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Ankeny SummerFest, Part II

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Welcome back to part II in our series highlighting Ankeny’s 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 13 and 14).

Read Part I {here}.

Saturday, July 13, 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 to be entertained!

●In it’s 16th 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 bands like Throwing Toast and the Standing Hamptons 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 Breakfast; Sand Volleyball, Slowpitch Softball, and Bags Tournaments.

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

Ankeny Optimist 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!

Corks & Caps: Iowa Wine and Craft Beer Festival.  A perfect opportunity to check out wineries and breweries from all over Iowa!  Tickets are available at the door!

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 2013 SummerFest activities!  For the full schedule of events, details, and other general information, visit www.ankenysummerfest.org.

 

Ankeny Summerfest, Part I

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 11 - 14) 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 11 & 12), then finishing up with the final 2 days (July 13 & 14) in our blog post next week.  So, hang onto your hats, this is going to be fun!

Summerfest 2013 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 11 thru Sunday, July 14.  There are games, rides, and lots of attractions for the kids (or kids at 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 (yet again!)  to the band, The Rumbles on Thursday, July 11, from 7:30-11:00 pm.  As always, entrance to the Leisure Garden is free.

●This year’s 3-On-3 Youth Basketball Tournament gets it’s 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 it’s Tenth 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}

●The Bill Riley State Fair Talent Show, presented at Prairie Ridge School Stadium.  Be there at 7:00 pm and be prepared to be wowed by some of Ankeny’s wicked-awesome talent!

●This year’s Kiddie Parade is fully embracing the Summerfest theme of “Get Loud” and we have no doubt that it’ll be just that...plus LOTS of fun! Kids (and parents) should meet in Uptown Ankeny at 6:00 pm.  Judging begins at 6:15, with the parade to start soon after at 6:30.

●Friday night’s Leisure Garden band line-up begins with Abby Normal from 6:00-8:30 pm, then continues from 8:45 to 11:45 pm with Summerfest-newbie Fahrenheit

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 www.ankenysummerfest.org.  Plus, don’t forget to stay tuned for next week when we highlight more of event favorites from Saturday and Sunday in our blog: Summerfest, Part II.

Rain Barrel Watering System (a great addition to your raised garden!)

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Now that you’ve had a full week to research, design, build, and plant your own raised garden bed, you’re probably ready to install those environmentally friendly rain barrels and watering systems that you see everywhere!  Right??  Ok, ok, maybe you’re not there quite yet, but if and when you are, this is the post for you! 

Here is how one of your own Ankeny Real Estate Service team members added a rain barrel watering system to a raised garden bed.  Plus, keep reading to the end of this post for a couple great resources for those of you thinking of investing rain barrels!

“Through a little research, some trial and error, and a consultation with our local Menards specialist, we came up with a system that has proven to be, not only useful, but downright simple. It’s an arrangement that has encouraged us to spread the word about the ease and benefits of rain barrel watering systems.  Here’s a little bit about what we’ve done, our set-up, and what has worked for us.  Hopefully, you too, can recognize the simplicity and relief a rain barrel system can provide.

First, we purchased our rain barrels from Menards, and then connected them to the downspout using a valve system (also purchased from Menards).  All 3 barrels are joined using PVC piping so that once one fills, it will overflow into the next, and so on. Which brings me to my next point...it is wise to have some sort of overflow system for when your barrel (or barrels!) fills -- and it will (likely much sooner than you anticipate!)!  This means that it is a good idea to have a hose or something similar connected to the last barrel, so that when your barrels are full, then the excess will have a place to run. 

Next, we positioned our barrels at the top of a hill, along the side of our garage, and above garden level so that we could utilize gravity to water our soon-to-be sustenance.

Finally, we connected to the last rain barrel to a soaker hose (3, to be exact) that runs throughout the garden beds. That way, when we are ready to water, all we need to do, is open up the flow system from the barrels and let gravity work its magic!”

So where should YOU start?  Great news! Ankeny now offers a stormwater management (rain barrel) reimbursement program that you might find worth looking into.  In addition, Polk County Conservation offers a rain barrel workshop, which provides all materials and tools necessary for your system.  There are so many resources available to people interested in going green, making a difference, and utilizing the resources readily available to us.  Do us all a favor and take that first step!

Raised Garden Beds

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Gone are the days of traditional, space-wasting, hard to water gardens.  Raised garden beds are latest trend in horticulture.  And it is one that has homeowners, even those with limited lot sizes, testing out their green thumbs, reaping the benefits (fresh produce -- yum!) and enjoying the results!  The perks of garden boxes are countless, but among the most praiseworthy are:

● Fewer weeds.

● Better water retention in sandy areas and more favorable drainage in areas with clay-based soil.

● Warmer soil earlier in the season that stays warmer longer.

