to this awesome event to bring us all together!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 205