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Summerfest 2015: Part 2

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 11 and 12).


Read Part I {here}.

 

Saturday, July 11, 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 17th 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 the band, 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 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:

 

● 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 2015 SummerFest activities!  For the full schedule of events, details, and other general information, visit www.ankenysummerfest.org.

 

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?

Summerfest 2015: 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 9 - 12) 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 9 & 10), then finishing up with the final 2 days (July 11 & 12) in our blog post next week.  So, hang onto your hats, this is going to be fun!

 

Summerfest 2015 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 9 thru Sunday, July 12.  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, Monkey Monkey Monkey on Thursday, July 9, 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 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 it’s 12th 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 “Making Magic” and we have no doubt that it’ll be full of fun and LOTS of kids! Kids (and parents) should meet in Uptown Ankeny at 5:45 pm.  Judging begins at 6:15, with the parade to start soon after at 6:30.

 

 

● Friday night’s Leisure Garden band line-up continues with the band, Decoy, from 8:00-11:45 pm. 

 

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 next week, when we highlight more of event favorites from Saturday and Sunday in our blog: Summerfest, Part II.

The Frank Ross “Play Fore Kids” Memorial Classic

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Every once in a while we get the opportunity to be a part of something truly special and meaningful, outside of our regular day-to-day real estate world. For the past five years it has been our privilege to be an event sponsor for the Frank Ross “Play Fore Kids” Memorial Classic, an individual and cause close to our hearts.

The Frank Ross “Play Fore Kids” Memorial Classic (FRMC) is a five-year annual event honoring the work and memory of Frank Ross, benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. Frank was, most importantly a father and husband, but also a business and community leader who is deeply missed by all. As a past trustee, board president and board member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, Frank believed that individuals and organizations that have been blessed with opportunities and privilege, have an inherent responsibility to do work or contribute to organizations that work to improve the circumstance of the children of our community. This event continues this legacy in his honor and raised $235,000 this year alone and $1,000,000+ over the past 5 years!

There are two elements to the FRMC. The first is a celebration event held prior to the golf tournament where golfers, guests and supporters come together to enjoy cocktails, appetizers learn more about the important work done by Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. The second element is the golf tournament itself played on Des Moines Golf & Country Club’s newly renovated North Course. This event is firmly established as one of the premier golf events in central Iowa.

 

 

The 2015 Saturday night event, “Come Fly Away,” was a celebration truly fitting for the end of our five-year memorial event. The celebration included dinner and dancing, with a ‘rat pack’ inspired theme. Guests experienced an Italian dinner catered by Chicago’s most anticipated new restaurant, Formento’s.  

 

 

Dinner, dancing & drinks were served to 300 guests in a family-style format. Chicago’s “The Tony Ocean Band” provided the entertainment for the evening.  There was music throughout the night, with two well-timed breaks to talk about Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa and to acknowledge the loyal sponsors and golfers.

 

Golf and giving back were two of Frank’s passions. This event was a reflection of both. Frank served the Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa for eight years before his passing; and it was with great honor that we, along with many other family, friends, and sponsors, were able to continue that commitment through this event. The Memorial Classic gala and golf tournament, in Frank’s honor, was a way for us at Ankeny Real Estate Service to celebrate this great man and his legacy with an amazing organization.


Frank's Kids

Ankeny Golf Course Options

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We’re in the midst of PRIME golfing weather here in good old Ankeny, giving you the perfect reason to find an awesome course.  Lucky for us, we live in an area with plenty of great options for golfing greens.  Here in Ankeny, specifically, there are three courses for you to choose from.  From municipal to private, there really is something for everyone.  But just in case you aren’t familiar with your options, here’s a little run down of ANKENY GOLF COURSES for you!

 

Otter Creek Golf Course

 

 

This newly designed course features a links style course with multiple sets of tees at each hole, 44 bunkers, 17 ponds, and an abundance of tall grasses and moundings. Following its redesign and reopening in 2009, Otter Creek can be a great test of your game, but is ideal for those looking for a fun and playable course.  A Otter Creek features include: a double-ended driving range, practice facility, 17 ponds, well manicured fairways, and a 17,000 square foot clubhouse, which includes the Golf Shop, Tin Cup Bar & Grille, and The Pinnacle Club banquet and meeting room.

 

Briarwood Club Of Ankeny

 


 

Briarwood Club of Ankeny is a private golf and country club that boasts an 18-hole championship course. This par 72 course measures over 7000 yards from the tips and features bent grass fairways and four sets of tees. Although it is considered one of the top golf courses in the Midwest, it is known for its challenging yet fun layout, while maintaining an appeal to golfers of all abilities. Over the years, Briarwood has been proud to host some of the biggest tournaments in the state of Iowa, such as the Briarwood Amateur, the Allianz Sr. Qualifying Tournament, US Amateur Regional qualifier, and the Iowa Open.

