Whew….ok, I think I am recovered from last weekend. What a whirl wind! I bet most of us in Des Moines are feeling the weekend hang-over, since it was such a huge weekend!! There was the Des Moines Arts Festival, the Hy-Vee Triathlon, Big Country Bash, Summer Jam, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift, MCC Fights…all in one weekend!! I heard on the news last night that the initial return from the three days that comprised last weekend was near $4.6 million spent, but they said they had yet to receive the confirmation on that stat from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Either way, a fantastic showing and a true illustration that Des Moines is not Boring.
So, this weekend we can all take a big exhale and just enjoy some relaxation. Right? Cause, there can’t be two weekends in a row with such an increased level of activities. Right? Cause this is dead Moines…
Wrong! This weekend is going to be just as busy as last weekend. For starters let’s focus on the 80/35 Music Festival, which last year attracted near 30,000 people during the two days. This year is going to be just as crazy with an amazing line up. The live music starts at 4pm on Friday with Tilly and the Wall’s first beats on the Main stage and Des Moines’ own Mooseknuckle on the West Stage. The 17 different acts performing on Friday will be capped off with Public Enemy’s performance. The music starts at noon on Saturday, with three groups on three different stages, Des Moines’ own Poison Control Center will be on the Main Stage and Hanwell on the East Stage,and a group out of Los Angeles, Anni Rossi, showcased on the West Stage. All and all, 27 music groups will perform on Saturday with the finale of Ben Harper and the Relentless 7’s performance on the Main Stage.
When ever I see the photo’s from last year’s festival I can’t help but get a big grin on my face. I had a complete blast last year, I saw people from all walks, directions, and lifestyles all wrapped into one conclusive group that were all their intent to hear live music. The entire time I kept reminding myself that the event was organized by a group of volunteers. A festival that entertained nearly 30,000 for two days was organized by a group of people volunteering their time and efforts for a mutual cause. That fact still amazes me to this day, but I have gone from true amazement to wonderment as I cannot be more proud that their efforts embody what being an Iowan is all about. Iowans are known for working hard for our causes, our goals, our future and it shows what we are capable of.
While at the festival, stop through the Do More Village(hosted by the Young Professionals Connection) over by the Des Moines Social Club building on Locust Street if you are interested in the opportunity to win up to $500 in downtown gift cards or a CAR! The gift cards are via the Downtown Community Alliance and the car raffle is being held by the 4-H Foundation. There will be live street performances and many interactive options to entertain your time in the Village.
If live music is not your thing, there are tons of other events to go to this weekend, including the I-Cubs, Iowa Barnstormers, Des Moines Menace, Downtown Farmers Market, and too many holiday celebrations to count.
So, let’s recap. If your plans include sitting on about at Saylorville or leaving town this weekend, change them! Focus your efforts and attention at either the Music Festival or supporting one of our local teams this weekend, you will not be disappointed!