Des Moines is starting to be labeled a progressive city, which some have questioned but no one can deny the movement has started to gain steam. Well, if anyone had any doubts,this weekend is a prime example that those discussing Des Moines and progressive in the same sentence are onto something.
For starters, there is the Hy-Vee Triathlon, which I discussed on Tuesday (see below). There is also the Des Moines Arts Festival, which features over 175 artists, live music, food, activities, a Film Festival, a Jazz and Wine Pavilion, all jammed into three days at the national renowned festival. Both events will feature a dichotomy of participants and crowds all intermingling this weekend.
What could be better!? List another city in the nation that has a World Class triathlon AND a nationally renowned Arts Festival going on at the same time!
In case you are concerned you might miss all the action in West Des Moines while sipping wine and looking at all the cool art at the Festival downtown; not to worry, the city has set up buses to run between each event all weekend long. That is probably the best idea since….well, since sliced bread if you ask me. Both events are BIG time pulls for the city and it is great to see the cooperation and planning to set up this huge weekend! Not to mention the huge amount of local corporate sponsorship involved in both events. For instance at the Arts Festival: Aviva USA, Principal Financial Group, Prairie Meadows,GuideOne Insurance, U. S Cellular (also a major sponsor at next weekend’s 80/35 Music Festival), Budweiser, Meredith Corporation, Hubbell Homes, Nationwide are all involved with the Arts Festival. These are some of the largest employers in the city! Hy-Vee is the main sponsor of the Triathlon, thus the name, but they are also providing a piece of the sponsorship and pull for the Arts Festival with the Friday night concert. Other sponsors of the triathlon are not necessarily local companies since the sponsors of the athletic event tend to be more regional hubs of larger companies in the health care and food industries.(Pepsico, Gatorade, etc.) Yet their investments in this huge event are a going to bring great returns for the community.
Every thing at the Arts Festival starts tomorrow night at 4 pm with the official opening,and will be capped off by Collective Soul and Gavin DeGraw’s performance, that is sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Stores, in recognition of the triathlon.The events continue all day Saturday and until 5 pm on Sunday.
The next two weeks are entirely huge weeks for the city of Des Moines and main reasons why I consider Des Moines to be a not boring city. These are the large scale events, which often get more press and media attention (as illustrated by my Blogs this week), yet there are tons of other events going on this weekend that I haven’t had time to discuss. But, it is a good thing to have not enough time to discuss all that is going on in our city.