May End of Month Update

Dan Culhane - President and CEO of Ames Regional Economic Alliance

As we move into June, the summer season is officially here. For many of us, that includes entering the season of being busy. Gatherings with family and friends, weddings, and vacations, often get condensed into a three-month window of time. If you’re anything like us, when we get to the fall, we often wonder where the summer went.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I attended the first concert held at Jack Trice Stadium in 25 years. That Saturday evening, we saw George Strait, Chris Stapleton, and Little Big Town take the stage. The energy was electric, and it was incredible to see the stadium that we have come to love, be transformed for this purpose. Earlier that morning, I walked the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market. The streets were packed with vendors and community members. Earlier in May, we hosted 515 Days in Downtown Ames. The three-day event included food trucks, vendors, and live music. It is clear that our community desires these events, but it wasn’t always like this.

We talk about traction a lot, often through our flagship publication. But that name also represents how we help drive business and community vitality across the region. When the farmers’ market started, it was attended much more modestly than it is today. But due to the passion and leadership of Lojean Peterson, who manages our market, it’s the best in the region and an amenity to the area. The same can be said for many of our events in Downtown Ames, our workforce development programming, and the FUEL Young Professionals organization, among many others. One thing that they all have in common: they need engagement.

​In an ideal world, I hope that there is a concert once a year at Jack Trice Stadium. But even if that is not the case, there is plenty to do in the Ames region. This summer, I encourage you to engage. Talk with your coworkers and friends to go out for food and a drink. Go listen to live music at Alluvial, Cornbred, or Noir and make an event out of it. Get up and go to the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market. Or simply, get the bikes out and take a ride across the High Trestle Trail. In October, if you blink and wonder where the summer went, you did it right.