 

Briarwood Club of Ankeny is a golf course and sports club. This facility offers golf programs for men, women and juniors. Briarwood Club of Ankeny also features a swimming pool, dining and various membership options.

 

Ankeny Golf and Country Club

 


 

Ankeny Golf & Country Club is a member-owned, private country club. The facility offers golf programs, pools, private lounges, a pro shop, a restaurant and a 9-hole course with watered greens, fairways, tee boxes and cart sheds for storage. Ankeny Golf & Country Club also provides space and services for weddings, banquets and special events.

 

Ready to look beyond Ankeny for a place to play?  GolfLink.com offers a full list of area courses, with rankings and information.

2015 Ankeny Area Summer Bucket List

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. Enjoy the community, music, and culture brought to our town at Ankeny Unplugged.

 

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

Movies Under the Stars 2015

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 5: Frozen

 

June 12: The Box Trolls

 

June 19: Maleficent

 

June 26: Annie

 

July 17: Goonies

 

July 24: Planes: Fire & Rescue

 

July 31: Lego Movie

 

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/

 

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’ve 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

8 Things to do in Ankeny this Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service
  1. Visit any of our MANY different parks.  Check out {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!

 

 

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

 

  1. And speaking of fishing, cast your line to catch Iowa’s Free Fishing Days. June 5th, 6th & 7th. (iowadnr.gov).

 

  1. 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!

 

 

  1. 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!

 


 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Stop by and join professional yoga instructors at the Ankeny Band Shell, located at the corner of West 1st and NW Ash Dr. for one hour of free outdoor yoga

 


 

  1. 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!

Ankeny Farmers' Market 2015

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 16 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:

 

Uptown Ankeny

Corner of SW 3rd & SW Maple Street

Ankeny, IA 50021

 

When:

 

(May-September)

Saturdays May 16 thru Sept. 26

8:00 am to 12:00 pm

For more information visit www.uptownankeny.org

Easy Landscaping Ideas for Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

It's time to start thinking about your yard and landscaping again, so we thought a look back at our last landscaping blog was in order! So, here you have it: EASY LANDSCAPING IDEAS FOR SPRING!

 

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An expert gardener/landscaper, I am not.  However, as a real estate agent, I AM a home connoisseur of sorts.  My many years in the business has afforded me the opportunity to witness plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to landscaping and increasing curb appeal.  With spring weather {hopefully!} on the horizon soon, I thought I would share just a few easy ways to increase the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

 

Start with a plan. And don’t hesitate to dream big!  That’s where great ideas begin.  Think about how and who will be utilizing your yard.  Do you need a family space used for playing catch with the dog, BBQs, and watching outdoor movies?  Or a relaxing retreat that serves as your own personal sanctuary?  Be mindful of the amount of time you are willing to put into maintenance and upkeep.  Now is also the time to brainstorm bigger, long-term ideas, such as a bird bath/feeder, a garden, water features, flowers, or even a hammock, that could add function and fun to your space.

 

Grand plans are great, but big ideas aside, there are several smaller, simple landscaping concepts that can not only increase your curb appeal, but also serve as a cornerstone for the larger lawn dreams that you’ve been scheming.  Here are a few:

 

Focus on the Front (door and porch)

 

●Guide your guest’s eyes from the street to your front door with a manicured, shrub-lined walkway. 

●Consider placing containers of flowers near the front entry as an easy and inexpensive way to add some eye-catching color.  The brighter the color, the easier to see from the street! Porches appear especially welcoming with potted shrubs, trees, or flowers.

●Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, so use this to your advantage by placing pots on either side of the front door OR if you have a corner door, group 3 varying shaped large containers, filled with flowers or plants, along the wall near the door.

●Good landscape lighting is necessary for both convenience and safety.  Use low-voltage lights to illuminate walkways leading to the porch or door. 

 

Consider Container Gardens

 

Container gardens are one of the easiest and most popular types of landscaping. They add color and a homey feel to most any exterior -- without breaking bank.  Your local garden center carries pre-planted containers or you could create your own with a favorite flowers or plants.  An asymmetrical, staggered arrangements is almost always pleasing to the eye -- whether it be up against the house or in the corner of a concrete area. 

 

Lawn Maintenance

 

A green, well-maintained lawn, free of weeds and clutter speaks to the pride homeowners take in the presentation of their yard.  Consistency is the key when it comes to mowing and/or watering.  Fresh mulch is also an easy way to spruce up garden beds without spending much money.  The contrast between new mulch and plants makes everything pop and will draw attention to your well maintained yard.  Finally, take the time to trim overgrown trees and shrubs.  Nothing says neglect like dead branches and excessive shrubs.

 

Your home’s exterior is also its first impression.  With a little TLC and even less time, you can ensure that the pride in your home is evident AND that all passersby are overcome with that positive first impression it deserves!

 

Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 201