● Less soil erosion.

● Prevention of soil compaction.

● Improved pest control.

● Ease of accessibility to reach each plant.

● Aesthetically pleasing.

Speaking of ease and aesthetics, check out these easy-on-the-eyes raised beds from two of your own Ankeny Real Estate Service team members!

Now you’re probably asking yourself, where I can learn how to make a raised garden bed (or 2, or 3!) of my very own?  And since we’re all about helping you make your house a home, we gathered a few good resources on raised garden box building for your convenience.  Check them out, give it a try, and let us know how it goes! 

 

How to make a raised garden bed: http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/ultimate-raised-bed-how-to-00400000011938/

A video tutorial from National Gardening on how to build your own garden box:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuTYXmy4Yb0

Soil calculator from Gardener’s Supply Company so you know exactly how much soil you need:

http://www.gardeners.com/Soil-Calculator/7558,default,pg.html

And a great resource on when to plant your seeds:

http://sproutrobot.com/

Finally, an all-round great, chock-full of information article:

http://eartheasy.com/grow_raised_beds.htm#c

Movies Under The Stars: Free Family Fun in Ankeny!

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 is 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 begins at dusk.

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

June 14 - Shark Tale (PG)

June 21 - Cool Runnings (PG)

June 28 - Little Big League (PG)

July 19 - Spy Kids 1 (PG)

July 26 - Beethoven (PG)

August 2 - HOP (PG)

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 Unplugged

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Mark your calendars now!  Ankeny Unplugged starts this Saturday and runs throughout the month of June.  Take it from me, Ankeny area residents, this is an event you DON’T want to miss!

Featuring hot local and regional musical acts, Ankeny Unplugged offers a unique opportunity for friends and neighbors to come together.  This one-of-a-kind music fest has thought of it all -- good music, delicious food vendors, unique arts and crafts, refreshing beverages, sweet confections, a free bicycle valet, and more!

So, what more do you need to know?  Here are a few more details:

● This year’s concert series will take place the first four Saturdays in June at the Bandshell at Wagner Park (410 West First Street).

● Doors open at 4pm and bands take the stage from 5 to 9pm.

● Tickets are $3 at the door OR you can purchase an advance ticket and drink for $6 {here}.  Kids 12 and under are free.

● Ankeny Unplugged is organized by the Ankeny Jaycees, and sponsored by The City of Ankeny.

● This year’s musical lineup can be found at the event’s website (http://ankenyunplugged.com/) and is going to be rocking! 

On a personal note, I recommend dressing in layers, bringing bag chairs and/or blankets, and leaving your own food, drinks, and cigarettes at home!

Now that you know the details, have time to otherwise clear your calendar, AND have been enticed by the promise of awesome entertainment, good food, and a fun time with friends, you have no excuse to miss what is sure to be a great time!

Don't Miss It: The Uptown Ankeny Farmers' Market begins THIS Saturday

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you’re like me, 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 Farmers' 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 (34, 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:

Uptown Ankeny

Corner of SW 3rd & SW Maple Street

Ankeny, IA 50021

When:

(May-September)

Saturdays May 18 thur Sept. 28

8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Closed July 13

For more information visit www.uptownankeny.org

8 Things To Do In Ankeny This Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

8 Things To Do In Ankeny This Spring

1.  Visit any of our MANY different parks.  Check out {this} matrix and {this} Park Locator Map to, not only find one near you, but to find a park that meets your needs!  Want a park with a picnic shelter and grill?  We have those! One with open spaces for a game of Frisbee?  Yep, got that too!  There is something for everyone when it comes to parks in Ankeny!

2.  Grab your pole, some bait, your handy-dandy fishing license and head to one of our local fishing holes.

3.  And speaking of fishing, why not take part in the Ankeny Kids Fishing Derby?

4.  Ankeny Unplugged is a great way to gather with friends, listen to live music and have some good old fashioned fun.  Oh, and don’t forget to buy your early bird season passes before they’re gone!

5.  Looking for a good experience AND fresh, locally grown produce, as well as arts, crafts, and entertainment?  The Ankeny Farmers’ Market is just the place for you!

6.  Are you a sports fan?  If so, be sure to take in an  Ankeny High School or Ankeny Centennial baseball, softball, or soccer game.  Be a part of the action and watch rich traditions continue!

7. Maybe watching sports isn’t exactly your thing, but playing is!  That’s ok, too.  We’ve got some of the best golf courses around!  Check out one of our many public or private courses.

8.  Finally, we encourage you to get out and take advantage of one of the newest and best recreational trails in the state.  High Trestle Trail spans 25 miles, from Ankeny to Woodward, with many scenic and entertaining stops along the way.  So, grab your bike or running shoes and get exploring!

Displaying blog entries 11-18 of 18